{mosimage}TORONTO - Dozens of Catholic high school students from across the GTA will be lending a hand this month, trying to raise money for the 2009 ShareLife campaign.

On March 25, more than 50 students from four Toronto-area schools will head underground with a simple message for rush-hour commuters on Toronto’s subway system — You can work wonders. The message conveys a simple truth: every donation makes a difference.  

ShareLife aims high

{mosimage}TORONTO - Despite a reeling economy, ShareLife has raised its fund-raising goals for 2009 and is optimistic that parishioners will meet the challenge.

ShareLife, the charitable fund-raising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto, has set an overall goal of $14.3 million for this year’s campaign. This includes a parish goal of $12 million and a corporate goal of $1.625 million. Last year the organization raised a total of $14.03 million to help support its sponsored charities. It is through these agencies that ShareLife tries to maintain a commitment to providing care and outreach to members of the community who are in need.  

Parish hosts Bible reading marathon

{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s going to be a marathon of biblical proportions.

This Lent, 365 parishioners of Toronto’s Epiphany of Our Lord Church are planning a three-day, cover-to-cover reading of the Bible, starting March 20.

The event, titled “From Genesis to Revelation: Bible Proclamation,” will start with an English reading of Genesis by pastor Fr. George Parayil, C.F.I.C. It is scheduled to close with a reading of the Book of Revelation in Italian on March 23 at 9 p.m. by Fr. Domenico Rettura, C.F.I.C.

Opposing groups unite to fight polygamy

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Groups on opposing sides of the same-sex marriage debate have joined forces to oppose the legalization of polygamy.

“We feel (polygamy) would be a very backward step for our nation,” said Institute for Canadian Values founder Charles McVety, who joined Canadian Family Action Coalition president Brian Rushfeldt and Muslim Canadian Congress president Farzana Hassan at a news conference March 3 on Parliament Hill.

Newman Centre offers education session on Latin Mass

{mosimage}TORONTO - Have you ever wanted to understand the Traditional Latin Mass? If so, you might consider heading out to the Newman Centre in Toronto on March 20.

An outline and brief explanation will be provided beforehand to guide the congregation as it celebrates its first Tridentine Mass in approximately 40 years.

“Given the fact that we are part of an educational community, it was felt we should at least have an opportunity for people to experience that form of liturgy, be educated in it, so they can be a bit more enlightened on its history as they read more about it, and as they might come across it in some places,” said Fr. Pat O’Dea, pastor of the Newman Centre parish.

Bringing St. Joseph to the table

{mosimage}TORONTO - Whether the product of a profound devotion to St. Joseph or a great excuse to break the Lenten fast, zeppole, an Italian pastry, rises in popularity every March.

Zeppole, which originated in southern Italy, are traditionally made and given out or sold on March 19 in honour of St. Joseph’s feast day. It could be compared to a French Cruller but with custard cream and sour cherries in the middle. In Canada, zeppole can be found in some parishes as Italian communities bake and sell their own to raise money and can also be found in multiple Italian bakeries across the city.

Jim O’Leary named Catholic Register Publisher/Editor

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Board of Directors of The Catholic Register is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim O’Leary to the position of Publisher and Editor of The Catholic Register, effective immediately.

O’Leary brings to the position more than 25 years experience as a writer, editor and executive in traditional and online media companies.

Christian morality will save economy

{mosimage}TORONTO - Lay people and not bishops will lead the world out of the economic crisis, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver told an audience of business leaders in Toronto Feb. 24.

“Bishops don’t know very much about economics, so we shouldn’t say very much,” said the Franciscan Capuchin bishop.

Greater need for foster parents

{mosimage}TORONTO - The need for foster care parents fluctuates with time and location, but financial hardships in Canada could result in a much greater demand for help, according to children’s aid societies in Toronto.

“There’s a shortage of foster homes in general,” said Bervin Garraway, supervisor of foster care development for Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto . “We have not seen (a huge drop) but anticipate there will be.”

St. Patrick the reason for celebration

{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and organizers expect to fill St. Michael’s Cathedral to capacity.  

The March 17 service will be presided over by Archbishop Thomas Collins.

Collins, whose Irish ancestors settled near Guelph, Ont., in 1827, says the annual Mass has become an important part of his St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Although Collins can share a laugh about the many diverse and interesting ways people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, he said it’s important to remember the day’s religious significance.

Stop Colombian free-trade deal

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Canadian government will be complicit with human rights violations being committed in Colombia if it proceeds with an already-signed free trade agreement, warned a church-sponsored delegation of Colombian activists that toured Canada in February.

Members of Colombia’s religious community are calling on Canadian churches to help prevent the ratification of the agreement between the two countries.