Catholic voters keep being told they should read the political parties' platforms before making their decision on Oct. 14. Well, they are now available, so happy reading.

Afghanistan falls off election radar screen

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{mosimage}TORONTO - With 97 Canadian soldiers dead and many more injured, a record year for attacks on development workers and mounting evidence that NATO is losing the war in Afghanistan some might have expected the war to be a major issue in the Canadian election campaign.

"It's not an issue because the Liberals gave the issue away when they voted for the Conservative extension to 2011, so there's no difference really between the Conservative and the Liberal position on this," said left-leaning Rideau Institute defence analyst Stephen Staples.

25 years of discernment at Serra House

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Serra House in Toronto has reached its 25th birthday and continues to welcome young men who are in the “pre-seminary” stage of their life.

Here, men can discern a vocation to the diocesan priesthood while studying or continuing in the work force, all the while supported by a community of peers striving for personal and spiritual growth.

Senator O'Connor's legacy of generosity, faith

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{mosimage}TORONTO - In setting out to protect a Toronto heritage home, Mary Fay discovered the story of a man so fascinating she spent years researching his life and deeds.

Four years ago, while walking by Senator O’Connor College School, Fay fell in love with a stately old home that sat boarded up on the school’s property, surrounded by a wire fence. Moved by its Colonial Revival-style architecture, she thought it deserved a second chance at life and began to research its history and its pending fate.

St. Joseph's retains its small town feel

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{mosimage}MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - All eight of Helen Steffler’s children celebrated their First Communion and Confirmation at St. Joseph’s Church in Mississauga, Ont., just a few of the thousands who have done the same over the parish’s 150-year history.

The parish was to mark its 150th anniversary with an Oct. 5 Mass celebrated by Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins.

Devoted to St. Theresa for 75 years

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Mary White-Reel remembers when St. Theresa’s Shrine of the Little Flower parish was the only parish in her area. In fact, she had to be baptized at St. Augustine’s Seminary because the church was not yet built.

“I remember when we first came here, there were only three or four families (in the parish),” she said.

JSI performs well pre-market meltdown

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The pre-Wall Street meltdown market was a calm, even dull affair for Canadian ethical investors judging by the Jantzi Social Index results for August.

The JSI rose 1.4 per cent in August, keeping pace with the best known conventional indexes.

Afghanistan goals need to be made clear

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{mosimage}CORNWALL, Ont. - The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops raised concerns about the war in Afghanistan and the Canadian government’s not making clear the goals of the mission there in his annual report to the bishops’ plenary here.

“If these goals are not articulated, it is difficult to determine bench marks, and almost impossible to evaluate successes and failures,” said Archbishop James Weisgerber.

First Nations chief calls for reconciliation with Catholic Church

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{mosimage}CORNWALL, Ont. - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine made an historic plea for reconciliation with the Catholic Church while speaking to a gathering of Catholic bishops here Sept. 22.

“What I want to talk about here is the future,” Fontaine told about 80 bishops attending the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual plenary.

Tough-on-crime approach won't work, says church advocacy group

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Tough-on-crime election promises released this week by the Conservative Party don't much impress the Church Council on Justice and Corrections.

Ecumenical coalition scolds Conservatives

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The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition isn't shy about criticizing the federal Conservatives while the election is on. In an editorial in it's September newsletter the Ontario coalition of faith communities takes the Conservatives to task.