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 - 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.
{mosimage}TORONTO - If people of faith are serious about peace, they ought to be serious enough to read, understand and promote the United Nations’ doctrine for promoting peace in the post-9/11 world, retired senator and former United Church moderator Lois Wilson told an interfaith gathering at the University of Toronto Oct. 7.

“We have social and political responsibilities,” Wilson insisted to a small group that included imams, rabbis, priests, ministers and scholars of world religions gathered for a conference on “Religions’ Role in Keeping Peace: Responses to A Common Word Between Us and You.”
{mosimage}TORONTO - Women’s work is good work, it’s the work of faith and sometimes it involves power tools.

More than 30 women of all faiths came together to do one of the toughest, dirtiest jobs in house construction at a Habitat for Humanity site in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto Oct. 16. They put up vapour barriers and drywall in six units on Kingston Road near Main Street.
{mosimage}TORONTO - While bishop after bishop at the recently wrapped up Synod of Bishops on Scripture has decried the state of preaching in the church, Dominican Sister Mary Catherine Hilkert argues church leaders are ignoring a potential gold mine of superior preaching.

At the annual Dominican Family Justice Seminar at the University of Toronto’s Newman Centre Chapel, Hilkert said bishops should commission lay people to preach at parish Masses. A former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Hilkert led a small group in two days of discussion about the charism of preaching and how it is exercised in the church Oct. 17-18. It was the ninth annual Dominican Justice Seminar in Toronto.