TORONTO - Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins is leading a battle to prevent abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler from receiving an Order of Canada.

In a July 1 statement, the archbishop called on all Catholics in Toronto — and “all people of good will” — to write to the Governor General, to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and to members of Parliament to ask that the decision be revoked.

Jesus gives hope to refugees

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Recalling the story of how Jesus’ family was forced into exile in Egypt (Mat. 2:13-23) refugees and the volunteers who support them sang “Jesus was a refugee” at an ecumenical prayer service on the eve of World Refugee Day in Trinity-St. Paul United Church in downtown Toronto.

Refugees from every continent were represented at the June 19 event. Actors recruited from FCJ Hamilton House — a transitional home for women refugees run by the Sisters of the Faithful Companions of Jesus — portrayed life in a refugee camp and related their experience to the Bible in God Sees the Refugee, a play by Sonya VanderVeen Feddema.

Space still available for sisters' housing

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A non-profit group of Toronto-based religious sisters is looking to fill more than a dozen spots for its long-awaited and controversial affordable housing project.

There are 17 spots left for the project being run by 40 Toronto-based women religious congregations that is expected to be ready for occupancy next spring.

$1 million raised for disaster relief

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto’s Catholics have helped send more than $1 million to aid victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and earthquakes in China’s Sichuan province.

New parish honours Sudanese saint

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{mosimage}MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - July 12 and 13 will mark the first Mass celebrations for St. Josephine Bakhita parish, the newest parish in the archdiocese of Toronto, at the western limits of Mississauga.

Founding pastor Fr. Mark Achilles Villanueva said he is excited to see the Christian community develop under the name of the Sudanese saint.

Reasonableness, understanding of religion missed by rights tribunals

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - An Alberta Human Rights Commission panel has ordered a former Christian youth pastor to apologize in the pages of the Red Deer Advocate for a strongly worded 2002 letter to the editor he wrote opposing the homosexual activist agenda.

In a May 30 “decision on remedy,” commission panelist Lori Andreachuk also ordered Stephen Boissoin, 41, to request the newspaper publish her judgment against him. She has also imposed a lifetime ban on ever speaking or writing “disparagingly” about homosexuals again: in the media, on the Internet, in public speaking engagements or in e-mails. She has also ordered him to take down any “disparaging” remarks from his web site.

Canada needed in Afghanistan

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The founding executive director of Project Ploughshares — one of Canada’s leading Christian voices for peace — wants Canadian troops to stay in Afghanistan, for now.

Following 10 days interviewing Afghanis and Canadians in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, Project Ploughshares senior researcher Ernie Regehr concludes Canadian troops are not creating the peace and stability necessary for economic and social development in Kandahar province. However, the soldiers are still necessary to prevent an all-out civil war.

Two cardinals at odds over number of Tridentine Masses

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{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - The Pope may wish to see all parishes have a Tridentine Latin Mass among their weekend liturgies, but at the moment Cardinal Marc Ouellet is happy with one in the archdiocese of Quebec.

“I think the intention of the Holy Father is to allow the practice of the extraordinary rite where there is a need and a request,” the cardinal said at a June 18 press conference at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress here.

Campaign takes aim at euthanasia, suicide bill

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OTTAWA - The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has launched a postcard campaign to fight a proposed bill that would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

EPC has distributed 10,000 cards that can be filled out, signed and mailed free of charge to members of Parliament to stop Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde’s private member’s Bill C-562 that she introduced June 12, a week before the House of Commons adjourned for a summer break.

Catholics offer advice to Pime Minister for G8 summit

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OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting advice from Catholics.

In advance of the July 7-9 G8 meeting in Hokkaido, Japan, Harper has received letters from the bishops of the G8 nations and from the Congregation of Notre Dame sisters.

Congress a celebration of eternal life

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{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - It seemed fitting that the week-long International Eucharistic Congress ended on a battle field. Some 55,000 people celebrated “God's gift for the life of the world” in a Mass where, almost 250 years ago, British and French soldiers shot each other down.

Instead of a memorial to death, the high plateau known as the Plains of Abraham became a celebration of eternal life.