{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada to intervene in a Supreme Court challenge of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.

The challenge was launched by the Attorney General of Quebec and is supported by the provinces of New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The challenge was heard at the court April 24.

The legislation was enacted in 2004.

Greater need brings cutbacks to Toronto shelter

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Good Shepherd Centre has cancelled lunch and dinner under pressure from another big jump in homeless and near-homeless people on its doorstep. From now on the centre will serve one meal a day between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The new serving hours are not a cutback, but rather an attempt to serve more meals to more clients in response to a crush of new needs.

Good Shepherd Ministries executive director Br. David Lynch of the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd isn’t sure he can attribute a 25-per-cent increase in demand for meals to the deteriorating economy. He finds more immediate and concrete reasons for the lengthening lineup outside the Good Shepherd’s Queen Street East door.

Catholics to take over Toronto's Dundas Square

{mosimage}TORONTO - When St. Paul spoke in the Areopagus, he proclaimed to the Athenians that the “unknown God” they honoured with an altar was in fact the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is this biblical passage that the archbishop of Toronto will present to the public in a prayerful meditation at the heart of the city — beside the bustling Eaton Centre in Dundas Square at Yonge and Dundas Streets May 17. The event caps off the church's year-long celebration of St. Paul.

Celebrating a legacy of inclusion in North York

{mosimage}TORONTO - A committee that laid the blueprints for race and ethnicity policies across the city and province 30 years ago will be honoured May 7 at the North York Civic Centre.

A memorial wall designed in the council chamber will feature a tribute to the original members who served North York’s Committee on Community and Race Relations, including Fr. Massey Lombardi, pastor of St. Wilfred’s parish in northwest Toronto. Lombardi, one time director of the office of social action office for the archdiocese of Toronto, was to speak about the committee’s contribution to public institutions of the Greater Toronto Area like the Catholic school boards and beyond.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank sets record

{mosimage}A Canadian ecumenical agency working with subsistence farmers who face drought and starvation in rural Tanzania is enjoying record-breaking support, despite the recession.

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank raised $12.4 million in cash and crops in 2008-2009, $4 million more than its previous record.

“It was quite a remarkable year,” said Foodgrains executive director Jim Cornelius.

St. John’s Bible a masterpiece for the 21st century

{mosimage}TORONTO - Five-hundred years ago it seemed the Gutenberg revolution had shut down the scriptoriums for good. Since the advent of printing presses there was no more need for Benedictine monks to labour over parchment with quills and inks.
Today there are 500-million copies of the Bible sold every year. In English alone there are dozens of translations. The Bible is available for free on the Internet, but  there are also high-priced, leather-bound editions with copious notes, maps and timelines.
What would be the point of producing a hand-written Bible on parchment in seven volumes — at a cost of nearly $6 million?

Development and Peace confident of no wrongdoing in Mexico

{mosimage}MEXICO CITY - The executive director of the Canadian Catholic bishops' aid organization has expressed confidence in the groups that receive agency funds in Mexico, even though five of those partners have been accused of promoting policies that violate church teaching.

Michael Casey, executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, said he was "not dismayed" after an initial April 16 meeting in Mexico City with the five groups that allegedly have supported the liberalization of abortion laws. But Casey also stressed that the investigation by a committee of inquiry from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops was far from being completed and that committee members were taking the allegations against their partner agencies seriously.

Catholic Women’s League of Canada day of action aims to spread hope

{mosimage}The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, along with 1,300 parishes nationwide, will be celebrating its first Day of Peace and Hope on April 26.

The day of reflection and action is expected to draw about 98,000 participants.

“We are a longstanding organization, and we want to show people that we are contemporary in our work for peace,” said Betty Anne Brown, CWL chair of communications.

Canadian border opens to Rwandan genocide survivor

{mosimage}TORONTO - Fifteen years after the genocide in Rwanda, 24-year-old survivor Patricie Mukundiyukuri has come to Canada to bring a message of hope and forgiveness.

“What happened to Rwanda can be an example to people who are going through problems,” she said through an interpreter from Cornwall, Ont.

“Things which have happened in the past are over. We need to sit down, talk, forgive one another and be able to talk about peace.”

Bill Steinburg runs on prayer

{mosimage}TORONTO - For former sports journalist Bill Steinburg, the road to the world’s oldest marathon has been paved with grit, discipline and prayers during months of running along Barrie, Ont.’s snow-covered trails.

The Barrie resident qualified for the 113th annual Boston Marathon when he was timed in three hours and 15 minutes in the competition last April.

During his weekly training, which can add up to 110 kilometres or eight hours, Steinburg said he finds some time to pray. The act of running itself, he said, can be a form of prayer.

Fr. Hansoo Park prepares to take over as Director of Vocations for the archdiocese of Toronto

{mosimage}TORONTO - When he was young, fishing meant going down to the ocean side in South Korea and watching the divers disappear underwater to catch the fish his parents requested.

Today, fishing has taken on a different meaning for Fr. Hansoo Park as he prepares to take over as Director of Vocations for the archdiocese of Toronto.