{mosimage}TORONTO - Filipino-Canadian Rafael Nebres remembers when the late-September procession on Lake Ontario in honour of Our Lady of Penafrancia started as a small prayer group gathering in his home 36 years ago.

This year on Sept. 20, six yachts, one carrying a statue of Our Lady of Penafrancia, the patron saint of the Bicol region where Nebres is originally from, sailed on Lake Ontario from Bluffers Park in Scarborough.

Pro-life movement changing face of feminism

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{mosimage}TORONTO  - Sarah Palin isn’t exactly the role model that American feminists were hoping for.

But she could be the face of a re-branded form of feminism, says a former Alberta journalist.

Pro-life activist and former Western Standard magazine reporter Andrea Mrozek said Palin’s nomination as Republican John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate in the upcoming American election indicates an increasing momentum for the pro-life movement being seen as a pro-feminist or pro-woman movement.

Coalition grades leaders on pro-life issues

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They've spoken out on the environment, war and peace, poverty and the economy. Christian organizations have been quick and loud in their opinions on what should be done to make Canada a better country. And now there is a pro-life coalition offering its own advice for voters as we approach the Oct. 14 federal election.

Read his lips: there will be no abortion law

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Pro-lifers across the country pull their hair out in chunks every time they hear the dire warnings that Prime Minister Stephen Harper harbours a secret agenda to recriminalize abortion. They know full well he has been the biggest disappointment on that front since the Supreme Court overturned Canada's abortion law in 1988.

Party platforms now available online

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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.