“The numbers are in: almost 600 Catholic men will be ordained priests for the U.S. in 2015, an increase of more than 100 from last year.”
What a great way to start! There is a surge in vocations, thankfully, and it seems North America may not be doing so badly anymore. Even back in January, “The Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin voiced enthusiasm at seeing the high number of American seminarians studying in Rome – calling it a sign that vocations are on the rise.” His Eminence, Cardinal Parolin expressed his approval “at the end of the dedication ceremony for a new addition to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, over which he presided.” Having to make an addition to the College is a clear, visible sign that in some areas vocations are growing. Let us pray that calls to the Religious Life continue to increase everywhere, but especially here at home.
Speaking of home, just this past Thursday, May the 14th, Ottawa had over 20,000 people assemble on Parliament Hill and march through its downtown core for its annual March for Life Campaign. This year, in addition to the defence of the unborn, their theme, “Let Life Win” which ”challenges all Canadians to choose life when faced with a life or death situation” works equally well with the other hot button issue on the agenda: physician-assisted suicide (PAS).
On February 6th, the Supreme Court of Canada found the current prohibitions against euthanasia and PAS to be violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and therefore charged the Canadian federal government with drafting a law to permit the practice. They have until February of 2016 to introduce the new law otherwise the existing prohibitions will be repealed. While none of the federal parties, including the governing Conservatives have shown any interest in reopening the abortion debate, there is hope some hope in trying to stop the Culture of Death from growing since in 2010, Parliament voted 228 to 59 AGAINST a Private Member’s Bill to legalize euthanasia.
All this that you are reading about right now, don’t expect to find too much of it on the news. However, you will likely get to read about the first-time counter-event, “Stand for Choice.” The media tends “forget” to cover news like the Pro-Life movement or undermine its numbers. A perfect example would be this year’s March for Life in Washington DC, the news media outlets say there were “thousands” in attendance (NBC4NEWS, USA TODAY, for example) while those who marched and other news outlets like Breitbart News, Lifenews, and others, claim between 500,000 – 600,000 in attendance! Here in Canada we are no better. While Ottawa did not have hundreds of thousands, there were over 23,000 people in attendance last year alone. But, if you look for news sources about last year’s March for Life, expect to read about FEMEN’s protest from The Ottawa Sun, and well, that’s about it. Unless of course you go to The Campaign for Life Coalition’s page. Point being that media coverage for that which promotes a Culture of Life is found to be greatly lacking, to say the very least. Even on the 14th, the day of the March, there was more news coverage on the pro-abortionists than on those marching to protect and defend Life. To whom then can we turn for evidence of the goings-on? Where can we seek images of these marches, these truths? Funny enough, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other sources of Social Media! Social media provides us with real-time images, videos, and stories about what’s going on, who’s there, and how many are there. Who knew selfies would come in so handy?
A great big thanks to our women’s group, Our Lady of Good Counsel, for all their hard work and dedication in making the Mother’s Day Bake Sale a huge success! Their efforts combined with the participation of our wonderful Parishioners who shared their gift of baking allowed for a grand total of $1760.00 to be raised! Those funds were only made available thanks to the generosity of all of you who purchased the delicious goodies donated and sold. So to all of you, those who baked, those who sold, those who organized, and those who purchased and shared, Thank You. Thank You All! None of this could be possible without your kind and generous support.
Nepal Humanitarian Relief:
Relief workers from the official Catholic relief agency on the ground, Caritas Internationalis, say the victims most need temporary shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies as relief operations gear up. So far, Caritas organizations around the world have pledged $3.3 million to the relief effort as well as providing 10,000 shelter kits and 3,000 tarps. To make a donation: Make cheques payable to: St. Andre Bessette Parish – Nepal Earthquake – Humanitarian Relief Or if you are making a cash donation, please put the same information on an envelope.