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.

TORONTO - At a raucous meeting to amend its equity policy, the Toronto Catholic District School Board passed a resolution that affirms denominational rights will take precedence when there is a conflict with government policy.

The Aug. 31 meeting was intended to be the final leg in an emotional ride in the board's efforts to hammer out a policy to come onside with the provincially mandated equity policy. Each board in Ontario was to have its policy in place by Sept. 1.

The board voted on a series of amendments from trustees John Del Grande and Angela Kennedy during the stormy four-hour meeting. In the end, the board voted to accept one amendment and passed watered-down versions of the others. One other amendment was put off to be dealt with at a future meeting. Emotions ran high during the meeting attended by more than 120 people, many of whom favoured the unequivocal language of Del Grande's amendments that asserted Catholic denominational rights in education. There were loud outbursts when the majority of the Del Grande-Kennedy amendments were defeated and replaced by amendments with less-stringent language. The temporary commotion led to TCDSB chair Ann Andrachuk calling a   five-minute recess.

This reaction was in contrast to the loud applause that greeted the passing of Del Grande's amendment, which read: "When there is an apparent conflict between denominational rights and other rights, the board will favour the protection of the denominational rights." However, the board also said it would leave it to courts to determine any conflict of rights.

St. Dominic’s Church’s Resettlement Mississauga, ON. - In Iraq, they lived under the threat of bombs and bullets. In Canada, Fawaz Fatohi says his daughter Dana is free to play in the park as any five-year-old should.

Fatohi’s family was sponsored last year by St. Dominic’s parish in Mississauga, Ont. They had been living as refugees in Syria after fleeing Iraq.

St. Dominic’s parishioners say helping refugee families come to Canada is just part of who they are as a faith community. The experience, from both sides, has been rewarding.
Sister helping brotherMississauga. ont. - It’s become a daily morning routine for five-year-old Theresa Rebello. The third youngest of 10 children, Theresa helps her two-year-old brother Luke get ready to go to Mass with her mom and the younger kids while her older siblings head off to school with dad.

In the Rebello family, learning the faith starts early.

“With parenting, (we asked ourselves) what is our goal 20 years from now?” said Theresa’s mother, 38-year-old Liz Rebello of Toronto. “We always have that end. This is what I want them to be. We want them to be free and responsible adults with a good moral upbringing.”

Teaching kids about faith and values is what’s missing in a much-talked-about memoir by Yale University law professor Amy Chua. In a new book, Battle Hymn of a Mother Tiger, Chua writes about her “Chinese style of parenting” that has produced two over-achieving daughters. Chua explains how her kids live by stringent rules: no sleepovers, school plays or getting a grade less than an A, a style she says encouraged her children to excel.
Dr. Bill SullivanTORONTO - For people struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease, the experience can be painful, bewildering and frightening.

But the journey can also be one filled with hope when we apply Catholic values like the inherent human dignity of all and justice for the most vulnerable, said leading Catholic bioethicist Dr. Bill Sullivan at the annual Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute lecture on Nov. 24.

More than 100 people came to hear Sullivan deliver his talk “Ethical and Loving Care of Persons Living with Progressive Cognitive Impairments and Their Families.” The lecture took place at the University of St. Michael’s College.
TORONTO - He endured permanent estrangement from most of his relatives after converting to Catholicism and faced suspicions from some of his fellow bishops. But these crosses couldn’t dim the light of faith that guided Cardinal John Henry Newman in living out his ministry as scholar, preacher and teacher.

Today, Newman’s light and legacy are embodied in the Newman Centres and clubs on campuses across North America and Australia which bear his name.

John Henry Newman Newman lived a life of prayer, study and sacrifice and his example of faith was to be celebrated and recognized on Sept. 19 when Pope Benedict XVI was to beatify the 19th-century English cardinal in Birmingham, England.

In the hustle and bustle of the University of Toronto’s downtown campus, one of the places students can seek refuge is at the Newman Centre and its chapel just across from the Robarts Library.

After getting my B.A., M.A. and M.J., I sometimes wondered if I’d ever be a “Mrs.” But here I am busily preparing for my wedding in less than two months.

On that day, I will share my first kiss with the first man I fell in love with, when he is my husband.

I know there’s absolutely nothing wrong with kissing while dating. For us, early on in our relationship, we decided that if we were called to be together, we would like our first kiss to be something special between the two of us. We’d hoped that this would also help us focus on getting to know each other first.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Politics is at play in the so-called “Pius wars,” the debate surrounding Pope Pius XII’s likely canonization, says renowned Jewish studies scholar Michael Marrus.

Although the controversy has been framed as a struggle between Christians and Jews, Marrus said he also sees the issue as “an internal debate in the Catholic Church.”

{mosimage}TORONTO - Thousands of reports of adverse effects from a vaccine used to protect against cervical cancer raise further questions about a controversial mass vaccination program for young women in Canada, says the head of a Catholic bioethics group.

Touted as a vaccine for women, Gardasil, which is made by Merck Frosst Canada Ltd., is the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer caused by certain strains of human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, which is a sexually transmitted virus. But a soon-to-be-released report by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says close to 10,000 people reported adverse effects to Gardasil.

{mosimage}TORONTO - As several Catholic school boards across Canada prepare to offer the vaccine targeting cervical cancer this year, recent reports suggest a need for more studies.

In a Sept. 1 editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. Neal A. Halsley said cases of severe adverse reactions among Australian children to Gardasil — the vaccine targeting the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, which can cause cervical cancer — was five to 20 times higher than for other school-based vaccines. Of the 12 suspected cases, eight were confirmed as anaphylactoid reactions. There were 269,680 vaccine doses administered in Australian schools starting in April 2007.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Science can't adequately explain the role of God in the universe, says Fr. George Coyne, S.J., the former director of the Vatican Observatory who, at one time, was referred to as “the pope's astrophysicist.”

But as a religious believer, the American professor said he is able to answer the question of God's role.