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 part of the new direction of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth, the office won’t be organizing a trip to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day 2013, said director Fr. Frank Portelli.

“It was discussed at the Council of Priests and it was decided that it would be better if the parishes work on their own groups to go down so it would be more parish-based initiatives,” Portelli told The Catholic Register.

Kaitlyn Duthie-Kannikkatt’s understanding of the Holy Spirit is a huge motivating factor in her going to the People’s Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 15-23.

Organized parallel to Rio+20, the June 20-22 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Duthie-Kannikkatt is one of nine young women under 30 years of age travelling with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace on a Solidarity Tour. 

The fairness of criminally prosecuting anti-abortion protester Linda Gibbons for breaching a 17-year-old temporary order will be ruled on by the Supreme Court of Canada today.

"The case is basically about whether they can charge Linda criminally under the Criminal Code for breaking an injunction that was issued by a civil court," Daniel Santoro, Gibbons' lawyer, told The Catholic Register. "If I win, they won't be able to do that. They'll have to start a contempt proceeding and bring it before the court that made the order."

Fr. Michael Prieur has lived at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont., for more than 50 years. For 40 of those years, he never paid attention to the stained glass windows in the chapel.

“And then one day I wondered why St. Jerome was dressed up like a cardinal when there was no such outfit in the days that he lived,” Prieur told The Catholic Register.

To help raise money and awareness for poverty and homelessness, about 265 Catholic high school students pitched tents outside Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ont., May 3 to show their solidarity with the less fortunate.

Hosted by ShareLife in co-operation with the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth, the inaugural Tent City event in Midland didn’t go as planned. A thunderstorm that blew through broke tents and sent students from the Toronto, Durham, Dufferin-Peel, Simcoe-Muskoka and La Conseil Scholaire de Centre-Sud Catholic school boards to an overnight sleep inside the Shrine.

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. - To connect and give back to their school’s founders, Grade 12 students at Holy Name of Mary College School travelled to Krakow, Poland, where the Felician Sisters have a strong community.

From April 25 to May 3, nine students from the Mississauga, Ont., school volunteered at three institutions run by the sisters,  soup kitchen, a kindergarten class and a home for the elderly.

“The sisters showed a really transparent joy and love in the name of Jesus,” said Jim McLevey, Grade 12 religion teacher and chaplain. “I was overwhelmed by them and it caught us off guard. The students were really overwhelmed by the beauty of what the sisters are doing and who they are.”

Lack of Holy Communion, the availability of water and a failed media structure were only some of the problems faced by Canadians at World Youth Day in Madrid, an evaluation from nearly 6,000 young Canadians, 24 bishops and more than 100 priests, deacons and religious found.

“So it was fraught with logistical difficulties, some of which are linked to the fact of any large event, but some clearly to a lack of preparation and foresight,” said Fr. Thomas Rosica, who at the request of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops spearheaded the formal evaluation of the Spanish event in 2011. 

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. - It should come as no surprise to anybody that Catholic students are active and informed about issues that are directly related to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, said Bruce Campbell, spokesperson for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.

But a recent anti-abortion petition that was circulated at St. Joseph's Catholic High School in Mississauga in support of MP Stephen Woodworth's private member's motion to re-open a debate on Section 223 of the Criminal Code was called "coercion" by the Centre for Inquiry Canada, a Toronto-based atheist group, in media reports. Section 223 states a child in the womb is not human until birth.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board has reaffirmed a motion to make all schools “bottled water free zones” by September 2012.

“We’re the largest organization to ever tackle this in the country,” said trustee Maria Rizzo, who put the motion forward on behalf of all the board’s students.  “The TCDSB became a leader for social justice and the environment. Water is God’s gift to the planet and you shouldn’t sell it like a pair of sneakers. It’s as ludicrous as bottling air and selling it.”

TORONTO - Students in Toronto Catholic schools will now begin their school day by singing our national anthem each morning.

On April 19, the Toronto Catholic District School Board voted 7-3 to have students sing “O Canada” a cappella during opening exercises.

To lead by example, trustee Angela Kennedy, who spearheaded the vote, uploaded a video of herself on YouTube singing “O Canada” without any background music.