Canada’s Novalis celebrates 75th anniversary

Our friends at Novalis, Canada’s premier publisher of religious books, resources and periodicals, are celebrating the company’s 75th anniversary this year.

A visit to the company’s website reveals books, magazines and resources for parishes and schools, but also “for people who are on their own spiritual journey,” points out is publishing director, Joseph Sinasac.

He said the Toronto-based publishing house grew out of a movement in ’30s, ’40s and ’50s for the development of lay Catholics. Its first product was a missalette for people in the pews to follow along with the Latin Mass. Today, he said, Novalis helps lay Catholics “understand how their own faith can guide and enrich their lives, whether at home, or in the workplace, or simply as citizens in the world.”

Novalis is planning a series of events around Canada to mark its anniversary. Keep track by following it on its Facebook page.

Charity bike ride aims to raise funds for pro-life groups

By Nicholas Grevas
Catholic News Service

At about 5:30 a.m. yesterday, Jimmy Becker and Michael Schaefer and a few others set out by bicycle from Covington, La., near New Orleans, and headed to Champaign, Ill. They are leading the third annual Biking for Babies tour. Check the site for video from the ride and a daily update. It’s an eight-day charity ride that aims to raise $15,000 for pro-life groups and crisis pregnancy centers. Becker and Schaefer are being joined by Stacy Hague, Eric Johannigmeier and Kevin Biese.

Along the way they plan to stop at parishes and radio stations to promote their event and increase awareness about the pro-life cause. The money they raise will go to three charities: the University of Illinois Students for Life, and a crisis pregnancy center in Illinois, called Living Alternatives, and a second pregnancy crisis center in Madison, Wis.

(Photo courtesy of Biking for Babies)

In 2008 Becker and Schaefer thought of the idea to do a pro-life charity ride, and in 2009 they rode from Carbondale, Ill., to Chicago. While other students enjoyed a welcome weeklong spring break, the two young men were out answering the call of Blessed John Paul II to “defend life and to change the culture of death,” as Becker put it in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service before this year’s ride began.

The event wasn’t always so easily coordinated. In 2010, the two led separate rides because Becker had graduated from the University of Illinois in 2009 and was working in campus ministry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Schaefer was still at Illinois (where he’ll be a senior this fall), and their respective spring breaks were at different times.

But this year they are on the road together with their three friends, knowing riding in the heat could be a challenge but hoping their commitment will inspire others to join them and help Biking for Babies grow into a long-standing tradition.