{mosimage}TORONTO - Leslie Gimpes, a student at Mississauga’s St. Joseph Catholic High School, joined more than 75 students from three Toronto-area high schools at busy subway stops in the city March 24 to raise awareness and funds for ShareLife.

ShareLife is the archdiocese of Toronto’s charitable fundraising arm. It supports more than 30 agencies in the archdiocese, including Covenant House Toronto, a homeless shelter for youth, Catholic Family Services in the Greater Toronto Area and Rosalie Hall, which helps young mothers and their children.

Neil McNeil’s founding principal Fr. Michael Troy dies at 93

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Fr. Michael Troy was known to the first class of Neil McNeil High School graduates as a spiritual father and well-respected leader. So much so that students called him the “Big Daddy” of Neil McNeil.

Fr. Troy, C.S.Sp., was the founding principal of the high school in 1957. He died at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital March 19. He was 93.

Liberals abortion proposal sunk from within party ranks by pro-life MPs

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - A Liberal motion to force the federal government to include abortion and contraception in its maternal health initiative was  defeated March 23.

Perceived by the Tories and Parliament Hill journalists as an attempt to drive a wedge between pro-life and pro-choice members of the Conservative Party, the motion backfired, even with the support of the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois, losing by a 144 to 138 vote.

D&P, LifeSite rev up their online war

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OTTAWA - A leaked document that accuses Canadian “pro-life” groups of being militant, right-wing organizations that associate with violent factions has put the executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) on the hot seat.

The document, a 10-page series of question-and-answers, was drafted by D&P to counter negative online media reports from a year ago, said executive director Michael Casey. It says “militant” pro-life groups and bloggers conspired in “concerted,” “organized” and “slanderous” attacks on D&P and it derides what are called “single-issue militant advocacy groups” that “continually misrepresent facts and distort reality to serve their purpose.”

Newspapers' abuse coverage prompts Canadian Bishops statement

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has slammed press coverage in The National Post and La Presse newspapers suggesting the Catholic Church has inadequately responded to the sexual abuse crisis.

Both papers carried March 18 articles on abuse of minors by those in the church.

Singing the praises of Danny Boy

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Danny Boy runs after the red ball, with his golden brown tail wagging from side to side and panting with a doggy-style grin from ear to ear.

The year-old toy poodle is a resident favourite at St. Bernard’s Retirement Residence on Finch Avenue West run by the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood .

“We began to see that people, their eyes light up when they see him, especially when people are coming in the beginning because of the life they left behind,” said residence administrator Sr. Francis Bisland.

Vatican Observatory tries to understand God through science

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Vatican has its eyes on outer space to bridge the divide between science and religion and promote good science, said Fr. José G. Funes, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory.

Funes was in Toronto March 16 to give the Naming the Holy lecture at the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto on “The Evolving Universe.” The lecture is sponsored by the Newman Centre and the Regis College Jesuit community.

Anglican Catholic Church of Canada seeks unity

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada College of Bishops has sent a formal letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome asking that the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus be implemented in Canada.

Released last November by the Vatican, the Apostolic Constitution opened the door for Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony. In asking that a personal ordinariate be established in Canada, the Anglican Catholic Church is following similar requests from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Toronto Chaldeans pray for homeland

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto’s Chaldean Catholic community continues to pray for peace in the wake of further violence affecting Christians in Iraq.

“We go with prayer and in this Holy Week, we ask our Lord Jesus Christ, King of Peace, to make peace in this country. All our hearts go to the (people in Iraq),” Chaldean Archbishop Hanna Zora told The Catholic Register.

Euthanasia bill pitched again in Canada

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde made yet another pitch for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the House of Commons March 16 with her private member’s Bill C-384.

Only about 10 MPs were in the House for the debate. It will have one hour of debate before a vote on second reading. If it passes it will be sent to committee for further study.

Archangel Michael icon donated to archdiocese of Toronto

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A window on the Kingdom of God now hangs in the chapel at the archdiocese of Toronto’s Catholic Pastoral Centre.

Icon painter Janusz Charczuk donated the painting of the archangel Michael to the archdiocese. The icon of the patron saint of the archdiocese of Toronto took three months to paint using traditional materials and techniques, including a base of 16 layers of gesso made from marble dust, and hand-mixed colours in egg tempura.