{mosimage}OTTAWA - Justice Murray Sinclair has been appointed chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into abuses at Indian residential schools.

“It’s a very daunting task,” Manitoba’s first aboriginal judge said. “We have a long road to walk and we don’t have as much time as we could probably use to get there.”

But Sinclair said he is committed to an accurate commission process that will treat all parties fairly, including those who have a positive story to tell.

Bishop Durocher brings message of solidarity with First Nations

{mosimage}OTTAWA - On behalf of Canada’s Catholic bishops, Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher brought a message of solidarity and hope with Canada's First Nations to the National Day of Reconciliation June 11.

The day marked the first anniversary of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s historic apology from the Canadian government for Indian residential schools.

On Parliament Hill, Durocher spoke of Pope Benedict XVI’s words of deep regret, solidarity and hope spoken to aboriginal leaders in a private audience in late April in Rome.

Development and Peace faces new abortion-funding allegations from Peru

{mosimage}A Peruvian archbishop is accusing the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of supporting pro-abortion groups in his country.

In a letter dated May 28 but not sent until June 9, Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, president of the Peruvian Conference of Catholic Bishops' Commission on the Family, Children and Life, tells Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' president Archbishop James Weisgerber he is "personally concerned about any funding from Catholics of Canada to pro-abortion groups in Peru."

It's the latest turn in a controversy that began in February when LifeSiteNews.com accused Development and Peace of funding pro-abortion advocacy in Mexico.  

Thief makes off with St. Therese of Lisieux relic


TORONTO - A first-class relic of St. Therese of Lisieux disappeared from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Chief Fontaine leaves a legacy of reconciliation

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The pending departure of Phil Fontaine will not halt the progress towards reconciliation with First Nations peoples, predicted Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) president Archbishop James Weisgerber.

Fontaine, who served three terms since 1997 as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of July. A race is underway to select his replacement.

Members of Parliament put aside problems for the practice of prayer

{mosimage}OTTAWA  - Internationally-renowned Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias brought a bold, Christ-centered message to the Canadian National Prayer Breakfast May 28.

To a hotel ballroom filled with Members of Parliament, clergy, and ambassadors, Zacharias said that all our yearnings can be found in Jesus Christ alone.

He recounted a trip to the Middle East with Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, where he met with Sheikh Talal Sider, a founder of Hamas.

Filipino youth called to evangelize

{mosimage}Filipino Catholics have a great responsibility for evangelization and they should embrace their culture in the faith context, Bishop Mylo Vergara told a group of 540 youth and young adults.

The 46-year-old bishop, from the Philippines diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, reminded the large group that they are children of the only Catholic country in Asia Pacific and represent the third largest Asian-Canadian group. He was in Toronto as the guest speaker at the Office of Catholic Youth’s Filipino-themed Banquet on May 28.

Poverty needs to be a national priority

{mosimage}Asking the federal government to develop a poverty reduction plan is just asking them to do their job, according to Citizens for Public Justice executive director Joe Gunn.

Gunn’s ecumenical social justice organization, along with a dozen other church, union and social action organizations have launched Dignity For All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada . The campaign aims to get the public and all federal political parties talking about a realistic plan for reducing Canada’s 10.8 per cent poverty rate.

Canadian churches seek federal tar sands plan

{mosimage}EDMONTON - Canadian Church leaders are preparing to bring the voice of Christian faith to bear on controversies surrounding the Alberta tar sands.

Following meetings May 21-27 with people who work and live in northern Alberta, church leaders intend to lobby the federal government for tighter environmental regulation of the huge and controversial source of energy.

Toronto archdiocese reorganizes faith formation programs

{mosimage}TORONTO - Help for parishes is on its way as the archdiocese of Toronto reorganizes how it delivers faith formation programs.

Over the summer the archdiocesan curia will meld its Catholic Office of Religious Education and its Office of Lay Ministry, Chaplaincy, Parish Social Ministry and Stewardship into a single office to support parishes, Archbishop Thomas Collins announced May 25.

Fr. Tataryn journeys with St. Demetrius parish every step of the way

{mosimage}TORONTO - As a Ukrainian Catholic community gathered to celebrate 50 years of Fr. John Tataryn’s priesthood, they did so with some kilts and bagpipes added into the mix of performances.

Tataryn, although of Ukrainian descent, grew up in Sydney, N.S., a town he said was diverse, with many religions and cultures. But if you didn’t listen to the bagpipes, he said, quoting his father with a laugh, “you didn’t have any culture.”