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 - Canada should urge other governments at next summer’s G8 summit to fight child poverty and improve children’s health around the world, says World Vision advocate and Canadian singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane.

“Five years should not be a lifetime for a child,” Cochrane told The Catholic Register.

{mosimage}Order of Canada recipient Frank Chauvin has said thanks, but no thanks, to the country's highest civilian honour.

Chauvin will be returning his Order of Canada after a federal court judge dismissed his application on Nov. 24 challenging abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler's appointment to the order.

“The Order of Canada is nice and all, but give it to somebody who deserves it and wants it,” Chauvin told The Catholic Register from Windsor, Ont.

Chauvin said he and Morgentaler have a “different purpose in life.” The retired Windsor police detective said he is working towards helping orphaned girls through the Holy Name of Mary Food Fund, a charity he founded in Haiti 20 years ago, in stark contrast to Morgentaler's work which “takes lives” by providing abortion services to women.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Catholic charities remain hopeful that donors will continue to open their hearts and wallets this holiday season, despite donations having fallen to their lowest level since 2005.

According to a Nov. 16 Statistics Canada report, Canadians donated $8.19 billion to charities in 2008, in the midst of the economic downturn, a 5.3-per-cent fall from the previous year. This was the lowest figure in four years when donations totalled $7.9 billion.


{mosimage}TORONTO - This year’s 40 Days for Life campaign of prayer, fasting, community outreach and peaceful vigil kicks off on Feb. 17, Ash Wednesday, in 162 cities across Canada, the United States, Australia and Northern Ireland.

Toronto will be one of six participating Canadian cities for the pro-life campaign, running to March 28. Participants will gather at the intersection of Dufferin Street and Lawrence Avenue West near the Women’s Care Clinic to pray for an end to abortion, said Nicole Campbell, national director for 40 Days for Life. Other vigils will take place in Montreal, Guelph, Ont., Edmonton, Red Deer, Alta., and Kelowna, B.C.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The executive director of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association is calling for increased funding for community care, including at-home palliative care, in the wake of a study that found Canadian families are paying a high price to care for loved ones at home.

“If there’s no proper support, we crush the backs of Canadian caregivers and families,” Sharon Baxter told The Catholic Register from Ottawa.

The general trend has been for people wanting to receive care in their own homes, Baxter said. In the long run, it’s the least costly option.

TORONTO - Elodie Robichaud remembers well praying the rosary as a young girl and is pleased she is able to continue this tradition at Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence.

Homes like Providence Healthcare help to nurture the spiritual lives of residents. Robichaud really appreciates that spiritual component of the community at the Toronto long-term care home. She considers the faith community there, which prays together and attends daily Mass, “family.”

“Being able to go to Mass every morning, it’s a big gift for us,” said Robichaud.

Robichaud, 86, and her husband Gaspard, 84, attend daily Mass and rosary group together.

The rosary group at Providence began about 25 years ago when resident Jack Scriven started volunteering. Scriven, 94, leads the group that has up to 40 people gathering every day at the chapel.

A line of those hoping to offer prayers for Cardinal Ambrozic at his funeral mass Aug 31st.TORONTO - More than 1,000 people gathered to pay tribute to the life and service of Toronto’s late Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic at his Aug. 31 funeral Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Parishioners like Margaret Rose came to offer prayers for the late cardinal. Rose, 73, was first in a long line of about 200 people hoping for public seating. She arrived close to three hours before the funeral was set to begin.

“I came out of respect. He was our (cardinal) for 16 years,” she said while holding a rosary and recalling how the cardinal loved to shake people’s hands after Sunday Mass. “I’ll spend five hours here if I have to.”

Due to renovations at the Cathedral, seating was limited to about 800 people. About half the people in line got a seat, with about 200 more praying outside the church.

Several dignitaries attended the funeral, including federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

TORONTO - When eight-year-old Isabella Gouveia walks into St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School to start school this month, she — along with the rest of her classmates — will be sporting a new navy and white uniform.

And so will all students in elementary schools as the Toronto Catholic District School Board implements its uniform policy for all elementary schools. Currently, high schools have a uniform policy in place.

The board passed the “dress code for pupils policy” on June 23. Schools that have an existing uniform policy or dress code can continue with that dress code.

TCDSB chair Ann Andrachuk said the board has always had an “appropriate dress code policy” which prohibits clothing with logos, short shorts and “anything that promoted hatred.” The new policy takes it one step further with a uniform policy for all elementary schools.

TORONTO - For top scholar David Marrello, the secret to a perfect report card is rooted in a passion for learning and dedication to his work.

Marrello capped his high school career at Toronto’s Bishop Allen Academy by earning a perfect 100 per cent in all of his classes (Advanced Functions, Calculus and Vectors, Chemistry, Economics, English, Physics and Religion) for the 2010-11 school year.

From here he moves on to post-secondary studies at York University’s Schulich School of Business this September. He earned York’s President’s Scholarship Award for his high school accomplishments.

Marrello divulged one of the secrets to his success.

“I believe in quality over quantity,” he said.

On homework, Marrello spent from two to four hours every day, keeping an 8 p.m. curfew on studying.

TORONTO - Oakville Catholic parent Michele Sparling is this year’s recipient of the Father Mazerolle Award from the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education.

The award honours a lay or religious volunteer who supports the goals of OAPCE and has contributed substantially to the Catholic education community through at least two years of volunteer service.

Sparling, a mother of two, credits her family, including her mother, Betty, and grandmother, Catherine, for inspiring her to get involved in her community. She said that volunteering in Catholic education is important because “it’s where my kids are.”

“It’s also the way I was brought up. I was brought up that you give back,” said Sparling. “It’s something I can do that helps add value for not only my kids but other kids.”