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.

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.
Bert CambreTORONTO - After a decade of service as the director of deacons, Deacon Bert Cambre is leaving as head of the diaconate office following some internal restructuring in the archdiocese of Toronto.

Cambre’s last day in office will be Aug. 31.

He leaves the office with many accomplishments under his belt.
Friar Tom PurcellLinda Houston used to sleep on the streets. Years after her death, a charity walk named in her honour will be passing through the same Don Mills, Ont. streets she once called home.

On Sat. Aug. 14, the first-ever 5-km Linda's Walk will take place to help raise awareness for homeless women with mental issues. All proceeds will go directly to support the St. Clare Inn, a transitional housing project where women can "journey towards wellness"  that was created as a result of Linda's death in 2000.
TORONTO - The 40 Days for Life campaign is making a difference, said Nicole Campbell, 40 Days for Life Toronto co-ordinator. In fact, she said nine abortion facilities throughout North America have closed as a result of the campaign.

“The thing is with the 40 Days for Life, and with abortion in general, is that it’s not enough to be personally pro-life,” Campbell told The Catholic Register. “It’s great but it does nothing to actually end abortion. It’s only when we’re publicly pro-life that we can impact and change our culture one person at a time through prayer and through our public witness.”
MaterCare International has applied for funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) as part of the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program, a program born out of last summer’s G8 Summit.

Under its Partners for Development Program, CIDA launched a $75-million call for projects over $500,000 “to take a comprehensive and integrated approach to address maternal, newborn and child health,” according to its web site. With its application at the end of January, MaterCare, a St. John’s, Nfld. based non-governmental organization of health care professionals aiming to reduce abortion and maternal mortality, is looking for funding for a hospital for high-risk mothers in Isiolo, Kenya.