So the battle is on and one thing for sure, between now and Oct. 14 the federal election campaign will be marked again by suggestions, allegations and threats that the governing Conservative Party can’t be given a majority because they have a “secret agenda” that a majority will allow them to impose. And of course by “secret agenda” the opposition parties really mean a scary “right-wing Christian agenda.”

Rebel priest to resign as MP


{mosimage}OTTAWA - Dissident Catholic priest Fr. Raymond Gravel is stepping down as a Bloc Quebecois MP after receiving an ultimatum from the Vatican.

“My bishop had received instructions from Rome that I must make a choice between the priesthood and the calling of an MP,” Gravel told the Sept. 3 French-language newspaper La Presse. “There was the threat of laicization and they could defrock me.”

Election can't shake abortion debate


{mosimage}OTTAWA - Abortion remains a heated subject, despite the attempts of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to keep it out of the federal election.

“The Canadian public does not have any viable political option to advance its grave and serious concern to promote and protect human life in the womb,” said St. Catharine’s Bishop James Wingle.

Jesuits open new novitiate in Montreal


{mosimage}The Jesuits’ new home for novices is exactly where it needs to be, according to novice master Fr. Eric Oland.

“Something that has been a hallmark of the Jesuits from the very beginning is that we go to places where there is the greatest need. Yes, the church is very challenged in Quebec at the moment. But I can say from personal experience there are glimmers of hope and glimmers of change,” Oland told The Catholic Register during the opening week of a new combined novitiate for English and French Canada in Montreal’s Cote-des-Neiges district.

Building hope at Jane and Finch


{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s a neighbourhood known to outsiders for its gang and gun violence, prostitution and poverty. Yet the ethnically diverse community surrounding the infamous Jane and Finch intersection in northwest Toronto has a ray of hope in the form of St. Augustine of Canterbury parish.

After 10 years of developing outreach programs for youth, adults, seniors and family — and not just limited to Catholics — the church, which sits a few blocks north of Finch Ave, is preparing to build a family centre to provide even more.

'Iron Friar' evangelizes on the run


{mosimage}TORONTO - Fr. Daniel Callahan is best known as the “Iron Friar” — running, swimming and cycling in the Ford Ironman USA triathlon, while evangelizing and raising money for a good cause.

For him, triathlons provide a great analogy for life itself: in a race “you’re going in for a medal,” he said, but in life “you’re going in for eternal life.”

Bishops working on marriage, family statement


{mosimage}TORONTO - Forty years after the release of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, Canada’s bishops are working on a new document on marriage and family that will try to bring together the Catholic Church’s teaching in this area.

Election fears kill unborn victims’ bill


{mosimage}OTTAWA - An apparent attempt by the Conservative government to keep abortion out of the next federal election has shocked and disappointed pro-life Canadians.

Amid rumours of an October federal election, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson distanced the government from Conservative MP Ken Epp’s Unborn Victims of Crime Bill.

Catholic Church on board for Heaven’s Rehearsal


{mosimage}TORONTO - The Rogers Centre (still SkyDome to many in Toronto) is not heaven, but on Nov. 1 thousands will gather there to rehearse for the heaven that lives in the hopes and dreams of Christians.

Though it’s a project of the Evangelical television company Crossroads Ministries, producers of 100 Huntley Street, Heaven’s Rehearsal promises to be an inclusive, ecumenical gathering of Christians — Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and Catholic — representing every nation on Earth. Last year the first ever Heaven’s Rehearsal was at the Air Canada Centre with 16,000 attending, representing 127 nations. With 48,000 tickets on sale at $15 each, organizers of this year’s event hope for representation from more than 200 nations.

Bishops’ collection Sept. 27-28


{mosimage}OTTAWA - Canada’s bishops have launched an awareness campaign in advance of the annual collection to support the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The collection, taken during the weekend of Sept. 27-28, will go towards each diocese’s per capita calculation the bishops approve in the bishops’ annual budget. The calculation is based on the number of Catholics living in a diocese.

A REAL alternative for the past 25 years


{mosimage}OTTAWA - REAL Women of Canada was conceived in 1981 during the debate over Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Gwendolyn Landolt and her friends grew disturbed when the only voices representing women were “just a bunch of feminists” with government funding, she said.