Opera tackles brutality inflicted upon Carmelites

TORONTO - The Canadian Opera Company is delving into the turmoil of the French Revolution to tell the story of a group of Carmelite nuns who face death, and how they must rely on their faith in order to accept the horror of their situation to find peace.

Still life in old bones

After more than six decades of marriage, love looks like Craig Morrison caring for his ailing wife Irene in Michael McGowan’s Still Mine. But this isn’t your typical sob story about aging.

Vision series explores religious persecution

TORONTO - Religious persecution, whether by mob violence, popular prejudice or state-imposed restrictions on religious practice, is significant in 163 countries, according to the Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, with Christianity being the number one target. The world’s 2.2 billion Christians face significant state or popular persecution in 130 countries, says the Pew Forum, while Aid to the Church in Need estimates 150,000 Christians are killed annually because of their faith.

Provocative art aims to show Jesus is bulletproof

TORONTO - When Toronto artist Viktor Mitic began his Bullet Proof collection, he started with the most iconic image of the past 2,000 years: Jesus Christ.

Bishop Ryan’s ‘rock show choir’ going for gold

Students from Hamilton, Ont.’s Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School are going for gold — again — at this year’s Heritage Music Festival May 1 to 5.

Student concert inspired by the Earth

TORONTO - The Earth matters to students and staff at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts — it matters enough to inspire prayer, song and art.

42 inspires

To paraphrase the title of an earlier movie about the national pastime, hate strikes out in the historical drama 42 (Warner Bros.) Writer-director Brian Helgeland's uplifting — if sometimes heavy-handed — film recounts the 1947 reintegration of professional baseball after decades of segregated play.

Easter prepares St. Michael’s Choir School for Rome

TORONTO - Holy Week is always a busy time for students of St. Michael’s Choir School, but four-hour rehearsals this year are not just for their requisite masses at St. Michael’s Cathedral. On Easter Monday, 180 boys from the choir school will board a plane and head to Italy for a series of musical engagements, and the opportunity to sing for Pope Francis.

In the good and true is God, says fiddler MacMaster

As a theologian, Natalie MacMaster favours the toe-tapping, hand-clapping, step-dancing-around-the-kitchen-table school of theological inquiry. The Juno-Award-winning fiddler now has an honorary doctor of divinity degree to back up her theology.

Lionheart brings back 14th-century hymns of praise

TORONTO - The Renaissance has always been worth looking at — all those gorgeous paintings and striking sculptures — but it’s also worth a listen.

‘Theology of dirt’ can stem ecological devastation

Sacred Acts: How ChurchesAre Working to Protect Earth’sClimate, edited by Mallory McDuff(New Society Publishers, 288pages, softcover, $17.95).

Renaissance greats grace AGO

Matthew Teitelbaum, the director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario, calls Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art “the greatest exhibition of Italian art ever to come to Canada.”

The environmental movement has much to learn from religion

TORONTO - Curbing the effects of climate change and curing the environment will take religiously minded imagination, said author and professor Stephen Scharper.