KARONGA, Malawi – Mawali's information, communication and technology ministry praised the country's Catholic media this week for their evangelization efforts as part of the 51st Communications Sunday.

Published in International

Sometimes a 2,000-year-old entity well versed in spreading its word can still use a hand.

Published in Canada

Despite our busy and often conflicting schedules, my parents, brother and I try to eat at least one meal a day together. During this time, we share stories, make jokes and catch up on each other’s lives.

Published in YSN - Columns

Like E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Independence Day, and a host of similar films over the past 30 years, Arrival explores the theme of an alien visitation to Earth.

Published in Movie News

VATICAN CITY - With a simple tap, Pope Francis joined Instagram and quickly set a record for gaining one million followers.

Published in Vatican

WASHINGTON - Mother Angelica "reflected the Gospel commission to go forth and make disciples of all nations" said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. bishops' conference.

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VATICAN CITY - For World Communications Day 2016, Pope Francis has chosen the theme "Communication and Mercy: A fruitful encounter."

Published in Vatican

The Vatican is dragging its media machine into the 21st century, promising to promote social media and streamline its fragmented services with the help of a former BBC executive.

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VATICAN CITY - Eradicating male and female identities does nothing to solve the problem of unfair or disrespectful treatment based on people's gender, Pope Francis said.

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TORONTO - Parents of Toronto Catholic kindergarten pupils are becoming better equipped to support, enhance and enrich the development of their child’s communication skills.

Published in Education

HAMILTON, ONT. - What is the secret to a long and happy marriage? Communication and being able to understand each other’s point of view, say Eugene and Regina Jasin. They should know — the couple, natives of Lithuania, are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year.

They were among 475 couples recognized by the diocese of Hamilton for celebrating 25, 40, 50 and 60 or more years of married life in 2012 during the annual Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Sept. 9. The Mass was celebrated by Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby.

The Jasins said although seven decades have passed, they cannot remember one time when they had a serious argument. This is despite the fact they have experienced some terrible stresses, such as fleeing for Germany on horseback with their infant daughter in the face of the communist takeover of their land during the Second World War.

“The main thing you have to understand is the other person, because it’s not exactly the same as what you’re thinking,” said Eugene. “The other person has different thoughts, so you have to accept what someone else thinks and talk it over.”

Ron and Mary Smithson were at the Mass having celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary just the day before. They have been imparting their wisdom about married life to couples for well over two decades as founding members of the marriage preparation course in their parish of St. Francis Xavier in Stoney Creek, Ont.

“We were busy all our lives and didn’t have a lot of material wealth, but we had a lot of love and a lot of family,” said Mary.

“We always worked together raising the family; it wasn’t just her job or my job,” added Ron. “It was our job and that’s the way we looked at life all the way. We’ve had some good times and bad times, but we get through them all. One of the blessings is we were married on Sept. 8 … that’s Our Lady’s birthday and that’s someone who has been in our life all along.”

The Smithsons point to compromise, openness, honesty and not emphasizing material goods as key aspects to a successful marriage.

“Marriage is about compromise. What you were before you were married and what you are after is going to change. But both of you change,” said Ron.

During his homily, Crosby said the couples in the church served as a testament and witness to God’s goodness and love.

“Today is a day of celebration, a celebration of enduring love and fulfilled commitment,” he said. “It is both a reminder and a renewal of the promises made on the day you married many years ago.”

He added that each couple present was a living reminder of God’s love and its permanence. “Your marriages tell all of us, but especially young people, that lasting love is possible,” he said.

Crosby spent some two hours in the parish hall after the Mass, meeting each of the couples and posing for photos with them.

Teresa Hartnett, director of the diocese’s Family Ministry Office, said the Wedding Anniversary Mass has been held annually for some three decades and is a reflection of the Church’s desire to honour a foundational vocational aspect of the Catholic faith.

“It’s just continued to grow and grow every year,” she said, adding the event is also a part of the diocese’s overall commitment to strengthening family life, in addition to the Retrouvaille program for troubled marriages, Marriage Encounter weekends, marriage enrichment evenings and referrals for counselling.

(Gosgnach is a freelance writer in Hamilton, Ont.)

Published in Features

“I wish to register a complaint.”  This famous opening line of the Dead Parrot skit by Monty Python, I hereby appropriate to register a blanket complaint concerning cyberlouts.

Cyberlouts come in a variety of guises, including those who persist in using cellphones when I am trying to speak with them. Faced with such rudeness in private conversation, I can (and do) walk away. No big deal.

Published in Guest Columns