Sheila Dabu Nonato, The Catholic Register

Sheila Dabu Nonato, The Catholic Register

Sheila was a reporter for The Catholic Register from 2008-2011.

A graduate of the University of Toronto's international relations program (M.A.) and Carleton University's School of Journalism (M.J.),  she has worked at The Canadian Press, CBC Ottawa, The Toronto Star, The Jordan Times and IRIN Middle East.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The picture of a dead child’s charred remains was just one of many photos that shocked Indian-born priest Fr. Jose Thaipparampil about the explosion of violence which has been called the worst anti-Christian attacks in the 61 years since India’s independence.

Indian Catholics in Toronto are increasingly concerned about the persecution of Christians, says the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Mission parish. So much so that they are turning prayer into action. Thaipparampil’s parish raised $1,500 for the diocese of Orissa to help the victims. At the parish’s Nov. 2 Mass, they also remembered Fr. Bernard Digal, one of the first Christians to be attacked by a Hindu extremist mob in August who died from his injuries at the end of October.
{mosimage}TORONTO - It was a road trip of a lifetime for Newman Centre parishioner Monique Ferdinand.

The 26-year-old consultant made the 10-hour drive to Washington, D.C., with two friends for the inauguration of the United States’ first African-American president, Barack Obama, Jan. 20.

{mosimage}A leading HIV researcher says Pope Benedict XVI was unfairly criticized for his comments against condoms as an effective AIDS prevention strategy in Africa.

“Abstinence is the best message for young people, particularly if they are reached before they are sexually active,” Edward C. Green, director of the Harvard AIDS Prevention Research Project , told The Catholic Register. “For Africa, (promoting condoms) may be exacerbating the problem.”

{mosimage}TORONTO - For University of Toronto theology student Peter Baltutis, Cardinal John Henry Newman is a role model for young Catholics.

Newman's message resonates with students who are searching and discerning their future because the influential 19th-century theologian taught that coming to a secular university doesn't mean you have to abandon your Catholicism, Baltutis said.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Corazon “Cory” Aquino’s courage in standing up to a feared dictator, says Toronto-based journalist Hermie Garcia, is what many Filipino Canadians admired about the late Philippines president. Mrs. Aquino, 76, died Aug. 1 after a year-long battle with colon cancer.

Garcia, the founding editor of Toronto’s The Philippine Reporter , said Mrs. Aquino’s death saddens many Filipinos in Toronto.

{mosimage}TORONTO - A Vatican-led apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ is underway in Canada and the United States to investigate allegations of sexual impropriety made against the order’s late founder.

Francois Tremblay, a member of Regnum Christi , the Legion of Christ’s lay movement, says he welcomes the visitation.

“People will have a better idea about the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi because the visitation will bring light to people about what the movement and the congregation do and who they are,” the 23-year-old student from Saguenay, Que., said in an online interview.

{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s been a harrowing week for Faye Arellano as she worried about relatives in the Philippines hit by Typhoon Ketsana, the “Katrina of the Philippines.”

Close to 300 people died in and around Manila from the typhoon which struck on Sept. 26.

It dumped an average month’s worth of rain in one day in Greater Manila and displaced about half a million people. A week later, at least 22 people were killed by tropical storm Parma.

{mosimage}TORONTO - When Grade 9 student Jeremy Addoty spoke at a service in front of students and teachers at Brampton’s Cardinal Ambrozic High School, he appealed for prayers for missing relatives and those who survived the devastating Haitian earthquake.

Haitian-born St. Ignatius of Loyola High School teacher Pierre-Michel Laveau is also doing what he can to help friends and family cope after the disaster by sending money to those in need.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Close to 70 girls at a Catholic-run orphanage who survived Haiti’s devastating earthquake are sleeping on the streets of Port-au-Prince with little food and water and are still awaiting outside help since the disaster struck Jan. 12, says Frank Chauvin.

Chauvin, a retired police detective in Windsor, Ont., told The Catholic Register that three 18-year-old girls and one worker from his orphanage run by the non-profit organization Le Foyer des Filles de Dieu died after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. But 67 girls at the orphanage and its director survived. At least 30 other children have joined them on the streets and are sharing their food and water.

TORONTO - A new private Catholic high school that wants to open its doors to youth from low-income families in Toronto is taking flack from critics who argue the plan would “economically segregate” students.    

David Livingstone, director of the University of Toronto OISE Centre for the Study of Education and Work, has concerns about the proposed model for the 500-student Toronto Cristo Rey School, which will be run by the Basilian order. The project is “well-intentioned but ill-informed,” said Livingstone, author of How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. He said research since the 1960s has found that mixing low-income and high-income students together suggests “low-income students are going to gain and high-income students are not going to lose.”