{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Pearse Lacey remembers the first time parishioners at Etobicoke’s Transfiguration of Our Lord got a taste of Vatican II.

Responding to the Council’s 1963 Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Lacey introduced what was then considered a novel idea: highlighting the laity’s role in the Eucharist.

So Lacey tried something new. He placed a ciborium at the church’s entrance and asked people to put a host in it as they walked in.

Catholic Church part of Canada's 'founding myth'

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{mosimage}Canada Day celebrations will almost certainly praise this country as a tolerant, peaceable nation with a highly developed, secular and multicultural, democratic culture.

That wasn’t what St. Jean de Brebeuf had in mind when he established the first European settlement in Upper Canada in 1639. The mystic Jesuit priest and missionary had a vision of a Christian kingdom in the heart of North America — a theocracy, really — where European and Huron cultures would be mutually transformed by faith in Jesus Christ.

Brebeuf’s vision lasted just 10 years, and the Jesuits ended up burning down their tiny experiment at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons near present-day Midland, Ont., in 1649 to prevent the village falling into the hands of the Iroquois (proxies for the Dutch, whose commercial interests in the fur trade opposed those of France).

Canadian Bishops clear Development and Peace of any wrongdoing

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{mosimage}The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace’s Mexican partners were “imprudent” when they signed a civil society submission to the United Nations on human rights, but Canada’s bishops have found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Development and Peace or its partners, Archbishop James Weisgerber has declared.

The report into allegations made by LifeSiteNews.com that Development and Peace funded Mexican groups lobbying in favour of legal abortion will include recommendations for tighter protocols on future partnerships, but those recommendations won’t be revealed until all the bishops have had a chance to read the report, said the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president.

Dead Sea Scrolls validate Bible

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{mosimage} TORONTO - Who ever thought the Bible could be improved? Well, as Hebrew Scriptures Professor Eugene Ulrich told a packed audience June 23, it has been. And it took the unearthing of the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls, on display at the Royal Ontario Museum until Jan. 3, to do so.

“The Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrate that the text of the Bible was remarkably faithfully transmitted over the past 2,000 years. So we all can breathe a big sigh of relief,” Ulrich said during his lecture, The Impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls on the Bible, one of fourteen presentations in a special lecture series about the scrolls that will feature a variety of scholars until Dec. 15.

Surveys seek input on Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches wants to know who you will be praying with and for between Jan. 18 and 25 next year.

Using its web site and Twitter account, the CCC has launched a pair of surveys to find out how parishes and congregations are praying during the annual Week of  Prayer for Christian Unity. If the answer is that your Catholic parish doesn’t do much to observe the world-wide, Vatican-supported week for Christian unity, they want to hear that too.

Praying for a Tamil community in need

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{mosimage}TORONTO - There have been protests with thousands of Tamils out on the streets, but on June 11 the young Tamil activists organized a different sort of gathering in a basement classroom on the campus of the University of Toronto.

A student-organized Tamil multi-faith prayer service featured prayers from Sikhs, Christians, Hindus and Muslims and testimonials from young Tamils whose families have been devastated by the war in Sri Lanka.

Toronto's St. Anthony's parish celebrates its immigrant past

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{mosimage}TORONTO - They sang multilingual songs, carried religious statues representing their former homelands and stopped traffic with a round-the-neighbourhood-block procession marking the 100th anniversary of St. Anthony’s parish.

Pastor Fr. Tiziano Paolazzi, c.s., joined with more than 800 of his parishioners June 14 to celebrate a three-fold anniversary: Corpus Christi Sunday, St. Anthony’s feast day and the parish’s centennial birthday.

ShareLife optimistic about hitting target

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{mosimage}TORONTO - While many Catholics continue to struggle with the uncertainty of job security and financial stability, ShareLife continues to see parishioners in the archdiocese generously giving to its campaign this year.

Arthur Peters, executive director for ShareLife, is hopeful of reaching his team’s parish fundraising campaign goal of $12 million, although donations were short of the goal at The Catholic Register’s publication deadline. Peters reported a total of $9.7 million raised after the final campaign weekend June 6-7.

Jantzi index on the rebound

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{mosimage}The Jantzi Social Index continued to keep pace with standard market indices through the May climb back to a shaky respectability.

The Jantzi — which picks its 60 Canadian stocks based on environmental sustainability, labour and human rights performance and transparent governance — was up 10.68 per cent in May and 32.2 per cent over the previous three months.

Bioethics institute targets assisted suicide

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute has fired an opening volley in what it sees as a summer-long battle for palliative care and against physician-assisted suicide.

The CCBI has printed 1,600 postcards addressed to Parliament and distributed them to its friends and supporters. The postcards call for the defeat of Bill C-384, a private member’s bill that would remove physician-assisted suicide from the Criminal Code. The bill was introduced to Parliament May 13 by Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde. It’s expected to come up for second reading when Parliament resumes sitting in the fall.

Archdiocese of Toronto clergy appointments

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The following clergy appointments have been made for the archdiocese of Toronto. They take place July 1-2 unless otherwise noted.