What are the highlights of 2013?


2013 has come to an end and so it’s time for our year-end-review. What are the highlights of this past year? What were the top news stories? What stands out the most in your mind? What’s your favourite Pope Francis moment? Join Deacon Pedro and our panel of S+L Producers, Cheridan, Alicia and Sebastian as they look at the Church in the year 2013.

That’s an all-new Perspectives: The Weekly Edition, this Friday, December 27 and Sunday, December 29 at 7 and 11pm ET (8pm PT). In the meantime, join our discussion on Facebook.

Should Catholics work on Sundays?



We all know that we must keep holy the Sabbath Day, but at the same time, in this day and age, in our society, we take for granted that businesses are open on Sunday and people work. Maybe we don’t work ourselves, but we go shopping, or in our desire for leisure time with our family we may go to an amusement park, the museum or to the zoo. Is that wrong? Can we keep the Sabbath holy and still work? Is the Sunday a day of rest or a day of worship? Should we go shopping on Sundays? And what are the obligations of a Catholic employer? These are some of the questions that we’ll be discussing this week.

Be sure to join us for a featured chat with Archbishop Daniel Bohan of Regina, this Friday, November 29th and Sunday, December 1 at 7pm and 11pm ET (8pm PT), and in the meantime, join our discussion on Facebook.

Are we too preoccupied with the new evangelization?

One of the first times that I heard the phrase “the new evangelization” was in John Paul II’s Apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (at the close of the Great Jubilee of 2000):

Over the years, I have often repeated the summons to the new evangelization. I do so again now, especially in order to insist that we must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardour of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost. We must revive in ourselves the burning conviction of Paul, who cried out: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (NMI 40).

It seems to me that the Holy Father was calling us to this new evangelization and that in order to do it effectively, he was giving us a pastoral plan. But today, everyone is speaking about the new evangelization. Pope Benedict created a Pontifical council for the new evangelisation and right here at S+L we’ve even created a whole series, The Church Alive, on the major themes of the new evangelization. But, are we putting all our eggs in the new evangelization basket? Are we making too much of this strategy? Are we too preoccupied with the new evangelisation?

That’s the question we’re asking this week on Perspectives: The Weekly Edition. Join me as I speak with Marcel Dion, from Magnificat Ministries  about how to best go about the work of evangelization.

When faith feels fragile


Asking what you do to strengthen your faith is a bit of a non-question. The answer is obvious: You pray, you go to the Sacraments, you read Scripture, you engage with a Parish community. But when your faith feels fragile, how do you strengthen it? Because most people who are struggling with faith and feeling like God is missing in action probably don’t want to strengthen their faith.

So that’s the question we’re asking this week: When your faith feels fragile, how do you strengthen it? Join Deacon Pedro for Perspectives: The Weekly Edition as he sits with Fr. Scott Hurd, of the Archdiocese of Washington and author of When Faith Feels Fragile, this Friday and Sunday at 7 and 11pm ET (8pm PT)

What was the WYD 2013 message for you?


Every WYD has a theme and WYD 2013 was no different. Matthew 28:19 “go and make disciples of all nations” inspired everything that happened in Rio de Janeiro this past summer. But Pope Francis was part of many events and celebrations. Outside of the four main World Youth Day events, he was part of some 13 non-World Youth Day events. And every time he spoke he had a specific message.

This week on a Weekly Edition of Perspectives, we’re asking, other than “go and make disciples of all nations” what was the WYD message for you?

So be sure to join Deacon Pedro and his two guests, two WYD Pilgrims, Oriana Bertucci, Director of Campus Ministry, Ryerson University and Catholic blogger and stay-at-home-dad, Josh Canning, as they remember World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro and especially focus on all of Pope’s Francis’ messages during the week-long event.

Perspectives: The Weekly Edition, this Friday, October 18, 2013 7pm and 11pm ET (8pm PT) and
Sunday, October 20, 2013, 7pm and 11pm ET (8pm PT).

Do you have to be dead to be a saint?

It’s true that in order to be declared a saint you have to be dead; you also have to have two confirmed miracles! But is that what sainthood is about? Do you really have to be dead in order to be a saint? Is there anyone you know whom you’d call a saint? Does being a Saint mean more than just someone who is in Heaven? These are some of the questions that we’ll be looking at in this all-new Perspectives: The Weekly Edition.

Join Deacon Pedro as he sits with Sr. Marie Paul Curley, FSP, co-author of two new books, Saints Alive! The Faith Proclaimed and Saints Alive! The Gospel Witnessed to speak about holiness and sainthood tonight, Friday, October 11, 2013 or Sunday, October 13, 2013, 7 and 11pm ET (8pm PT), and join our discussion on Facebook

Can WYD change a country?


Most people know Brazil to be the home of the Amazon river and the home of the Amazon rainforest. Brazil is also known for its samba music, their soccer teams, Copacaba beach, the Christ the Redeemer Statue, the favela slums and the annual Carnival celebrations. Brazil is also the fifth largest country in the world in both size and population, with 200 million people, 74% of which are Catholic.

