ROME - Pope Francis' decision to hold two synods of bishops on the family with a year of consultation and reflection in between fits in exactly with this theological approach to pastoral planning, which emphasizes studying the reality, reflecting on it and, only later, taking action, said retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper.

Published in International

Ultra High Frequency, Extremely High Frequency and Super High Frequency —  300 MHz to 300 GHz — doesn’t sound much like a religious vocation. But for a Jesuit like Fr. Bill Lonc microwaves were just one more opportunity to discover God in all things.

Published in Canada

I take seriously the call to stewardship of our environment and respect for God’s creation as a whole. So I was excited to delve into a new study guide produced by the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Published in Book News

TORONTO - The memory of six Jesuit scholars, their housekeeper and her daughter should encompass more than the mass murders 25 years ago that sparked international outrage, said Jesuit philosophy student Kevin Kelly. 

Published in International

Nineteenth-century missionaries arrived in Africa with a Bible in one hand and a plough in the other. Jesuit Brother Paul Desmarais still has a Bible, but he’s given up on the plough. 

Published in Canada

American Jesuits are pushing members of Congress who were educated at the Catholic order’s schools to pass aid for thousands of refugee children who have surged across the border in Texas in recent months, calling proposals to swiftly deport them “inhumane and an insult to American values.”

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - A papal astronomer won recognition for his ability to communicate accurately and clearly the discoveries of planetary science to the general public.

Published in International

TORONTO - Canada’s oldest Catholic print publication, the Jesuits’ Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart, will go to print for the final time this month after 124 continuous years in production.

Published in Canada

ROME - Security forces in Afghanistan arrested a man in connection with the kidnapping of a Jesuit priest from India.

Published in International

TORONTO - Science and faith, contrary to popular belief, are not at odds with one another, says Fr. John McCarthy.

Published in Youth Speak News

VATICAN CITY - The church has turned to religious orders for popes at various times over the centuries, often when in need of a reformer, and such may have been the cardinals' thinking again when they elected Pope Francis.

Published in International
March 13, 2013


ROME - Argentina has given the world a Pope.

Published in International

Catholic education, the Jesuit community and the Church suffered a great loss on Sept. 26 with the passing of Fr. Carl Matthews.

"It was the significant end to an era," said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, a Jesuit himself who'd known Fr. Matthews for 50 years. "I saw him in August and noticed how frail he was but he was quite upbeat. He always had a positive attitude."

Fr. Matthews, 80, died peacefully at Rouge Valley Hospital in Ajax, Ont. Since retiring from parish life in 2010, he had lived at the Rene Goupil Jesuit Infirmary where his health deteriorated.

"He would probably thought it quite fitting that he died on the Feast of the Canadian Martyrs; that was an important devotion for him," said Prendergast. "He went very quickly at the end. People were expecting him to hang on for another week or two but the Lord called him home on that feast day."

Fr. Matthews, ordained on June 4, 1966, played many roles within the Catholic community. He was a priest, publisher of The Catholic Register for three years and served for 14 years as a trustee and then chair of the Metropolitan Separate School Board, the precursor of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. He made his most lasting mark in education, where he was an instrumental figure in establishing full funding for Ontario Catholic schools.

"I would say that he was in love with Catholic education and was a brilliant and dogged defender of our Catholic schools and our right to full funding," said historian Michael Power, author of the 2005 biography Jesuit in the Legislative Gallery: A life of Father Carl Matthews, S.J. "He learned a lot from his father who was a school inspector, but he was essentially self taught in the matter of school finances. He engineered the clinching deal on full funding."   

Fr. Matthews' involvement in the funding debate began when Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter returned from Rome in 1979 following his elevation to cardinal by Pope John Paul II. Carter, archbishop of Toronto, pulled Fr. Matthews aside and told him that the one thing he hoped to accomplish as a cardinal was to secure full publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario.

Carter asked Fr. Matthews to draft a brief but compelling argument to present to the government on the matter.

"So he left the room and within three weeks had a 12-page memorandum written," said Power. "He never heard another thing about it until in 1984 he got a call from the Cardinal's office saying listen, the premier has phoned the Cardinal asking for another copy of that memorandum. Shortly thereafter the big announcement was made."

Prior to the 1984 announcement, the province only provided subsidies up to grade 10 for Catholic schools, leaving students in grades 11, 12 and 13 to pay tuition costs.   

Born in Kingston, Ont. Fr. Mattews attended his hometown's Regiopolis College before entering St. Stanislaus Novitiate in Guelph, Ont. in 1951. After first vows and two years of Juniorate, he went on to Regis College in Toronto. Fr. Matthews returned to his former high school and taught for two years before returning to the University of Toronto to formally study education — a life-long vocation of the late father.

Although he will be remembered for his tireless dedication to his many areas of commitment, one pastime took Fr. Matthews mind off everything else — baseball.

"He loved going to the Blue Jays (but) never treated himself to a half-decent seat," said Power, who attended many games with Fr. Matthews after they first met in the early '90s. "We always sat up in the 500 section and I'd say why are you sitting up here? I came all the way from Welland to sit up in the sky?

"So the last game we went to I had four very good tickets, courtesy of a friend of mine, so we sat behind the Blue Jays' dugout. He just marveled."

Power described Fr. Matthews as a true priest, a good man and genuinely humble human being. He drove a small car, had a modest apartment and always gave what he could to those in need.

"He did splurge for his TV, he subscribed to Rogers Sportsnet or whatever it is that carries the Blue Jays games," said Power. "For him that was almost a mortal sin, but I said listen, you like baseball, watch the games."

Fr. Matthews was a lot of things to a lot of people. To Power he was a boss, a man of God and most of all a friend.

"What I'll miss is just Carl, I don't know how else to say it," said Power. "The bond of true friendship is never broken, death cannot break that, but there is a loss. He's not here, he won't be phoning me anymore, he won't be writing me anymore. I will miss him."

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA
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