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Call Basilian Father Bob Kasun a most reluctant bishop. "I find this appointment shocking and really hard to handle," he said in a June 17 interview. When he started receiving mysterious phone messages from Ottawa one Friday afternoon, leaving a woman's first name and a number to call, he deleted them from his phone. Maybe it was a telephone solicitor or some sort of scam.
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'Don't be afraid," Archbishop Richard Smith told young people travelling to Kraków, Poland for World Youth Day. "Go with open hearts and understand that Jesus takes nothing and gives everything." Smith presided at the commissioning Mass for World Youth Day June 12 at Holy Rosary Church, a Polish church. Dozens of young men and women wearing the red and white T-shirt of the Canadian delegation attended the Mass - their last official activity before they depart for Poland in mid-July.
On Saturday, July 9 at 11 a.m. in St. Joseph's Basilica, Archbishop Richard Smith will ordain 4 more men to the permanent diaconate. As well, Roger-Karol Niedzielski will be ordained a transitional deacon, a step towards priestly ordination.
Bishop John Noonan of Orlando, Fla., urged people of faith "to turn their hearts and souls" to God and pray for the victims, the families and first responders following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history June 12. "A sword has pierced the heart of our city," Noonan said in a statement. "The healing power of Jesus goes beyond our physical wounds but touches every level of our humanity: physical, emotional, social, spiritual," he said.
On the rocky shoreline of the Hebridean island of Iona, a rambling grey-stone abbey stands amid wind-tossed purple heather, surrounded by Celtic crosses and ancient earthworks. When the Irish St. Columba settled here with a dozen monks in the sixth century, it was a dangerous, forbidding place, peopled by Pictish tribes and feuding warlords. Today, in peaceful times, it's still a stark setting for religious contemplation.
In the small dormitory room that smelled of moist modelling clay, dozens of statues of a laughing Jesus lined wooden shelves against a wall. The small plaster statuettes showed the Lord reclining on the ground against a rock, his eyes pinched tight and his hand on his chest, which was inflated with a hearty hoot. "As students become deacons, I give them one," said Edward Gibney, 54, a Canadian seminarian and sculptor from Saskatoon.
Although many have argued in recent centuries that there is no such thing as a miracle and that the Gospels' miracle stories were either invented or can be "scientifically" explained, something must have been going on. Why would the synoptic Gospels have contained the accusation that Jesus was in league with Beelzebul - an accusation that puts Jesus in a bad light - unless it had actually been made?