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 - As sculptor Tim Schmalz works on his Nativity sculpture, he compares it to a Christmas carol — one of the songs of absolute happiness.

“Throughout this process, what happened was the figures became more joyous, the designs became more lyrical… And it wasn’t ‘Silent Night.’ It was definitely one of loud celebration as far as the representation is concerned,” said Schmalz.

TORONTO - Not every region in the English-speaking dioceses across the world currently uses the exact same texts during Mass, said Gregory Beath of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Formation for Discipleship.

But with the introduction of the new Roman Missal, that will change.

“This is the first time that we will have across the world a standard English translation of the Roman Missal,” he said.

Speaking to an audience of about 30 people Nov. 9, Beath gave a presentation on the new Roman Missal at the Chancery Office of the archdiocese of Toronto. The third edition of the Missal is effective the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27.

Since it’s become a popular choice for those in other countries to learn English, the Vatican was concerned about standard English, said Beath.

While communities that have strong roots in the Latin language, like Italian and Spanish, will probably have a lot of scholars in the Church that work with Latin regularly and help translate between Latin and those receiving languages, there are many languages that may not.

In these cases, since people are more likely to translate from the English translation, the Vatican wanted it to be as exact as possible, he said.

“The Vatican’s concern is that they don’t want anything to get lost in translation,” said Beath.

And English lacks specific words to mean the same thing which the Latin uses in the original text, said Beath, referencing information from a presentation by Fr. Bill Burke, director of the National Liturgy Office for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

One example can be found in the third preface for the Rite of Marriage, he said. Latin uses five different words as synonyms: pietas, which is the love a parent has for a child; consortia, which designates the companionship of two people sharing a life; amor, which is closely rendered “love” in English; caritas, which is a nobler form of love captured by the English cognate “charity”; and dilectio, which is related to the English word “delight.”

The new Missal will also be more singable, he told the audience.

“The liturgy lends itself to being sung so you’ll notice that some of the prayers will be more singable and we’ve encouraged priests to sing the preface and sing the doxology.”

For more information on the Missal, see

Jade Cruz entered The Catholic Register’s Christmas drawing contest to show that we celebrate Christmas because it’s Jesus’ birthday.

Her drawing was one of more than 700 entries to the inaugural contest.

Cruz, 11, is one of the three contest winners depicting the Nativity of Jesus at the first Christmas of Bethlehem. The Holy Spirit Catholic School of Scarborough student took the top spot for the Grades 4 to 6 category.

“We should be thankful for Him because He always protects us and blesses us,” she said.

“We should also learn who His parents are and why He is the right hand of our Lord.”

Jade Cruz, 11

When Catholics begin using the new Roman Missal on the first Sunday of Advent, they will find an “awesomeness” to the new translation that maybe wasn’t as present in the previous incarnation, said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.

The Roman Missal’s new translation will mark the shift from using current principles of “dynamic equivalence” to “formal equivalence” on the first Sunday of Advent. Its aim is an improvement of the liturgy, said the Ottawa archbishop.

“It’s a historic moment in the life of the Church and the English-speaking world,” said Prendergast.

- View "Missal FAQ"
- View "Major Changes"
- View all "New Missal" stories & features

The new, more literal translation of the original Latin text will give particular attention to maintaining biblical references and avoid simplifying the words and phrases into contemporary terms. The current translation, in effect for almost half a century, was primarily concerned with how the translated text would be understood by the community for which it was being translated and was often simplified to reflect contemporary English usage.

TORONTO - Since the translation of the Roman Missal has changed, the new texts of the people’s parts don’t fit the old music, said Bill Targett, director of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Formation for Discipleship.

“So new music had to be written for those parts of the Mass that are normally sung,” he said.

Upon the recommendation of the National Council for Liturgical Music, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned composers Fr. Geoffrey Angeles, John Dawson and M. Michel Guimont to prepare new musical settings for the “ordinary” parts of the Mass.

Students at Mississauga’s Holy Name of Mary College volunteered at 14 different agencies to be a living sign of hope to neighbouring communities through their contribution of time and work.

On Nov. 3, more than 80 students took part in the school’s inaugural “A Day of Hope,” volunteering in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Thornhill and Hamilton at places like Good Shepherd Shelter, Daily Bread Food Bank and St. Felix Centre.

“They were a visible sign of hope through anything from peeling potatoes to painting hallways to cleaning out horse stalls to serving the poor in soup kitchens,” said James McLevey, head of religion and chaplaincy at Holy Name of Mary College and teacher organizer of the day.

TORONTO - It's fitting that Chaminade College School's motto is Fortes in Fide, strength through faith, said Fr. Ante Market, the school's first ever graduate to be ordained to the priesthood.

"I'm thankful to God for calling me and I'm thankful to Chaminade for giving me the opportunity to grow in my faith," he told The Catholic Register.

TORONTO - Organ donation is a very Catholic act because it lives the Gospel values, said Deacon Michael Hayes.

Hayes is a living example. He himself is an organ donor who has donated 70 per cent of both his liver and a kidney to help others survive.

“When our earthly days are done, you can take nothing with you which you’ve received, only which you’ve given,” said Hayes, quoting St. Francis of Assisi.

Growing up, Denyse Gervais Regan’s mother Marie Louise would always tell her children stories about her life.

Having been left by her mother in an orphanage at the tender age of four, and then going on to have 14 children of her own, what a story Marie Louise Gervais had to share.

“She’d always end by saying my life story would make a good book and I hope one of you kids one day writes that book for me,” Gervais Regan, 73, told The Catholic Register.

TORONTO - Women are not getting all the facts about the link between abortion and breast cancer, says Dr. Angela Lanfranchi.

"It doesn't matter if you're pro-life or pro-choice," she said, "women and the population just want the facts." 

And the facts are, simply put, abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, Lanfranchi told an audience of about 50 people gathered at the deVeber Institute's annual public lecture Oct. 26.