Vanessa Santilli-Raimondo, The Catholic Register

Vanessa Santilli-Raimondo, The Catholic Register

Vanessa is a communications coordinator in the Office of Public Relations and Communications for the Archdiocese of Toronto and former reporter and youth editor for The Catholic Register. 

You can follow her on twitter @V_Santilli.

TORONTO - About 150 pilgrims from Canada will make their way to Rome to watch history unfold as Archbishop Thomas Collins is elevated to cardinal.

“Any time you can be part of history, people are going to want to experience it live, firsthand, to live it and breathe it,” said Neil MacCarthy, communications director for the archdiocese.

“It’s happened four times in the history of the archdiocese of Toronto. And only 16 times in the history of Canada.”

TORONTO - At their peak in the 1960s, the Sisters of Service had 125 members. But with their numbers down to 20, the congregation decided it was time to plan for their future. For help, they turned to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto.

On Jan. 25, the Sisters of Service and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto signed a sponsorship agreement wherein the Sisters of St. Joseph will now be responsible for the management and governance of the congregation of the Sisters of Service as long as a Sister of Service lives.

With almost 15 years as the director of education for Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools, Roger Lawler says he’s seen the difference that Catholic schools make. In fact, he’s a better person for it.

“I have seen how an entire school community wraps itself around students and families who are in pain,” Lawler told The Catholic Register.

After years without a permanent location, the diocese of Hamilton Catholic Youth Organization’s Camp Marydale will once again have a home this summer.

A barrier-free park that’s been in the works since 2003, Marydale Park in Mount Hope, Ont., will serve the campers in the summer and be open and accessible year-round.

“When we decided to build it, we decided we weren’t going to just build a park,” said day camp director Karen Hartnett. “We were going to make sure it was accessible to everyone. In 1972, we were one of the first camps in Ontario to fully integrate children with special needs into our programs… so we decided, let’s break down another barrier.”

TORONTO - Emily VanBerkum believes the “interdisciplinary” aspects of her Catholic liberal arts education have made her a well-rounded student.

“It’s very interdisciplinary and it relates to so many disciplines in your life, so many fields like business or politics,” said the fourth-year Christianity and Culture student at Toronto’s University of St. Michael’s College.

The Newman Theological College and St. Joseph’s Seminary communities in Edmonton are glad to be back in the same fold.

To make way for the Anthony Henday Highway, the college and seminary were forced to uproot and build a new home. They have since moved to new state-of-the-art facilities on the Pastoral Centre grounds, the seminary moving into its new home in August 2010, while classes at the college started in January 2011.

“And it’s very good to be back together again,” said Fr. Shayne Craig, rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary and president of Newman Theological College.

VICTORIA, B.C. - As it celebrates its first anniversary since formation on Feb. 13, 2011, the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) chapter at the University of Victoria (UVic) is young in more ways than one. 

The second university-based CWL chapter in Canada, all the members of the UVic CWL are under the age of 30.

“We’re really excited to have women establishing CWLs on university campuses,” said Velma Harasen, the CWL’s national president. “Their youth voice brings a whole new perspective to the League.”

TORONTO - Spiritan Father Edward Graham, who taught for many years in Spiritan schools, passed away Jan. 26 at the age of 88. He was in his 62nd year of the priesthood with the Spiritans.

“He was a brilliant person,” said Fr. Paul McAuley, a fellow Spiritan who had known him for about 30 years. “He was very kind and lived very simply.”

TORONTO - Everything Jim Gregory has in life is a result of his association with Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School, he said.

Serving the NHL today as senior vice president of hockey operations, Gregory is one of six alumni being inducted into the Order of St. Michael this year, the highest honour St. Michael’s College School can bestow on a member of its community.

“I look up to the people who they have in the Order of St. Michael and never dreamt I’d be considered for it,” said Gregory, 76. “So when I was called, it was an unbelievable surprise.”

TORONTO - With the busy schedule of a university student, Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt was finding it difficult to fit prayer into her regular routine during her school years.

To remedy this, her spiritual director suggested she get creative, recommending a variety of different prayer styles.

“She said Jesus is not expecting the friendship to look any one way,” said Nicholas-Schmidt, program director at Faith Connections, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto’s youth ministry. “How can we talk to Jesus in a way that fits in with our lives no matter where we are on the journey?”