Diocese slates service to mark centennial year


The Toledo Catholic Diocese's celebration of its centenary year will include an Ecumenical Vespers Service at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at St. Francis de Sales Chapel, 501 Cherry St.

Bishop Leonard Blair will preside at the service in which the entire community is invited. Bishop Marcus Lohrmann of the Northwest Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is among the religious leaders who will attend.

The Toledo diocese was founded on April 15, 1910, and has more than 300,000 members in 19 counties.

The territory had been part of the Cleveland, Bardstown, Ky., Baltimore, and Quebec, Ontario, dioceses before its founding.

Other centenary celebrations will be held in the coming months.

The MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio is encouraging members of all area churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques to attend a program on "Square Foot Gardening" set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Mott Branch Library, 1085 Dorr St.

The program, led by Toledo GROWs, will teach people how to start gardens that can provide food, feed the hungry, and promote responsible environmental stewardship. Information is available by calling Woody Trautman at 419-475-6535.

A local observance of Yoga Day USA will be held Jan. 23 at the University of Toledo, sponsored by the Yoga Teachers of Northwest Ohio.

Classes designed to promote health and wellness through yoga will be taught between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for people of all ages and physical ability in the UT Recreation Center.

Registration is $15 for the day or $10 for half day, available online at yogateachersnwohio.com/events.php.

A group of students from Lourdes College will join with an estimated 200,000 people in the 37th annual March for Life in Washington on Friday.

The event is held on the anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that liberalized abortion laws.

"Participating in the March is a deeply moving experience, knowing that we have the privilege to gather peacefully with thousands of others and to express our conviction to our elected leaders that all human life must be treated with reverence and dignity," said Sister Barbara Vano, director of campus ministry at Lourdes College.

WASHINGTON - The Iranian government's plans to put seven Baha'i leaders on trial for spying and acting against the nation's security has been denounced by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

"We are extremely concerned about the fate of the seven Baha'is, who could face the death penalty for several of the charges leveled against them [Tuesday] in court," said Leonard Leo, the commission's chairman. "It appears that the Iranian government already predetermined the outcome and is once again using its courts as an instrument of religious persecution in blatant violation of international human rights laws."

The U.S. State Department and numerous other groups and agencies have strongly condemned the trial.

Prayer vigils and meetings have been held by the local Baha'i community in support of the seven imprisoned leaders.

Since 1979 when Islamic clerics came to power, the Iranian government has banned the Baha'i religion, founded in the 1860s by Baha'u'llah, a Persian nobleman considered a prophet by the Baha'is. Islam considers Muhammad the last of the prophets.