Nick Benson

OTHER NEWS

JOIN US FOR THE RE-DEDICATION EVENT -WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM BELOW AT NOON

THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

Prayers to say for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

At noon today (Sunday, 29 March), England will be rededicated as the Dowry of Mary. While celebrations have been scaled back for obvious reasons, Catholics can still make join in at home by saying the prayers below. You can say the prayers at any time of day, although...

Online Mass and CAFOD are helping fill the holes left in our Sundays

With the coronavirus pandemic causing Masses across the country to be cancelled, there is now a large demand for virtual worship – and Catholic charity CAFOD hopes its weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ will inspire families across the UK after the first session saw...

Catholic Churches in Europe opened to fight COVID-19

Catholic dioceses and religious orders across Europe are offering to turn church facilities into spaces needed for health care or housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church leaders throughout Europe have been struggling to maintain Catholic religious devotions...

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...

Priest keeps pro-life vigil outside Canadian Parliament for almost three decades

Jesuit Fr Tony Van Hee says nearly 30 years spent fasting and praying on Parliament Hill to end abortion have been the best years of his life.

At age 81, he has no plans of slowing down, despite a raft of rule changes that, among many restrictions, even limit his bathroom breaks.

“I have a need for solitude and the contemplative life of prayer and, oddly enough, I get that on Parliament Hill,” said the priest, a fixture on the Hill every day the House of Commons is in session, rain, shine, sweltering heat or even the bitter cold and snow of an Ottawa winter.

“I never really suffered much from the weather,” he said. “I dressed for it and I enjoyed being outside. The wind and the rain were the most bothersome because the signs would be blowing.”

Fr Van Hee’s prayer-and-fasting ministry began in 1989 through Operation Rescue, a pro-life organisation that used civil disobedience to protest abortion. He was inspired by the example of Kurt Gayle, a leader of Operation Rescue in Canada, who came to Parliament Hill in the summer of 1988 to protest the Supreme Court’s Morgentaler decision, which struck down Canada’s abortion law.

“He and another fellow fasted for 19 days and put a balloon up in the air every five minutes to signify an abortion was taking place in Canada,” Fr Van Hee said.

The following year, Fr Van Hee, who had been arrested three times with Operation Rescue, volunteered to join the fast. The priest had experience with long-term fasting. He said Gayle suggested “there are more people willing to go to jail than to fast,” so Fr Van Hee said, “I’ll fast.”

Picture: Fr Tony Van Hee, 81, who has prayed and fasted on Parliament Hill for an end to abortion every day the House of Commons is in session for almost 30 years, is seen outside Parliament on 20th June in Ottawa, Ontario. (CNS photo/Deborah Gyapong, The Catholic Register).

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OTHER NEWS

JOIN US FOR THE RE-DEDICATION EVENT -WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM BELOW AT NOON

THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

Prayers to say for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

At noon today (Sunday, 29 March), England will be rededicated as the Dowry of Mary. While celebrations have been scaled back for obvious reasons, Catholics can still make join in at home by saying the prayers below. You can say the prayers at any time of day, although...

Online Mass and CAFOD are helping fill the holes left in our Sundays

With the coronavirus pandemic causing Masses across the country to be cancelled, there is now a large demand for virtual worship – and Catholic charity CAFOD hopes its weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ will inspire families across the UK after the first session saw...

Catholic Churches in Europe opened to fight COVID-19

Catholic dioceses and religious orders across Europe are offering to turn church facilities into spaces needed for health care or housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church leaders throughout Europe have been struggling to maintain Catholic religious devotions...

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...