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.

athiest posterTORONTO - The new ad campaign from the atheist group behind last year’s “there’s probably no God” campaign suggests that Christ and Allah have the same amount of credibility as UFOs, Big Foot, psychics, Zeus and homeopathy.

“Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence” reads the new campaign poster set to run on TTC vehicles in Toronto. While the ads are still pending approval, they are expected to make their debut on streetcars in January, said Justin Trottier, national executive director of the Centre for Inquiry, the group behind the campaign. If all goes according to plan, Trottier said the ads will then run in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.

“Broadening our focus from just God, we’ll now call for skepticism and rational inquiry into any conceivable extraordinary claim,” said Trottier.
flynn familyThe Flynn family needed help. They were paying $1,000 every month for bariatric diapers for their daughter Jennifer who has a rare chromosome disorder, making her one of 40 such cases in the world. So Julie Flynn, Jennifer’s mother, asked for help — and she received.

“My husband has had to give up his job to take care of her,” said Flynn, who lives in Orangeville, Ont. “We’re a one-income family and we’re paying $1,000 every month for diapers. And we were thinking and in desperation I wrote to every service club in the Orangeville area. The Knights of Columbus responded and it just went from there.”
St. Francis TableTORONTO - At the sound of the doorbell, Br. John Frampton swings open the door at St. Francis Table restaurant to welcome more diners.

“Hi, Brother John,” says a man, obviously a regular. He takes a seat and is served a meal by volunteers in aprons. Frampton, in his robes, bustles from table to table speaking with patrons enjoying a meal of soup, meatloaf, peas and fries.
 The Man Who Hid Anne FrankTORONTO - While the harrowing story of Anne Frank and her family’s struggle for survival against the Nazis during the Second World War is a well-known one, it’s safe to assume that few people know the story of Victor Kugler.

But it’s because of Kugler that we know the story of Anne Frank, the German-born, Netherlands-raised young Jewish girl who died at the hands of the Nazis, author Rick Kardonne told an audience of about 50 people Nov. 9 at a talk about his book, Victor Kugler: The Man Who Hid Anne Frank.
St. Stanislaus KostkaTORONTO - This month marks the start of a year-long celebration in honour of the jubilee year for St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, the oldest Polish parish in Toronto.

“This year is a big milestone for the Polish community,” said Mary Samulewski, chair of the jubilee committee at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, located in the core of the city near Spadina Avenue and Queen Street West. “The parish is the oldest Polish ethnic parish in the GTA and the fourth oldest in Canada.”
Iraqi christians TorontoTORONTO - About 2,000 Middle Eastern Christians hit the streets in Toronto Nov. 6 for a peaceful demonstration against attacks on Christians in Iraq.

The march was spurred by the Oct. 31 attacks at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, where 58 people were killed by Muslim militants. This was followed by threats of more attacks on Christians by the Islamic State of Iraq, an Al-Qaeda front group. The group claimed Christians now face "the doors of destruction" in a statement published on militant web sites.
Michael Coren panelTORONTO - A panel of journalists joined Oct. 17 in expressing their views on “The Church through the Public Eye.”

The symposium was hosted by the Office of Catholic Youth of the archdiocese of Toronto, at its second annual young adult symposium. It was held at Ryerson University in collaboration with the Ryerson Catholic Chaplaincy Centre and the Catholic Student Association. With Michael Coren hosting, journalists Charles Lewis, Brian Lilley, Barbara Kay and Joyce Smith discussed the ins and outs of how the Church — and Catholics — are perceived in the media.
Ian GentlesTORONTO - Countries that have banned abortion in the last 20 years have experienced greater improvements in maternal and infant health than countries that allow abortion on demand, said Ian Gentles.

Speaking to an audience of about 50 at the deVeber Institute's annual public lecture Oct. 14 at the University of St. Michael's College on the topic of improving maternal and child health, the York University and Tyndale University College  professor was joined by Dr. Robert Walley, founder of Matercare International and student intern Genevieve Bonomi.
ShareLife logoTORONTO - It was a record year for ShareLife as total donations to the annual campaign came it at an all-time high  — $14.33 million.

And it was all inspired by an anonymous donor.

“A generous parishioner in the archdiocese of Toronto came forward last year and offered to match all new or increased donations up to $500,000 to ShareLife during the 2010 campaign,” said Arthur Peters, executive director of ShareLife, the charitable fundraising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto.
 St. John Bosco’TORONTO - On Oct. 5, St. John Bosco will be closer to Canadians than ever before — his relics will be on display at St. Benedict parish in Toronto.

It’s the first stop in Canada for the Don Bosco Among Us Relic Tour through 130 countries that kicked off on Jan. 31, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The tour will make its way on to Montreal Oct. 6-8 and then to Surrey, B.C., Oct. 8-10, before continuing elsewhere until 2015, the 200th anniversary of his birth in Turin, Italy.