Press Room

Catholics Evangelize with Popcorn [Oct.9.15]

Ottawa father John Pacheco brought his five daughters and some members of the Legionnaires of St. Maurice, a men’s group he leads at his parish, to help out at the booth and to get ideas for their own evangelization projects.  Pacheco said he wanted his kids and the men in his group to see “evangelization is a normal part of life” and not a “hard sell” where someone “presses a button and you put on your evangelization face.”  “Most Catholics have never been involved in evangelization” he said. “We keep talking about the new evangelization, but nobody ever does anything. It’s all talk, talk, talk.  Helping out at the fair gives the men in his group a chance to see how people react. “It’s all about practice,” he said. Next year they might rent the booth next door and add some other elements, including music and a man dressed as a medieval knight to help spark questions and opportunities to talk about chivalry and Catholic moral teaching. (Source)

Homosexual parade rerouted to pass St. Patrick’s Basilica [Aug.28.15]

A rerouting of Ottawa’s homosexual parade Aug. 23 took marchers past the front of St. Patrick’s Basilica, prompting some Catholics to mount a protest. The historic basilica is one of the busiest parishes in the archdiocese. One group of Catholics begged the mayor in an open letter to move the start of the parade from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. so as not to interfere with the noon Sunday Mass.  Social activist and blogger ( John Pacheco, who organized a 15,000-strong March for Marriage in 2005, urged men to gather in front of the basilica to pray the rosary with their backs turned to the parade. About 40-50 men and women arrived shortly before 1 p.m. and began to pray.  Pacheco said he decided to urge prayers to turn their backs because he was not sure whether there would be nudity in the parade. He also thought having backs turned would encourage those participating to pray rather than engage in any arguments or confrontations.  But Pacheco ended up in a confrontation with a member of St. Patrick’s Pastoral Council, who told him they were being provocative. Sheila Jones sought the assistance of the basilica’s pastor, Father Bosco Wong, who asked Pacheco to stop the sidewalk prayer. The priest invited them to come inside to pray.  Pacheco told the protestors to listen to their own consciences, but he was going to do as the priest wished and go inside. About 25 people followed him, while about 10-20 remained outdoors.  “I had no option,” said Pacheco in an interview. “If we went against the pastor, we lost. We would be a house divided.” Pacheco has recently founded a men’s group called the Legionnaires of St. Maurice to help men to lead virtuous lives as Catholics as fathers, husbands, and single men. “In the past, I’ve done my own thing as an activist,” he said. “When you start to lead any organization that claims to be Catholic, there are certain things you have to give up. You have to understand there’s a bigger team at play here.”  “Part of being a Catholic is to obey,” he said. “When what you are being asked to do something not objectively evil, even if you don’t agree with it, you have to obey.”  Though he found the experience humbling, he said his decision to go pray inside “was a better move from a spiritual point of view.” But Pacheco hopes the Archdiocese as a whole will address the rerouting of the Pride Parade. “As a Church community we have to address what Catholics are permitted to do, in light of the provocation in changing the route.”   (Source)


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