Vision viewers fight to keep channel on basic cable

TORONTO - Cardinal Thomas Collins is joining thousands who want Vision TV to remain on basic cable so that its religious programming continues to be available to the widest possible audience.

Works of mercy rooted in human dignity

The Work of Mercy: Being the Hands and Heart of Christ by Mark P. Shea (Servant Books, an imprint of St. Anthony Messenger Press, 144 pages, $14.99).

American Catholic author Mark P. Shea delves into the topic of spiritual and corporal works of mercy without presenting new theology. Instead, his book offers a modern, and refreshing, update.

United in song, and blessed by the pontiff

“He looked right at me.”

Those words, expressed with both reverence and excitement, came from the mouths of almost every member of the Our Lady of Sorrows Ecumenical Choir, just after having been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI at the Papal Mass for the Presentation of Our Lord at St. Peter’s Basilica — certainly, given his resignation announced Feb. 11, one of his last celebrations as our Holy Father.

Along the way to where we should be

Most people are still seeking their life’s purpose, Fr. Frank Freitas believes.

Getting to the heart of Teilhard de Chardin

TORONTO - In his new play, The De Chardin Project, actor and writer Adam Seybold draws a line in the sand — or rather two lines in sand — on the stage floor. Playing the pioneering 20th-century scientist theologian and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Seybold dramatically lays down the central fact of de Chardin's life: the cross.

Les Misérables show how love overpowers death

On Christmas day a film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s book Les Miserables made its debut in theatres. Though Hugo had a less than perfectly benign view of the Catholic Church, his masterpiece is, from beginning to end, conditioned by a profoundly Christian worldview. It is most important that, amidst all of the “Les Miz” hoopla, the spiritual heart of Hugo’s narrative not be lost.

Debunking the myths of the Council of Trent

In time for the 450th anniversary of the closing of the Council of Trent, eminent Jesuit historian Fr. John W. O’Malley has written this concise and readable account of the council that determined the features of modern Roman Catholicism.

Choir school marks 75 years of making music

TORONTO - Each year, across the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Grade 2 boys take part in a yearly ritual, as adjudicators from St. Michael's Choir School visit their classrooms and listen carefully to the small, unformed voices that may one day make up the ranks of one of the finest music schools in the world.

The journey into medical purgatory

Imagine crawling to the bathroom 15 times a day with painful rectal cramping, bloody diarrhea and in searing pain from swollen joints. Then, when you make it to the hospital’s emergency room, you’re finally rolled into, wait for it… a psychiatric ward storage room.

Year of Faith cinema

In Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith), an apostolic letter announcing the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI urges us to study the history of Catholicism, which he describes as “marked by the unfathomable mystery of the interweaving of holiness and sin.”

Stained glass finishes Jesus’ story

MISSISSAUGA, ONT.  - St. Marcellinus Secondary School in Mississauga is planning to build what may be the biggest stained glass window of the resurrected Christ in Canada.

The Hobbit and its Gospel ethics

Like Star Wars, The Divine Comedy and Moby Dick, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is the story of a hero’s journey. This helps to explain, of course, why, like those other narratives, it has proved so perennially compelling.