{mosimage}TORONTO - It wasn’t the kind of assignment he had been used to, but Capt. Joseph Nonato says his mission in Afghanistan so far has been an eye-opening spiritual journey.

“My favourite times are when we can have an open discussion about faith, prayer and belief,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Catholic Register from Kandahar.

Where ‘Caring Matters’

{mosimage}TORONTO - With Caring Matters, the company she founded seven years ago, Sherri Auger aims to help the aging population in the same way she helped her own parents. She works as a consultant to aging parents or their children for decision making and estate planning in preparation for illness and death.

About a year before she founded the Toronto-based company, which now has another three employees, Auger was faced with the sudden need to place her father in long-term care after her mother, his primary care-giver, became ill and passed away.

Indian violence linked to colonization

{mosimage}TORONTO - The roots of the recent anti-Christian violence in India have some links to the early missionary work of Christians in the country, says a British scholar of Christianity in India.

“The behaviour of the Europeans was seen as abhorrent by the population of southern India. Converting people was also seen as abhorrent,” said Anglican Rev. Paul Collins, an associate professor of theology at England’s University of Chichester, at an Oct. 30 lecture at the University of St. Michael’s College.

'Pure prayer, song and dance'

{mosimage}TORONTO - Before the Rogers Centre filled up and before the hours of praise and worship began, native drummers and dancers had the crowd rocking at Heaven’s Rehearsal.

The evening of straightforward, charismatic praise, music and Bible reading hosted by the Evangelical Crossroads Ministry attracted close to 25,000 Evangelical, Pentecostal and Catholic Christians to Toronto’s baseball stadium Nov. 1.

Students lead way on interfaith dialogue

{mosimage}TORONTO - Nobody forced the 40 Catholic and Muslim university students to spend Nov. 1 touring a downtown Toronto church and then a nearby mosque, giving up most of a Saturday for the sake of interfaith dialogue. Students wanted to be there, said University of Toronto Innis College student Ali Shaikh.

“There are people who are willing to go beyond their prejudices,” he said. “They’re willing to be the change they want to see.”

Centennial reinvigorates St. Leo's parish

{mosimage}TORONTO - One hundred years have passed for St. Leo’s, the first church established in Etobicoke, but the small parish is showing a quicker pace. With repairs and purchases planned to restore the church’s beauty, involvement from its community has increased, said Margaret Innes, a parishioner for 35 years.

“There’s lots of hope for St. Leo’s,” she said. “It’s like we’re building it again. It’s neat to go into the 100th like this.”

Canada must correct understanding of freedom, Pope says

{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - A correct understanding of freedom is needed to revive a true culture of life in Canada that respects human dignity, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"Catholicism represents an essential cornerstone in the framework of Canadian society," he said in an Oct. 30 audience with Canada's new ambassador to the Vatican, Anne Leahy, who presented her credentials.

In good times and bad, Christians called to stewardship

{mosimage}TORONTO - Poverty ought to motivate Christians to decisive action in good times and bad, 1,700 diners heard from politicians and prelates at the 29th annual Cardinal's Dinner in Toronto, Oct. 30.

It was the night before Halloween, but the speakers were betting that donors might already be spooked.

Rosaries offered to soldiers

{mosimage}WOODBRIDGE, Ont. - Two hundred rosaries and prayer cards will soon be on their way to soldiers in Afghanistan, with the hopes of being able to send more.

On Oct. 26, Rev. Grahame C. Thompson, assistant area chaplain for the Headquarters of Land Forces Central in Toronto, accepted the blessed items on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces from St. Padre Pio parish in Woodbridge, Ont.

To Paul, Christ is all in all

TORONTO - Though known as the Apostle to the Gentiles, St. Paul never abandoned his preaching to the Jews, says a New Testament scholar from Rome.

According to Fr. Bernardo Estrada, a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Romans 9-11, Paul writes about the Jewish people and God’s plan for them, and he cries out in anguish, “I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people.”

For-profit medicare a threat to system

{mosimage}TORONTO - Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Robert Ouellet says he wants the private sector to take the pressure off medicare in Canada by running a parallel system of private clinics, but bioethicists and many doctors think the CMA president is blind to the science of public-versus-private health care.

Ouellet announced Oct. 21 he was leading a delegation to the United Kingdom, Denmark and other European countries to investigate how public and private health care exists side by side in those countries.