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.

Leeza ShakkouriMarkham, Ont. - When Leeza Shakkouri creates a painting, her audience is usually her art teacher and her classmates. But the Grade 12 student’s recent project was different.  She painted a portrait of Brother André that was unveiled Oct. 9 at a Mass celebrating Brother André Catholic High School’s 25th anniversary.

The portrait will be permanently hung in the school for the entire school body to enjoy.


Brother André Salt and LightTORONTO - Every time Sébastian Lacroix visits St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, he pays a visit to the Votive Chapel.

“Just being there for me is inspiring and you realize there’s a big story to tell: the story of Brother André but also Brother André’s dream that continues today,” he said, referring to the soon-to-be canonized Canadian’s dream of building the Oratory.

Brother André’s story is captured in two documentaries (an English and French version) created by Salt + Light Television that offer a biographical look at Brother André’s life and legacy in time for his Oct. 17 canonization, said Lacroix, producer of the French version.

October 4, 2010

The Canadian saints

St. Isaac Jogues
St. Jean de Brebueuf
St. Charles Ganier
St. Isaac Jogues (1608-1646): born in Orleans, France, he was ordained to the Society of Jesus. In 1636, he was sent to Quebec as a missionary to the Hurons and was tortured and imprisoned by the Iroquois in 1642. He was rescued and returned to France, but went back to Quebec and sent on a peace mission to his torturers. He was captured by the Iroquois en route and on Oct. 18, 1646, his captors killed him. Named one of the Canadian martyrs by Pope Pius XI, their feast day is Oct. 19.
St. Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649): was a French Jesuit missionary and martyr of New France whose mission was to evangelize native Americans. He lived among the Hurons for more than 15 years. In 1648, the Iroquois launched a war of extermination against the Huron. Refusing to flee when their village was attacked, Brébeuf and his assistant, Gabriel Lalemant, were captured and tortured to death by the Iroquois. Brébeuf is one of the Canadian martyrs.
St. Charles Garnier (1606-1649): was born in Paris and joined the Jesuits in 1624. After teaching at the Jesuit college at Eu, he was ordained in 1635. The following year, he was sent to Quebec as a missionary to the Hurons. Garnier was murdered by a war party of Iroquois on Dec. 7 at Etarita, where he was stationed. Even when the mission was attacked and he himself wounded, he continued to baptize neophytes and to assist a wounded Huron. Garnier is also one of the Canadian martyrs.
St. Antoine Daniel
St. Gabriel Lalemant
St. Noel Chabanel
St. Antoine Daniel (1600-1648): was born in Dieppe, France, and became a Jesuit in 1621 at 29. He arrived in Acadia in 1632 and was then sent to Quebec. He was a missionary near Bias-d’or Lakes and founded the first boy’s college in North America in Quebec in 1635. He worked in Huronia for 12 years. On July 4, he had just finished Mass when the mission was attacked. His martyred body was thrown in the flames of the burning Church at Mount St. Louis.
St. Gabriel Lalemant (1610-1649): was born in Paris and became a Jesuit priest in 1630. After remaining in Quebec for two years, he was sent to the Huron missions as Brébeuf’s assistant. He was barely there a month when the Iroquois attacked the mission of St. Louis where they found Brébeuf and Lalement. After setting fire to the village, they led the two priests back to St. Ignatius where they were tied to stakes and put to death. Some of the relics of Lalemant were carried to Quebec. Also one of the Canadian martyrs.
St. Noël Chabanel (1613-1649): was the youngest of the priests and the last of the eight martyrs. Born in France, he became a Jesuit priest at the age of 28. He was a successful professor and humanist and had a strong desire to help the Canadian missions. He was martyred on Dec. 8 at Nottawasaga.
St. Rene Goupil
St. Jean de La Lande
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys
St. René Goupil (1608-1642): had to leave the Jesuit novitiate because of bad health. He studied medicine and offered his services to the Jesuit missions in Canada. On his way to Ste. Marie, he was captured and tortured by an Iroquois war party, along with Isaac Jogues. He was the first of all the martyrs and was killed while making the Sign of the Cross on the brow of a child near Auriesville, New York.
St. Jean de Lalande (1600s-1646): at 19, offered his services as a layman to the Jesuits in New France. He accompanied Jogues to the Mohawk mission in 1646 and was captured with him and tortured. The day after Jogues’ death, he tried to sneak out of the lodge at night to recover the priest’s body. A guard killed him.
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700): Born in France, the stories of hardships and dangers in Montreal that made other people shiver awoke a call in St. Marguerite Bourgeoys from God to serve the native Americans. She helped start a school for the children of Montreal, called Ville Marie. Making numerous trips to France to recruit teachers, these woman became the first sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. Her feast day is Jan. 12.
St. Marguerite d'Youville
St. Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771): founder of the Sisters of Charity, is the first Canadian to be elevated to sainthood. She studied under the Ursulines, married Francois D’Youville in 1722 and became a widow in 1730. She worked to support herself and her three children and devoted much of her time to the Confraternity of the Holy Family in charitable activities. She was appointed directress of the General Hospital in Montreal and, since her death, her order has established schools, hospitals and orphanages across the world. Canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1990, she is known as the “mother of the poor.”

