Mackenzie-Fort Smith Bishop Murray ChatlainTORONTO - Serving in Canada’s northern mission dioceses requires a “call within a call,” says 47-year-old Mackenzie-Fort Smith Bishop Murray Chatlain.

Chatlain, who took charge of the diocese two years ago, was in Toronto April 21 to speak about its needs at the annual Tastes of Heaven gala dinner hosted by Catholic Missions In Canada.

Chatlain said the approach of the Church in the north has significantly changed. The Church promotes the use of aboriginal culture and language rather than trying to eradicate it like some priests and religious had done in the past. This requires clergy and lay missionaries to understand what they’re getting into.

Sr. June Dwyer a YWCA 'Woman of Distinction'

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Sr. June DwyerTORONTO - For the past 15 years, Sr. June Dwyer, 72, has been helping women escape the cycle of addiction and violence at Nazareth House, a transitional home in downtown Toronto for women and their newborns.

But the Sister of St. Joseph couldn’t believe her ears when she learned she would receive the YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction Award for Health and Healing on May 12 for doing her job.

Toronto welcomes Maltese archbishop

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Maltese Archbishop Paul Cremona, O.P. TORONTO - Canada’s Maltese communities will roll out the red carpet this month for a special visit by Maltese Archbishop Paul Cremona, O.P.

Cremona was to first visit Windsor, London and Michigan from April 30-May 3 before spending May 7-14 in Toronto, home to the largest Maltese-Canadian population.

“This is an opportunity for the community to have their faith renewed and confirmed by his presence,” said Fr. Carmelo Borg, MSSP, pastor at Toronto’s only Maltese parish, St. Paul the Apostle Church.

Abortion is not on Canada's maternal health plan plate

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Prime Minister Stephen HarperOTTAWA - Canada will not include abortion in its G8 maternal health initiative, despite pressure from Opposition parties and foreign governments.

“Canadians want to see the foreign aid money used for things to help save the lives of women and children in ways that unite the Canadian people,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said April 27 in response to a question from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff who accused the government of reversing Canada’s 25-year-old “consensus” on the issue.

Economy to blame as ShareLife slashed funding to D&P

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ShareLife and D&PTORONTO - The archdiocese of Toronto is giving 20-per-cent less to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace this year because ShareLife fell short of its fundraising goal last year and the recession has hit local Catholic agencies with increased demand for services.

The ShareLife advisory board cut its allocation to Development and Peace to $900,000 this year, a $225,000 reduction from last year’s contribution of $1.125 million.

Caritas still hopes to reach its goal

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CaritasTORONTO - More than $233,000 was raised by the Caritas Project’s 16th annual telethon on April 25.

Although the goal of $250,000 was not attained, Caritas’ associate executive director Ramin Deravian said Caritas hopes to hits its target as it is still accepting donations until the end of April.

The telethon was broadcast on CHIN TV and the Telelatino Network. It kicked off with a pre-taped message from Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins. The broadcast also featured words of support from Peterborough Bishop Nicola de Angelis.

For food banks, recession still hits hard

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Food BankTORONTO - Report On Business declares the recession is over. Down at the food bank it’s just getting up a head of steam.

“There are more people going to food banks and less food being donated, both by individuals as well as our corporate partners,” Ontario Association of Food Banks executive director Adam Spence told The Catholic Register. “Those two items come together to make it a very challenging time for food banks.”

Hope running out for Iraqi Christians

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Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.Time is running out on people’s hopes for a tolerant Middle East where the Christian minorities can live in peace, said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., on returning from a trip to Lebanon and Syria.

“We have to create a climate now for the Christians to stay, for the Christians to go back to Iraq and go back to the villages in Galilee. That’s the hope,” said Prendergast.

Toronto to review abuse protocols

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Archbishop CollinsTORONTO - In the wake of the abuse scandal rocking the worldwide Church, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins will convene a committee of experts to examine and update the archdiocese’s  protocols for dealing with priestly misconduct.

Collins made the announcement in a pastoral letter read at Masses in parishes throughout the archdiocese the weekend of April 17-18.

Euthanasia bill defeated in House of Commons

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EuthanasiaOTTAWA - Canada’s MPs have overwhelmingly rejected assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Bloc Quebecois MP ’s private member’s Bill C-384 went down to a resounding defeat April 21 by a vote of 228 to 59.

All save one Bloc Quebecois MP supported the motion, while all the Conservatives present, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, voted against it. Most Liberals and NDP MPs also voted against the bill, including NDP Leader Jack Layton. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was not in the House for the vote, but told journalists earlier in the day he did not support it.

Conservatives won't support abortion coercion bill

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Rod BruinoogeOTTAWA - The Conservative government will not support MP Rod Bruinooge’s bill to prevent women from being coerced into having abortions, giving the private member’s bill little chance of passing.

The Winnipeg South MP, who chairs the all-party Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, introduced Bill C-510 into the House of Commons April 14. The  Conservative backbencher told journalists the next day he had support from members of other parties as well as from within Tory ranks.