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.

Michael PowerTORONTO - Bringing back the permanent diaconate was a spiritual stroke of Vatican II genius, according to historian Michael Power, one that traces its history to the Nazi death camp at Dachau.

Priests in Dachau — facing their deaths, resigned to their imprisonment and steeped in a near monastic routine of prayer and work — began to ask themselves what had gone wrong with the world and the Church, that saving sacrament of their world. They came to the conclusion that priests were living in isolation from the people of God and that the Church needed a way to break through.
Toronto DemonstrationTORONTO - On paper, the G20 and the Catholic Church want a lot of the same things. But they're not necessarily talking the same language.

"We've entered a world where the only language that matters is economics," said Redemptorist Father Paul Hansen after the motorcades of world leaders had left town.

The leaders of the world's 20 largest economies agreed to cut their government deficits in half by 2013 and stop growth of public debt relative to Gross Domestic Product by 2016 at the summit held in Toronto June 26-27. Voluntary financial constraints on government borrowing will allow poorer countries to participate in a healthier world economy, said the final G20 communique.
Catholics for PeaceTORONTO - There were more than 900 arrests, four police cars torched and Toronto's transit system shut down, leaving citizens fuming over what it all cost in dollars, frayed nerves and the reputation of Toronto the Good. But flashy pictures of burning cop cars distract from the real concerns raised by the majority of protesters, said KAIROS economics researcher John Dillon.

Everybody who made a principled stand on the issues in peaceful demonstrations during the G20 was tarred with the same brush as Black Bloc protesters who covered their faces and smashed windows, said Dillon. Out of an estimated 10,000 protesters, perhaps 150 were engaged in property damage, Dillon said.
Slovenian fansTORONTO - It started off so well for the Slovenians gathered in the parking lot of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in the southwest corner of Toronto — painting faces, waving flags, blasting vuvuzelas and drinking Slovenian beer at 9:30 a.m. on June 18.

The Green Dragons of Slovenia at the World Cup in South Africa — and at the parish hall in Etobicoke — were ready to take on the Americans.
Bishop Thomas CollinsTORONTO - The Church has never called homosexual people objectively disordered and does not regard homosexuality as a sin, Archbishop Thomas Collins told the young adult group of St. Michael’s Cathedral.

“Since it (homosexuality) is not something chosen, it’s not a moral issue,” said Collins, speaking at an SMC Alive faith formation meeting June 13.

While being sexually attracted to people of the same gender is not a sin, turning that attraction into an all-encompassing identity and entering sexual relationships based on same-sex attractions directly contravenes the Christian value of chastity, said the archbishop. Same-sex attractions, which the Church calls objectively disordered, are a struggle and not an identity, he said.

“What I am is precious in God’s sight. To say you are one of your struggles — no, no, no. Do not let yourself be put into a box,” said Collins.
diabetes testA St. Michael’s Hospital doctor and researcher trying to save millions of Canadians from an early death, blindness and organ failure can’t rustle up enough volunteers to complete a study.

Dr. David Jenkins needs 400 people with type two diabetes — the kind people normally get over the age of 45, but is increasingly showing up among overweight young people. After months of advertising, Jenkins has recruited fewer than 70 volunteers to take on special diets and monitor their health.

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. - Hubert Krampert's 40-year run in bringing The Catholic Register to the residents of Mississauga Lifecare Centre has come to an end.

ShareLife and D&PTORONTO - The archdiocese of Toronto is giving 20-per-cent less to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace this year because ShareLife fell short of its fundraising goal last year and the recession has hit local Catholic agencies with increased demand for services.

The ShareLife advisory board cut its allocation to Development and Peace to $900,000 this year, a $225,000 reduction from last year’s contribution of $1.125 million.
Food BankTORONTO - Report On Business declares the recession is over. Down at the food bank it’s just getting up a head of steam.

“There are more people going to food banks and less food being donated, both by individuals as well as our corporate partners,” Ontario Association of Food Banks executive director Adam Spence told The Catholic Register. “Those two items come together to make it a very challenging time for food banks.”

money martTORONTO - Jose Martin is a labourer at a construction site in Toronto. The job does not pay much so his family — his disabled wife and three children — supplements his income with social welfare provisions. However, welfare does not cater for everything the Martins need.