Michael Swan, The Catholic Register

Michael Swan, The Catholic Register

Michael is Associate Editor of The Catholic Register.

He is an award-winning writer and photographer and holds a Master of Arts degree from New York University.

Follow him on Twitter @MmmSwan, or click here to email him.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto is 14,000 kilometres from Sri Lanka, but the war between Tamils and Sinhalese on the island nation is never far away for Toronto’s 100,000-strong Tamil community.

Margaret Jegasothy found herself standing at the end of a memorial Mass April 26 to thank the community for their prayers for her brother, Fr. M.X. Karunaratnam. He was killed in a roadside bomb attack April 19.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Fr. Pier Giorgio di Cicco wants everybody to get out of the house and play. He swears it will be good for us.

The “play” he’s talking about is the ordinary creativity of living with neighbours, friends, family — even strangers. It is a form of creativity which creates “civil encounter,” he said.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto Mayor David Miller wants churches and other faith communities to stick their necks out on behalf of the urban poor who live in the city's most violent neighbourhoods.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Though nobody’s exactly sure what it will look like after it has been shifted about 200 metres west, redesigned and reconceived, the defenders of the old Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square are cautiously optimistic they will still recognize their beloved landmark after the square in front of city hall has been revamped.

“It started off that they were going to tear everything down, you know? And then we started to scream and holler,” Fr. Massey Lombardi told The Catholic Register.

{mosimage}TORONTO - As happened so often in his lifetime, St. Paul was under arrest when he wanted to be on another missionary journey — this time to Toronto.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Rogers Centre (still SkyDome to many in Toronto) is not heaven, but on Nov. 1 thousands will gather there to rehearse for the heaven that lives in the hopes and dreams of Christians.

Though it’s a project of the Evangelical television company Crossroads Ministries, producers of 100 Huntley Street, Heaven’s Rehearsal promises to be an inclusive, ecumenical gathering of Christians — Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and Catholic — representing every nation on Earth. Last year the first ever Heaven’s Rehearsal was at the Air Canada Centre with 16,000 attending, representing 127 nations. With 48,000 tickets on sale at $15 each, organizers of this year’s event hope for representation from more than 200 nations.

{mosimage}TORONTO-Growing up in Japan, Sachiko Yasue never particularly noticed Hiroshima Day. Now living in Toronto, the carnage of Aug. 6, 1945 suddenly seemed very real as she surveyed a photo and art exhibit mounted in Toronto City Hall.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Nobody forced the 40 Catholic and Muslim university students to spend Nov. 1 touring a downtown Toronto church and then a nearby mosque, giving up most of a Saturday for the sake of interfaith dialogue. Students wanted to be there, said University of Toronto Innis College student Ali Shaikh.

“There are people who are willing to go beyond their prejudices,” he said. “They’re willing to be the change they want to see.”
{mosimage}TORONTO - Before the Rogers Centre filled up and before the hours of praise and worship began, native drummers and dancers had the crowd rocking at Heaven’s Rehearsal.

The evening of straightforward, charismatic praise, music and Bible reading hosted by the Evangelical Crossroads Ministry attracted close to 25,000 Evangelical, Pentecostal and Catholic Christians to Toronto’s baseball stadium Nov. 1.
October 10, 2008

Remembering St. Francis

{mosimage}TORONTO - Franciscans have been remembering the death of St. Francis for nearly 900 years, and it’s still a family affair, said Franciscans of all kinds who gathered at St. Bonaventure Church in Toronto for the Transitus Oct. 3.

Celebrated by Franciscans around the world on the eve of the Feast of St. Francis, the Transitus liturgy re-enacts and remembers St. Francis’ passing from this world.