FAITH/STORIES

rocco rossi pilgrimageTORONTO - Over the past year, Rocco Rossi has ventured across Toronto trying to win over voters during his mayoral campaign. But now he’s going on a journey of a different kind: the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in Spain.  

“It was a very intense year that I’ve just gone through,” Rossi told The Catholic Register. Rossi had been hard on the campaign trail over that time, but finally pulled out of the municipal election, won by Rob Ford, two weeks shy of election day due to low numbers in the polls.
prayerTORONTO - Eighteen year-old Renata Taragos knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and silently prayed the rosary, joining the more than 300 people who usually attend the annual 40-hour devotion at Holy Family Church.

Parishioners like Taragos say the devotion helps to deepen their relationship with God.

Holy Family Church is one of a few parishes that retains the centuries-old tradition of the special 40-hour period of continuous prayer made before the Blessed Sacrament.  
Bishop NguyenTORONTO - Toronto Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Nguyen will be sharing his life’s journey, from fleeing Vietnam as one of that nation’s “boat people” to becoming Canada’s youngest and first Asian-Canadian bishop, at an Oct. 31 talk.

Taking place at Toronto-based Scarboro Missions at 7:30 p.m., the talk is entitled, “My Spiritual Journey: From a boat refugee to a Catholic bishop in Canada.”

“It’s a spiritual journey,” Nguyen told The Catholic Register. “So at the end (of the talk), I’ll also offer some reflections based on my story.”

Nigerian priests heed call to ministry in Canada

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Fr. Stan Chu Ilo“God is good” is a traditional Nigerian greeting I use often in my parish in Peterborough, Ont. When I say this, parishioners have learned to respond, “All the Time” and then I repeat, “All the time,” and then people reply, “God is Good,” and I conclude, “And that is God’s nature,” and the people respond, “Wau!”

People often ask me the origin of this greeting and I tell them it is common in many churches in sub-Saharan Africa. I heard this greeting for the first time when I was on a charitable mission to the Shilanga Women Co-Operative Group in the Kibera slums in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.

Christian public servants don’t need to leave their faith at home

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WINDSOR, Ont.  - The speaker of the Canadian Senate assured an audience here that Christians need not be concerned about whether it is “politically correct” to have their religious beliefs guide their public service.

Sen. Noel Kinsella Noël Kinsella told a gathering at Assumption University Oct. 3 that religious values can be the basis of public service whether serving in electoral office, as an employee in the civil service or as a volunteer in a non-governmental organization that seeks societal change.

He said Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims the right “of equal access to the public service.” The document also provides for the right “to be free from discrimination” because of religious practice.

Jason Gennaro’s faith is by design

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Jason GennaroTORONTO - Jason Gennaro has been using his web design skills to help Catholic organizations spread the word about vocations.

Gennaro runs JJPG Communications, which caters to the Catholic community. He sees his work as a kind of ministry, charging minimal fees to Catholic groups to assist them in spreading the word about their work without a great financial burden.

He has created web sites like www.vocations.ca, a national source of vocation information, and others for religious communities such as the Jesuits of Upper Canada and Priests for Life Canada.

A welcoming face for refugees in need

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Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz, FCJTORONTO - During the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s, Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz, FCJ, packed a group of students into a convoy of five cars to escape a rebel attack in a neighbouring town. The group survived and made its way, after a five-hour drive, to the capital city and eventually a flight out of the country.

Bordowitz worked 10 years in Sierra Leone at a leadership training centre run by her order. She said the experience broadened her awareness of the plight of others around the world and helped her “understand the need for people to flee their country.” It was this experiences like this that informed and inspired Bordowitz’s work with refugees over the years as a member of the Faithful Companions of Jesus.

Sisters of St. Joseph’s service legacy lives on through Fontbonne Ministries

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Fontbonne MinistriesTORONTO - For the past decade, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto have been responding to the social needs of their community through Fontbonne Ministries.

And on Oct. 1, the sisters celebrated Fontbonne Ministries’ 10th anniversary with an open house at Fontbonne Place, a residence that provides affordable, rent-geared-to-income housing for older, single women.

“At their chapter in 1998, (the Sisters) agreed that nurturing community with the homeless, the alienated, the economically poor and women at risk was what they wanted to continue to do,” said Leanne Kloppenborg, administrator of Fontbonne Ministries.

Soccer game led to launch of Famille Marie-Jeunesse

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Jennifer Y.M. LeeSHERBROOKE, Que. - The Famille Marie-Jeunesse (FMJ) can trace its roots to a soccer game in Quebec City.

No one can pin down the exact date, but some time in the early 1980s, a Quebec City seminarian named Real Lavoie noticed a group of young people playing a game in the church yard. He joined them, treated them to trips to McDonald’s and began answering their questions about God, about how to pray and how one could get to know God personally, said Jennifer Y.M. Lee, who recently made a permanent commitment to lay consecrated life

Many Catholics lack understanding of Church’s mystical tradition

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Michael Hryniuk“I’m not religious. I’m spiritual.”

Catholic spirituality expert Michael Hryniuk has heard this one too many times. But he says while many people leave the Church in pursuit of something “more spiritual,” many of those still practising their Catholic faith miss out on the Church’s valuable mystical tradition — often because the terminology scares them away.

Online petition calls for more study on new English missal

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new Roman Missal

Larry Yakimoski could just about spit nails when the subject of the new English translation of the Roman Missal comes up.

“It really seems to me that there are forces in the Church that are trying to roll back the clock,” said the layman from Saskatoon. “I was a kid when Vatican II came along. It was probably the reason why I stayed in the Church.”

New missal a sign of the times

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Archbishop Terrrence Prendergast, S.J.

VATICAN CITY - Delivering a completed English translation of the much-anticipated new Roman Missal to Pope Benedict XVI left him “filled with awe as well as relief and joy,” said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

Now Prendergast hopes that, after nine years of work by Vatican officials, English-speaking bishops and experts worldwide, priests will readily embrace a radical change to the Liturgy of the Mass expected to be implemented by Advent 2011.

This father is set to become a Father

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Stephen CrowleyTORONTO - Years of experience as a husband and father provided a natural progression towards the priesthood for Deacon Stephen Crowley, now just days away from his May 1 ordination in Hamilton, Ont.

The father of three adult children lost his wife Maureen, to whom he had been married for 32 years, to muscular dystrophy in 2008.

“I just think that the priesthood now is a logical conclusion or a logical extension of me living out my baptism to the fullest as was my married life,” said Crowley, who worked as a medical laboratory technologist. “I see that they’re both ways of living out my baptism as a Catholic man of God and serving the community, first as a nuclear family and now as a larger family.”