Toronto mayor candidatesTORONTO - At least four of the would-be mayors of Toronto want something from the city’s churches, synagogues, mosques and temples.

As mayor, Rocco Rossi would ask for an inventory of all social services offered by faith groups, George Smitherman would ask for a co-ordinated effort from faith groups on homelessness, Joe Pantalone would ask faith communities for help integrating immigrants into the fabric of the city, and Rob Ford wants churches to phone and alert him of any homeless people on the streets so he can personally drive out, pick them up and take them to a shelter.

Toronto to host Church IT conference

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DISC logoTORONTO - In today’s era of evangelization, churches need to be armed with the technological know-how and new media savvy to help advance their ministry.

An upcoming North American conference aims to help equip dioceses and parishes in Canada and the United States to navigate and succeed in the world of Facebook, Twitter and electronic giving.

Toronto council kills holiday shopping plan

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TORONTO - Torontonians will not be flocking to shopping malls this Christmas, or any other statutory holidays, after city council voted to kill a proposal to extend shopping on holidays.

Council voted against the proposal May 12 and have sent it back to committee for more study.

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins published an open letter to council May 11 urging councillors to "strongly oppose" the proposal that would have seen stores allowed to open on Christmas, Easter Sunday, Good Friday and other holidays.

Collins fights city hall on Christmas shopping

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Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has published an open letter to Toronto city council to “strongly oppose” a proposal to permit shopping on holidays, including Christmas and Good Friday.

“Our whole community is made poorer when times sacred to the human spirit are sacrificed so that the last drop of profit may be extracted,” wrote Collins.

Walk with Jesus: A multi-media presentation

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jesus WalkMore than 1,000 students in Halton area Catholic schools went for a walk May 6 in the first annual Walk With Jesus.

It was a chance for students to absorb the Bible through their feet, according to photographer and reporter Michael Swan. His audio-visual slide-show presentation can be viewed below.

 

 

 

 

 

Catholics need to share their faith

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mission festTORONTO - For some Catholics, attending lively non-denominational events presents an opportunity to share in a common faith in Christ and cross the wearisome Protestant-Catholic divide. At the same time, it’s also a chance to remind others of what Roman Catholicism has to offer — which can have both positive and challenging results depending on the delivery.

Elizabeth Wodham of Sarnia, Ont., considers herself an active Catholic, participating as a eucharistic minister and in other aspects of parish life. But to her, missions are an important part of evangelization and she laments the fact that nothing Catholic promotes the missions as much as MissionFest, a non-denominational event which features an exhibit tent for missionary organizations. The 15th annual MissionFest took place in Toronto April 16-18.

Toronto to host Chinese Catholic conference

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Chinese Catholic conferenceTORONTO - Toronto will be hosting the 30th North America Chinese Catholic Clergy, Religious and Laity Convention on the challenges facing Chinese Catholics next month.

The June 25 to 28 conference “Chinese Catholics living in a changing multi-ethnic society” is being hosted by the Chinese Pastoral Council of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The council is made up of the four Chinese Catholic parishes in the archdiocese.

Funding cuts threaten Montreal Catholic newspaper's future

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Catholic TimesMontreal’s only English-language Catholic newspaper will cease monthly publication immediately and may close entirely next year due to funding cuts.

Catholic Times Editor Eric Durocher told The Catholic Register it’s been an “extremely difficult year” managing the paper after being hit with a $30,000 cut in funding from Pillars Trust Fund, which provides about half of the newspaper’s operating capital.

Meagan Bebenek's legacy is not forgotten

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meagans walkTORONTO - It’s been nine years since Toronto’s Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School community lost Meagan Bebenek.

But the five-year-old junior kindergarten student has left a lasting legacy which was commemorated in the April 27 “Circle of Angels with Hope,” an annual event started after Meagan’s death from brain cancer.

Doctors fear abortion flip flop at G8

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G8Catholic physicians fear that Canada will succumb to pressure from G8 leaders to include abortion in its maternal health care plan for the Third World.

“I bet that will happen if it gets on the table (at the G8 Summit in June in Huntsville, Ont.)” said Dr. Robert Walley, executive director of MaterCare International.

Walley said his greatest concern, if abortion creeps in, is  that it will affect the criteria for obtaining funding. He said the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has repeatedly rejected MaterCare’s request for funding solely on the basis of services he does not provide.

Rae won't let abortion go away

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Bob RaeOTTAWA - An  event to promote health care for women and children in developing nations was hijacked by Bob Rae’s abortion views when he insisted on raising the controversial issue that even his own party failed to support in a recent Commons vote.

Speaking to a coalition of nine major non-governmental organizations on May 4, Rae first lauded initiatives to provide basic health care for women and children, but then said he must remain consistent by bringing up “reproductive and sexual health” and a “woman’s right to choose.”