Canada 2011 CensusTORONTO - Making the long form of the 2011 census voluntary has got Catholic schools, social service agencies and Toronto archdiocesan administrators worried.

Religious affiliation, language spoken at home, immigration status, marital status and a great deal more is recorded on the long form of the Statistics Canada census, which in the past was sent out to 20 per cent of the population and had to be filled out or the recipient was penalized. Religious affiliation is one of a few categories recorded only every other census, once every 10 years.

Romeo Meleca's 'Pilgrimage of Love'

Romeo MelecaTORONTO - For nearly 30 years, Romeo Meleca has shared Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross each time he has made his yearly 240-km trek to the Holy Cross of Teopoli in Gravenhurst, Ont.

“I’m always thinking, when I have pain, I think of God, (of) Jesus dying, nailed on the cross. I want to do more and more for Him,” Meleca said, sporting his trademark red banner, a pilgrimage shirt and hat. During the walk, he also carries a wooden cross adorned with a red banner.

Ouellet’s impact on Quebec a work in progress

Cardinal Marc OuelletOTTAWA - History has yet to determine the legacy Cardinal Marc Ouellet has left Quebec, say those who know him.

But his longtime friends reveal a much different picture than the mainstream media’s depiction of a man ambitious for the papacy, a hardliner out of touch with Quebec and a harsh “ayatollah” who will be remembered for opposing abortion.

Chalice honoured as one of Canada's best charities

ChaliceFrom its origins in the basement of a church in Springhill, N.S., to receiving the top rating among Canadian international aid organizations from MoneySense financial magazine, Catholic charity Chalice has come a long way in sharing Christ with those in need.

The Charity 100, a study released online through MoneySense in June, was designed to provide Canadians with an accurate picture of the top 100 charities in the country. Grouping organizations by category, such as health services, hospital foundations or environment, the study ranked each charity under a variety of criteria.

There's a new app for the new Mass

Mass appTORONTO - The new Roman Missal is coming to an iPhone near you.

The new iPhone application is called the “The New Mass: The New Translation” and was released on July 7. The application allows cellphone users who have an iPhone or iPod device to download the missal for 99-cents and then read it on their screen.

D&P apology to Campaign Life clears the air

D and P Campaign LifeTORONTO - The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has formally apologized to Campaign Life Coalition for "inaccurate" statements in a memo that called the pro-life lobby part of "the far right fringe element of North American society," linked Campaign Life with violent activists and accused it of misrepresenting facts and distorting reality to serve their ends.

Development and Peace formally retracted the statements in the memo and apologized in a June 30 letter to Campaign Life national president Jim Hughes.

Order of Canada recognizes nun's role in caring for humanity

Order of CanadaOf the 74 people named to the Order of Canada on Canada Day, only one of them has spent a lifetime explaining to the world how to be human.

Sr. Simone Roach was named to Canada's highest honour for contributions to nursing, particularly her role in helping to write the first code of ethics for nursing in Canada. But that's just one small outgrowth from decades of scholarly dedication to the subject of caring.

Court of appeal gives conscientious objector to Iraq war a reprieve

Jeremy HinzmanTORONTO - The federal government can't send Jeremy Hinzman and his family back to the United States just yet.

A unanimous decision of the Federal Court of Appeal has ordered Citizenship and Immigration to consider the AWOL American soldier's religious, political and moral beliefs before deciding whether the Hinzman family can stay in Canada. The Hinzmans reside in Toronto.

Collins appointed liaison for Anglicans wishing to join Catholic Church


OTTAWA - Toronto's Archbishop Thomas Collins is throwing out the welcome mat for all Anglicans in Canada who wish to become Catholic.

The archbishop has been named the liaison for groups of Anglicans who might want to avail themselves of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus (AC). The AC offers a special structure so Anglicans can join the Roman Catholic Church corporately, while retaining aspects of their identity and patrimony, such as their liturgy.

“This is not an initiative by the Catholic Church,” said Collins. “It’s a response to groups of Anglicans that have indicated an interest in doing this.”

Pro-life message gets out to the street

G20 pro-life protestTORONTO - The G8 and G20 summits certainly attracted protesters. Pro-lifers Julie Abernethy and Seanna Magee weren’t going to be left out.

When Abernethy noticed a group of protesters with a pro-abortion banner walking through her downtown neighbourhood, she asked, “Is anybody representing our side?”

The unique path taken by Toronto's diaconate

Michael PowerTORONTO - Bringing back the permanent diaconate was a spiritual stroke of Vatican II genius, according to historian Michael Power, one that traces its history to the Nazi death camp at Dachau.

Priests in Dachau — facing their deaths, resigned to their imprisonment and steeped in a near monastic routine of prayer and work — began to ask themselves what had gone wrong with the world and the Church, that saving sacrament of their world. They came to the conclusion that priests were living in isolation from the people of God and that the Church needed a way to break through.