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.

London Bishop Ronald Fabbro discusses Confession: A Roman Catholic App with Shelley Isabelle. The diocese was to give out 500 copies of the app as part of its April 6 Confession campaign. (Photo by Mark Adkinson)When the diocese of London says their doors are always open, they’re not kidding. At least that was the case on April 6 when more than 120 parishes across Southwestern Ontario participated in the dioceses Confession Campaign.

“It’s an invitation to people that the doors are open for them to come back to the sacrament of Confession,” London Bishop Ronald Fabbro told The Catholic Register.

The campaign was modelled after the “Light is On for You” campaign that originated in the archdiocese of Washington and has since spread across the United States, said Mark Adkinson, director of communications for the London diocese.

The American campaign runs Confessions on a particular day for a couple hours every week throughout Lent.
The Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd and their volunteers have been helping the needy in Hamilton, Ont., for 50 years.It has been 50 years of feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and clothing the naked for the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd in Hamilton, Ont.

“We’re the largest provider of community social services and health services in the Hamilton community — particularly in the area of mental health,” Br. Richard MacPhee, executive director of Good Shepherd Centres, told The Catholic Register.

Among the celebrations marking the milestone is a 50th anniversary breakfast at Liuna Station in Hamilton on April 19 with featured speaker Br. Justin Howson, superior general of the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd. And on June 18, Bishop Douglas Crosby will celebrate an anniversary Mass at Christ the King Cathedral.
THORNHILL, ONT. - The youth ministry at St. Joseph the Worker parish wants to know what awaits society when the new generation rises up to ignite a revolution of love. And they’re hoping people under the age of 30 will show them at the first annual St. Joseph’s Short Film Festival.

Youth are asked to make a film, about five to seven minutes long, with the theme A Revolution of Love.

The film festival is aimed at encouraging youth to employ their creativity, experience and knowledge with a media they’re familiar with into a concrete expression of what it means to follow Christ, said Vladimir Mamaradlo, lay pastoral assistant at St. Joseph the Worker parish in Thornhill, Ont.
Toronto Auxiliary Bishop William McGrattan speaking at the annual Cardinal Ambrozic lecture. (Photo by Vanessa Santilli)TORONTO - Secularization influence has reached not only into the religious sphere, but also health care, Toronto Auxiliary Bishop William McGrattan told an audience of about 50 people at the annual Cardinal Ambrozic lecture March 24.

"At the outset of our reliance and dependance on rational thought we attribute to the Enlightenment, certain forces have gradually eroded not only the authority of religion, but also social groups," said McGrattan. "Social groups such as health care professionals and medicine."

McGrattan discussed the relationship between health care and Catholic spirituality at the annual lecture, hosted by the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute. The lecture took place at the University at St. Michael's College.

And secularization has influenced our concept of spirituality at its very core, he said.
Archbishop Donald WuerlTORONTO - Catholic scholars will gather at Regis College March 31 and April 1 to discuss Pope Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini, the results of the October 2008 General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.

The apostolic exhortation was dedicated to the Word of God in the life and the mission of the Church.

Sponsored by Regis College and Salt + Light Television, “Word of God: Light of Love” will include keynote speakers Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., London Bishop Ronald Fabbro, Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl and Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
Fr. Michael TroyTORONTO - Spiritan Father Michael Troy, founding father and principal at Toronto’s Neil McNeil High School, had an untraditional way of thinking, said Fr. Gerald FitzGerald.

“There was a rapport, a relationship and a casualness between the priest-teachers and the boys that did not exist elsewhere and that was the unique spirit of Neil McNeil,” said FitzGerald, a fellow Spiritan who was a seminarian under Troy in Dublin and a science teacher at Neil McNeil. “He came in at a unique time in the spread of Catholic education — and I think he left a stamp on it.

“I think he shook up Catholic education,” said FitzGerald. “He came here with no preconceived ideas and he brought with him a tremendous freshness.”
SharelifeTORONTO - The ShareLife parish campaign kicked off Ash Wednesday with a goal of increasing donations by 2.5 per cent to help with the ever-growing calls for help.

Coming on the heals of last year’s record-breaking campaign, this year the fundraising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto’s annual campaign goal is to at least match last year’s total of $14.3 million, including $12.3 million from the parish campaign.

“The repercussions of the economic downturn are still being seen in the community,” said Bill Steinburg, communications manager at ShareLife. “There are a number of people who were able to get by for so long that are now in a position that they’re close to the end of their own resources — their safety net.”
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)The nine patron saints named for this summer’s World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain, serve well as patrons for young Catholics, said Fr. Edwin Galea.

“Their lives tell us that all things are possible to God,” said Galea, who will be a part of the World Youth Day pilgrimage run by the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth.

“The worst sinner could become the greatest saint so they inspire us. They provide us with a depth of spirituality that is not normally attained in the ordinary world but can inspire a person not to give up.”

TORONTO - Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins’s monthly lectio divina sessions have provided the inspiration for his new book, Pathway to our Hearts: A Simple Approach to Lectio Divina with the Sermon on the Mount.

The archbishop started lectio divina when he was the archbishop of Edmonton because he thought it was important for bishops to speak the Word of God to the people. Collins continued these sessions when he came to Toronto, and he runs lectio divina monthly at St. Michael’s Cathedral.

An audience of about 50 people was on hand for the launch of the book at the Catholic Pastoral Centre March 11.