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Celebrating future St. Andre Bessette Church at sign unveiling ceremony

Click to see PHOTOS of the ceremony.

Reposting from York Catholic District School Board Website

The York Catholic District School Board was proud to join Father Peter Choi, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, and the St. Andre Bessette parish community for the unveiling of the parish’s new sign at 1085 Major Mackenzie Drive West in Vaughan, where a church for the the parish will be built.

York Catholic Trustees Cathy Ferlisi, Teresa Ciaravella, and Superintendent Mary Battista participated in the unveiling ceremony, alongside government officials from the City of Vaughan.

The relationship between our school communities and parishes play a vital role in the success of our school board.  The spiritual support that our students, teachers, staff, and families receive from our parishes and parish priests, help us build faith-filled schools and communities that are caring, resilient, and strong.

St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School and St. Cecilia Catholic Elementary School are honoured to host the Saturday and Sunday masses for St. Andre Bessette Parish while this church is being built. This has created a special relationship between the schools and the parish. The school communities of St. Anne CES and St. Raphael the Archangel CES are also very honoured to be a part of this vibrant parish community.

Congratulations to all members of this parish for coming together to lay the faith foundation for the building of St. Andre Bessette Church!

dignitaries pose in front of the new sign

Is the Migrant Crisis a man-made Crisis?

St. Andre Bessette ParishI am sure you have all heard the famous saying, “History is written by the victors.” True, there are victors, and then there are losers. But, what we rarely hear about, or often gets overlooked, are the victims, the casualties of war. From the numerous examples of military conquest, from ancient to medieval to gunpowder to industrial to modern warfare…one must ask, were they necessary? Were they justifiable?

One might wonder, why can’t we all just get along? Why fight over things? Isn’t there enough to go around? The answer is ‘yes,’ but the truth of the matter is “we simply can’t be content with what we have.” But is it because we need more; because we want more; or because we deserve more?

Using these questions of whether we need, want, or deserve more, let us discuss what the larger issues at stake today are: i.e., the Migrant Crisis and the Islamic Terrorists, the latter being at the root cause of the prior.

First, there are numerous examples of military conquests throughout human history. They were not always necessarily driven by a just cause, for the sake of self-preservation or in self-defence; one need only look at the Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Alexander the Great, Roman Emperors, Genghis Khan, Ottoman Turks, Nazis, to name a few. Military conquest is not always done “because we need the land that belongs to you,” but more often “because we want it.” So when we think we want more, and we give in to that, know that we are walking on a dangerous path. Like in the Roman proverb, “Wealth is like sea water, the more you drink it the thirstier you become,” the more you have, the thirstier you become.

In the case of those who think and justify “because we deserve more,” the path is even more dangerous. Genocide, ethnic cleansing, often coupled with political agendas and religious fundamentalism, these have wiped out tens of thousands, even millions of innocent lives all in the name of “because we deserve more;” “because we are better than them.”

What makes ISIS so dangerous is that they think they have the Divine mandate to destroy all (including people, civilization, cultural heritage) that is not Islamic, according to their own narrow interpretation.

What about the “because we need it more,” like the Syrian refugees, who are in need of immediate relief – food, shelter and a new life? We all have a responsibility towards this end, not just the Europeans! But what I find puzzling is why have the wealthy neighbours – five of the wealthiest Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain – taken in zero refugees? Do they know something we don’t? Why has the Syrian refugee crisis become only the European crisis? If we dig deeper into this matter, overwhelming evidence points to the fact that 70 percent of people claiming to be refugees are healthy, able-bodied young males. Women, children and the elderly are the minority. This being the case, it begs the question, why have these men abandoned their families, the most vulnerable and defenseless population?

More and more reports coming in state that most of people claiming to be Syrian Refugees are not even from Syria. Many of those flooding the European Union are from Pakistan and Bangladesh; Hungarian and Greek authorities have found numerous discarded ID’s of people who are claiming to be Syrian refugees. So if they are not all from Syria, then those claiming to be Syrian or those who are lying about being Syrian rather, their “need” to migrate to Germany or other European Countries isn’t really a need. Instead, they are opportunity seekers. Imposters, thieves, who are defrauding the Syrians whose lives have already been destroyed, impoverished and displaced by war, from the only opportunity they have to start a new life. Unlike the Syrian refugees who need a new life, the economic migrants simply want a better life, funded by the European Union that is in turn funded by the tax dollars of the Europeans. Economic migrants are not only stealing from Syrians, but also from the Europeans.

There is something to assist those honest economic migrants who want to move to Europe to obtain a better life; the proper procedure is called “Immigration.”

In conclusion, according to one media source, prior to ISIS, Syrians lived a rather comfortable life. They enjoyed a relatively high standard of living, which surprisingly included free health care like ours. Welcoming Syrians with open arms is certainly an option, a charitable and responsible option. But an even better option would be to help Syrians get their old life back. According to the same Syrian media outlet, not all Syrians want a new life in Europe. They are proud to be Syrians, and they want their old life back. So, let us not just try to treat the symptom, but rather help to eradicate the root cause.