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Traveling icon stirs devotion to Joseph

St. Joseph the Worker icon

December 15, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The visit of the icon of St. Joseph the Worker to parishes and schools across the Edmonton Archdiocese brought awareness about the role of St. Joseph and increased devotion to the diocese's patron saint. In mid-November, the icon and historical exhibit created for the Jubilee 100 Year ended an 18-month journey to more than 70 parishes across the archdiocese as well as Catholic schools, festivals and youth rallies.

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School district names its newest schools

December 15, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – After naming its new schools for local Catholic personalities in recent years, Edmonton Catholic Schools will turn to a mix of the local and traditional in school names when a batch of newly-approved schools open in 2016. "We do not have any set policy," says Lori Nagy, Edmonton Catholic Schools Manager of Media and Community Relations. "When we are looking for names we post information on our district website asking people to send in their submission, there is a deadline date and the board will review those names. Of course, the archbishop is also involved."

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No Room in the Inn supports housing for mentally ill

No Room in the Inn logo

December 15, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Joseph's face saddened as he turned and walked out of the inn. No room. Again. Yet Mary, heavy with child, was about to give birth. Finally he turned to the only shelter he could see – the stable behind the inn. Warmed by the heat of the stable animals, a bed of soft straw, and Mary, surrounded by the animals, gave birth to her son, Our Saviour, Jesus. Cradling her child, Mary wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in the manger. And love surrounded him.

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Muslims, Jews, Christians meet to promote peace

Yasmeen Quraishi Nizam

December 15, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As war rages in the Middle East and racial tensions heighten in the United States, leaders of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths condemned violence and spoke of peace at Edmonton City Hall Dec. 6. The event, titled Voices of Peace from Abraham's Children, was sponsored by the Phoenix Multi-Faith Society for Harmony, an Edmonton group whose goal is to promote bridge-building and understanding among Christians, Muslims and Jews. "I feel that Islam, the religion that defines me, has been unjustifiably hijacked by (extremists)," said Yasmeen Quraishi Nizam, presiding co-chair of the society and the event's emcee.

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Hidden behind the veil is a new heaven, new earth

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Over the last 500 years, writes the Canadian Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor in his book A Secular Age, the Western world has been transformed into a society of "disenchantment." By saying that society is disenchanted, Taylor does not mean that it has become fed up or disillusioned. Rather, he means the widespread sense that spiritual forces are at work which will protect us and ultimately triumph over evil has been lost. Prior to the onset of disenchantment, Taylor argues, people naturally assumed there was a thin veil between the material and the spiritual, and that the material world, including human persons, was constantly being affected by the actions of spiritual beings.

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Mainstream media turns its back on pro-life voices

December 29, 2014

One reason I write to the WCR is because it is one of the few papers in this country which still publishes pro-life letters. There is more freedom of speech and assembly in other countries, like Russia (letters to newspapers) and the United States (that is, bubble zones around Canadian abortion mills). I could write to The Edmonton Journal or Edmonton Sun, but my pro-life letter would likely go unpublished.

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Returning Catholics get frigid response

December 29, 2014

Does the media hype overstate the propensity of Pope Francis to revisit some formerly rigid positions? Some of the suggested cage-rattlings are obviously sensationalist. But his refreshing overtures towards the Orthodox Church are most encouraging, as is his decision to allow Eastern Catholic churches to ordain married men. Perhaps he may also have a more welcoming attitude than some high-ranking officials have had to former Catholics returning home, after having spent much of their lives believing they were good Catholic priests under an Anglican jurisdiction that professed the Catholic faith and lovingly celebrated a traditional Catholic liturgy.

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Questions surround genetically modified food

December 29, 2014

This is in response to "Petition opposes modern agriculture" (WCR letters, Dec 15) and in defence of CCODP. The current issue of Turning Point (Fall 2014, page 8), the publication of Physicians for Global Survival, raises some pertinent questions concerning genetically-modified foods. Although the aim of GM food is to provide enough food to feed the world's ever increasing population and to improve the quality of our food, has the safety of this food in humans been thoroughly researched? Why have many countries in the world banned GM foods? If it is so safe, why in North America is it allowed in our food chain without labeling so that consumers cannot identify genetically modified products?

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Sisters' foundation seeks ecological balance

Bob McKeon

December 29, 2014

In recent weeks, there has been much in the news about the latest UN climate change conference in Lima, Peru. Articulate Catholic voices were raised during the conference. Pope Francis sent a personal message with a sense of urgency saying "the time for seeking global solutions is running out" and that there exists "a clear, definitive and unpostponable, ethical imperative to act."

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Feast of Mary, Mother of God, had wild origins

Visits with Mary Logo – Small

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The beginning of each new year is marked in Catholic churches around the world as the feast of Mary, the holy mother of God. While this feast is generally a quiet one, its peacefulness betrays the excitement that surrounded the declaration of the Council of Ephesus in 431 that Mary is mother of God, Theotokos. The movement that led to that declaration might be seen as having begun with the Edict of Milan in 313 which legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire and brought an end to the era of persecution of the Christian faith.

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