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Catholic archdiocese apologizes to pride society for blocking White Rock event | CBC News

Catholic archdiocese apologizes to pride society for blocking White Rock event | CBC News

An LGBTQ+ pride society in B.C.’s Lower Mainland has received an apology from local Catholic church authorities, three years after a parish forbade them from hosting an event at a church-owned facility.

In April 2019, the White Rock Pride Society wanted to host a dinner-and-dance event at the Star of the Sea Community Centre in the city, which is located south of Vancouver.

However, the centre was owned by the Star of the Sea Parish. The parish told the society that the rental could not happen, because the pride society does not align with the values of the Catholic Church.

Ernie Klassen, president of the pride society, then filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Three years later, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver — the Catholic authority responsible for the Lower Mainland — has issued an apology to the society, after multiple meetings before the complaint went to tribunal.

“We came up finally with an agreement that we are all really happy with,” Klassen told CBC News. 

“It’s a win-win situation for the pride society as well as for the Catholic Church.”

In the public apology posted on the archdiocese’s website, the church said the meetings and apology were “aimed at repairing the relationship between White Rock Pride and the Parish.”

Ernie Klassen said in 2019 that the parish’s decision not to rent the hall to his organization for a pride event is discriminatory. He has now received an apology from the Vancouver archdiocese. (Nic Amaya/CBC)

“We acknowledge that these actions have resulted in increased divisiveness between our faith community and the LGBTQ2+ community, as well as with the individuals, including friends and family members, who support them,” the apology reads.

Klassen said the church committed to changing its policies to see how they can become more welcoming toward the LGBTQ+ community.

With regard to renting event space, he said local churches would have to now go through the archdiocese if the pride society requested a church-owned space.

Star of the Sea Community Centre in White Rock is owned by the local parish, Star of the Sea Parish. The parish now has to go through the archdiocese if they receive a rental request from the pride society. (Nic Amaya/CBC)

“We had a lot of members of the Catholic Church who reached out to us and thanked us for our work, to address the fact that the LGBTQ community did not feel welcome within the Catholic Church,” Klassen said.

He said he hopes B.C. churches have positive interactions with the LGBTQ+ community at the grassroots level going forward.

James Borkowski, delegate for operations at the Vancouver archdiocese, said he gives Klassen a lot of credit for being open with the church after he filed the complaint.

“In order to love better and to be a more welcoming church, sometimes we have to start with an apology for the times that we have not loved,” he said.

“As soon as we started that process, we found that we had a lot in common. We both agreed that this could be resolved much more amicably and even fruitfully through building the relationship — as opposed to spending more time with lawyers.”

Borkowski said he also hopes that the Catholic Church is more accepting of LGBTQ+ people going forward, and that they “emphasize the humanity” of those who wish to enter a dialogue with them.

As for the pride society, they said they would celebrate the announcement and organize more pride events going into July.

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French Catholic board holding ‘welcome to kindergarten’ events in May and June

French Catholic board holding ‘welcome to kindergarten’ events in May and June

Kindergarten registration is ongoing in Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon schools

Junior and senior kindergarten registration in Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon schools is ongoing. 

Parents wishing to discover the school in their community as well as the preschool learning areas are invited to communicate with their French-language Catholic school. 

Children born in 2018 who will start school in September 2022 as well as children born in 2017 who are presently homeschooled will also be invited to take part in the Welcome to Kindergarten events (Fête à la maternelle) to take place in May and June in all CSC Nouvelon elementary schools.

Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon schools offer full special needs programs, a quality English language program starting in grade 4 to ensure sustainable bilingualism, a curriculum instilled with Catholic values, access to state-of-the-art technology, and an environment that nurtures and promotes a sense of Francophone culture and identity. 

Students in CSC Nouvelon schools also attain superior academic results and graduate with a high level of bilingualism along with a solid grasp of the French language, said a press release from the school board.

The CSC Nouvelon welcomes children of Canadian citizens or immigrants whose first language learned and still understood is French as well as children of Canadian citizens whose grandparents’ first language was French. 

Children from immigrant families where the parents speak neither French nor English are also eligible.

For more information and a complete list of CSC Nouvelon’s elementary schools, visit


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Newman Catholic track wins five events at Edgar Invitational

Newman Catholic track wins five events at Edgar Invitational

Wausau Pilot & Review

EDGAR – The Edgar track teams combined for 15 titles and won both team championships at its home track and field meet Monday at Edgar High School.

The Edgar boys swept all four relays and had four individual victories, while the girls won six individual events and one relay to cruise to the team wins.

The Edgar boys finished with 169 points, more than double that of second-place Wausau Newman Catholic (86). Spencer was third with 77 points and Wisconsin Rapids Assumption fifth with 65.

The Edgar girls racked up 163 points, with Assumption second with 106, Newman Catholic third with 95 and Spencer seventh with 20 among the eight teams at the meet.

Morgan Schnelle won three girls races, taking first in the 100 meters (13.30 seconds), the 200 (27.51) and the 400 (1:02.42.

Amber Skrzypcak won the 100 hurdles in 17.51 seconds, Kyra Anderson took first in the discus with a toss of 99 feet, 5 inches, and Brooke Imhoff won the long jump with a leap of 14-2.5 for the Edgar girls. Edgar also won the 400 relay in 55.72.

Edgar won all four boys relay races, taking first in the 400 (46.52), 800 (1:38.67), 1,600 (3:47.84) and 3,200 (10:44.52).

Kohble Weisenberger won the boys 200 (24.08), Teegan Streit was first in the 300 hurdles (45.76), Ayden Weisenberger won the high jump (5-4) and Everet Brehm won the triple jump (41-2.5) as well for the Wildcats.

The Newman Catholic boys won three events and the girls two.

Nick Townsend won the 1,600 (5:14.75), Owen Sullivan was first in the shot put (40-3) and Sam Zeimetz was victorious in the discus (119-7) for the Newman boys.

The Newman girls 1,600 relay team of Mel Severson, Karianna Severson, Tomi Odeyemi and Olivia Fox won in 4:52.06) and Evie Bates took first in the girls high jump (4-6) for the Cardinals.

Click here for complete results, courtesy of 

Edgar Track Invitational
April 11, at Edgar High School
Team scores:
1. Edgar 169; 2. Wausau Newman Catholic 86; 3. Spencer 77; 4. Prentice 71; 5. Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 65; 6. Three Lakes/Phelps 57; 7. Rib Lake 41; 8. Laona/Wabeno 30.
Team scores:
1. Edgar 163; 2. Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 106; 3. Wausau Newman Catholic 95; 4. Three Lakes/Phelps 85; 5. Rib Lake 77; 6. Laona/Wabeno 31; 7. Spencer 20; 8. Prentice 3.