Kateri Tekakwitha


Blessed, Venerable & more


André Grasset
Kateri Tekakwitha
Marie de l’Incarnation
François de Laval (1623-1708)
Marie-Rose Durocher
Brother André
Marie-Léonie Paradis
Louis-Zéphirin Moreau
Frédéric Janssoone (1838-1916)
Catherine de Saint-Augustin
Dina Bélanger
Marie-Anne Blondin
Émilie Tavernier-Gamelin (1800-1851)
Bishop Vasyl Velychkovsky, C.Ss.R. (Ukrainian) (1903-1973)
Bishop Nykyta Budka (Greek-Ukrainian) (1877-1949)


Vital Grandin
Alfred Pampalon
Élisabeth Bergeron
Délia Tétreault

Causes For Sainthood

Jérôme Le Royer de la Dauversière
Jeanne Mance
Fr. Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot
Br. Didace Pelletier
Jeanne LeBer
Sr. Rosalie Cadron-Jetté (1794-1864)
Sr. Marcelle Mallet
Sr. Élisabeth Bruyère
Sr. Élisabeth Turgeon
Sr. Marie Fitzbach
Sr. Éléonore Potvin
Sr. Catherine-Aurélie Caouette
Fr. Alexis-Louis Mangin
Br. Théophanius-Léo (Adolphe Chatillon)
Gérard Raymond
Bishop Ovide Charlebois
Sr. Marie-Clément Staub
Fr. Eugène Prévost
Br. Antoine Kowalczyk
Louis Émond
Fr. Victor Lelièvre
Catherine de Hueck Doherty
Pauline Archer-Vanier (1898-1991)
Georges Vanier
Sr. Carmelina Tarantino (1937-1992)


catholic workoutTORONTO - Michael Carrera knows how vanity driven the fitness industry is. Having worked in gyms for more than a decade, he sees showoffs all the time. And since you can’t change vanity by focusing on vanity, he decided to focus on his faith, pairing it with his profession.

Carrera is a certified exercise physiologist and personal trainer with a masters in exercise physiology. He’s also a parishioner at St. Benedict parish in Toronto.
DominicansTORONTO - This year marks 500 years of the Dominicans fighting for the rights of the underdog in the Americas.

“The Dominican order in the Americas has promoted justice, education and intellectual life all over the Americas,” said Dominican Friar Marcos Ramos, superior of the Dominicans’ Aquinas House in Toronto.
The youth are the future of our world — and the Church. That’s why it is my pleasure to introduce myself as the new Youth Editor of Youth Speak News.

YSN is an important section of The Catholic Register: It is a place where young writers can reflect on fundamental issues that matter to us as Catholics, all the while building the writing and communication skills that will be transferable to a wide variety of careers.
Girls at CampMISSISSAUGA, ONT. - The media puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on girls, said Dorothy Pilarski, a Catholic speaker, author and mother. And on March 4 Pilarski hopes to give a voice to girls who aren’t comfortable with all the pressures being thrust upon them.

Taking place at the John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre in Mississauga, Ont., “Calling All Girls” is an event for girls ages 12 to 17. Including talks and group activities, Pilarski will be joined by Colleen Hammond, a Texas-based Catholic speaker and author of Dressing With Dignity. Hammond is also a former beauty pageant winner, model, actress and on-camera meteorologist, familiar with the different pressures put on girls.
Marilyn ElphickTORONTO - A cross-border study has found that one in four students on North American university campuses show signs of depression — a figure that comes as no surprise to those who work with students.

The study, published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry at the end of January, looked at more than 1,600 students at the University of British Columbia, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Washington. Researchers surveyed students visiting campus health centres for mostly physical reasons on a variety of questions about their mood and outlook for the future. The study also found that one in 10 students had recently thought about suicide.

Sr. Susan Glaab, campus minister at King’s University College in London, Ont., said there are a number of reasons why students today may be showing increased signs of depression.
D.C. March for LifeWASHINGTON - Students from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ont., joined an estimated 400,000 American pro-lifers at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24.

Organized by the pro-life group at the Catholic liberal arts college, 20 students and three staff attended the march and opening prayer vigil Mass held at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

“We walked, prayed the Rosary, prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet and sang chants,” said second-year student Kathleen Dunn, president of the school’s pro-life group. “It was really amazing to be a part of it.”

The annual march marks the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973, which legalized abortion in the United States.
Notre Dame Basilica, MontrealMONTREAL - Planning a weekend trip to Montreal, there was one place I really wanted to visit: Notre Dame Basilica. While I had been to St. Joseph’s Oratory before, I never had the opportunity to visit the world famous Notre Dame in Old Montreal. I was expecting it to be beautiful.

But stepping through the doors, what I saw surpassed all my expectations.

The high altar, a very tall backdrop, looked like a small city itself — an intricate structure which seemed to wind all the way up to the ceiling.

Blue and yellow lights illuminated various parts of its magnificent construction, with statues of saints surrounding Jesus, along with built-in choir stalls designed in the 1870s by Montreal architect Victor Bourgeau.