This summer, 2013, WYD will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the second time it will take place in Latin America, the fist time in Brazil and the first time in a Portuguese speaking country. It will also be the first time with a Latin American pope.

This week, Deacon Pedro speaks with Fr. Willyans Prado Rapozo, CSJ about the Church of Brazil and what the fruits of World Youth Day can be for this country.

Be sure to tune in for an all-new Perspectives: the Weekly Edition, this Friday and Sunday, 7 and 11pm ET; 8pm PT.

Are you saved?


On May 22, 2013, Pope Francis’ daily homily in the Chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae was inspired by the passage from the 9th chapter of Mark in which the disciples tell Jesus that they tried to stop someone who was not one of their party from driving out demons. In one section of his homily, Pope Francis made a comment that brought into the spotlight the concepts of salvation and redemption, especially as they concern non-Catholics.

This week Deacon Pedro speaks with Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and English-Language Collaborator with the Vatican Press Office, about the explanatory note that he wrote clarifying the Church’s teaching on salvation and redemption. They are joined by Dr. Josephine Lombardi, professor of Pastoral and Systematic Theology at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. Together they address these important questions: What is salvation? What is redemption? What does it mean that I am saved? And, was the Pope saying that even atheists are saved?

Join us for an all-new Weekly Edition of Perspectives, this Friday and Sunday at 7 and 11pm ET, 8pm PT and join our discussion on Facebook.

How can we stop gendercide, if we can’t even discuss it?

While pro-choice activists often describe their cause as a “settled question”, a majority of Canadians remain decidedly unsettled by certain abortion practices. According to a 2011 poll, 92% of Canadians disapprove of sex-selective abortion, also known as female gendercide. And yet, as the Canadian Medical Association Journal has reported, it’s happening right here in Canada.

While it seems most federal politicians would rather not discuss it, the issue is being brought to their doorstep. “End Female Gendercide” is the theme of this year’s National March for Life, which begins on Parliament Hill on Thursday, May 9 at noon.

As pro-lifers prepare to March for Life, Perspectives: The Weekly Edition examines the issue with guests Dr. Moira McQueen from the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, Peter D. Murphy from the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, and Rebecca Richmond from the National Campus Life Network.

A world without Catholic Charities?

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Many people have asked what the world would look like without the Catholic Church. Well, one obvious difference would be the absence of all the Catholic charity agencies and the wonderful and important work that they do. In many cases, there would be no charity agencies at all, had the Catholic Church not first started doing this work.

One of the most important values of the Christian faith is love for those in need, those who, for any reason are weak. When Jesus says “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”(Matthew 25:40), he is telling us that the work of charity is what brings us closer to God.

How often is it, in so many places in the world, where, after a war, natural catastrophe or social crises, the Catholic Church is the only entity on the ground helping those in need? This may not be as obvious in North America as in developing nations, but the reality is that, even in First World nations, the Catholic Church is the world leader when it comes to providing care for the needy. In Canada, a country known for its vast social services, many of these government agencies would not exist, not even the education system, had the work not been first done by the Catholic Church.

In the biggest city in Canada, Toronto, the Catholic Church is on the front lines. The Archdiocese of Toronto is a much larger area spanning from Lake Ontario on the south, the town of Orangeville on the West, the city of Oshawa on the East and the town of Midland to the North, including almost 5.5 million Catholics. In this great area, help is provided throughout by 29 Catholic agencies serving various groups: community and family services, people with special needs, seniors, children and youth and young parents.

Catholic Charities is the organization of the Archdiocese of Toronto that coordinates these 29 agencies and all the charitable work in the archdiocese. Most Torontonians and people from the surrounding communities will be familiar with ShareLife, the fundraising arm of the Archdiocese. But many have not heard of Catholic Charities. When you donate to ShareLife you’re donating to Catholic Charities. 90% of the funding that goes to Catholic Charities comes from the money donated to ShareLife. And so, through these two partners, one that raises funds and the other that coordinates administrative services between the agencies, great work is being done very effectively!

We want to highlight Catholic Charities in a special way this year. Founded in 1913, this year it is celebrating its 100th anniversary: One hundred years of helping those who are in need, the poor, the weak, the marginalised, the forgotten, the stranger; everyone who needs a merciful hand.

To celebrate this occasion Deacon Pedro invited executive directors of three Catholic Charities agencies from the Archdiocese of Toronto: Kelly MacKenzie of Silent Voice Canada, Dominic Conforti of Mary Centre and Anna Pavan of Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers, to tell us more about the work of Catholic Charities in Toronto and to give us a insight into what a world without charitable organizations would be like.

Join us for this discussion this Friday and Sunday, on Perspectives: The Weekly Edition at 7 and 11pm ET / 8pm PT. In the meantime, take part in the discussion on Facebook.