TRC draws to a close, but aboriginal issues remain unresolved

Bob McKeon

May 18, 2015

In a few weeks, in Ottawa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will come to a close. On June 1 the TRC will present its final report. There will be formal closing ceremonies at Rideau Hall on June 2. These events will mark an important moment in the long, challenging story of the Indian residential schools, and of everyone associated with the schools.

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It takes a cloud of witnesses to mediate faith

May 18, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

How marvellous it would be if we all could have a vision of Jesus with the same power as that experienced by St. Paul on the road to Damascus. A light from heaven flashed around him and Jesus spoke: "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9.5). After that, how could there be any doubt? There would no longer be any need to question whether there is a God, whether Jesus is God become human. It would all have been revealed with greater power than any Hollywood special effects team could muster.

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Faith gives new eyes to help us see

May 4, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

From a Christian perspective, the most striking development of the last 50 years in the Western world is the declining practice of faith. Where, not that long ago, Christian belief was part of the DNA of most Europeans and North Americans, it is now the preserve of a minority. The vast majority of Canadians say they believe in God, but it is hard to discern what that actually means. Is that belief the last tidbit of something inherited from their grandparents, or is it a seed that will grow into something glorious with proper watering? What is faith anyway? Is it a firm adherence to the Church's dogmatic and moral tenets? Is it a general adherence of the heart and mind to a mysterious Supreme Being who transcends the physical?

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Mary Hunt chosen to lead her CWL sisters

Mary Hunt
May 4, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Mary Hunt radiates the warmth of a sister, liberally giving hugs and dashing smiles everywhere she goes. Growing up in Calgary, the “cradle Catholic” also demonstrated the commitment of a sister, often hurriedly walking two miles to make it to school for the 9 o’clock bell, after attending the 7 a.m. Mass most days during Lent. As a teenager, she even harboured dreams of being a sister one day, and perhaps becoming a canon lawyer.

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Church rallies to support Nepalese quake victims

May 4, 2015
WCR NEWS SERVICES

KATHMANDU, NEPAL – More than 1.4 million people in Nepal are in immediate need of aid after the April 25 earthquake which devastated parts of the mountainous central Asian country. Pope Francis offered his prayers to all of those affected by the violent 7.8 magnitude earthquake, encouraged rescue and emergency workers in their efforts and sent an initial donation of US$100,000. As of April 28 more than 4,600 people were known to have been killed with thousands more still missing, feared trapped under the rubble.

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Hebert was swept up with love of the poor

Fr. Denis Hebert
May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Denis Hebert was perhaps the last of a generation of Canadian priests to intentionally make a preferential option for the poor. Inspired by Pope Paul VI's encyclical On the Development of People, which called on the Church to be on the side of the poor and the hungry, Hebert lived among the marginalized people of South and Central America for 46 years, the last 25 in Edgar Lang, a shantytown of Managua, Nicaragua. There he helped the people establish cooperatives, child and youth programs and health clinics, among other developments.

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CWL pioneers paved the way for pope's Joy of the Gospel

Bob McKeon
May 4, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Katherine Hughes and the women who founded the Catholic Women's League with her in Edmonton in 1912 provided prime examples of how Pope Francis' The Joy of the Gospel can be put into action, says Bob McKeon. In delivering the keynote address at the CWL diocesan convention in Edson, McKeon spoke of Hughes' role in gathering Catholic women with a real concern to protect and support the immigrant women and girls who had come to Edmonton a century ago seeking work. Out of concern that the young women would be taken advantage of and made victims of injustice, they set up employment centres, helped the transient women find housing, and quickly set up a hostel along with some of the religious orders, mobilizing partnerships with government to fund their work, he said.

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Alta. Knights reject casino fundraising . . . again

Bill Smith
May 4, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Alberta Knights of Columbus have again rejected casino fundraising by their member councils. At their April 17-19 convention in Red Deer, the order ruled out of order a motion to allow their 170 active councils across Alberta and the Northwest Territories to raise money for charitable causes by working at casinos. "We support our bishops," said state deputy Bill Smith of Calgary. "It violates our constitution to go counter to our bishops."

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Bible School director touched thousands of lives

Kilian O'Donovan
May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Kilian O'Donovan spent his life serving the Lord and helping others get closer to Jesus. He touched thousands of lives both as leader of the charismatic movement and director of the John Paul II Bible School in Radway. "He was a very passionate follower of Jesus," recalls O'Donovan's friend and former Bible School student Roger Lamoureux. More than 1,000 young people graduated from the Bible School in its 25-year stint and most of them are serving in Church ministries across Western Canada and beyond.

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Schools' foundation recruits Barylo to provide leadership, raise funds

Marc Barylo
May 4, 2015
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

EDMONTON – Marc Barylo, a long-time vice-president with Catholic Social Services, has been named the new executive director of the Edmonton Catholic Schools Foundation (ECSF). Barylo served 30 years with CSS as chief development and community relations officer, leading the agency's fundraising efforts, including its highly successful annual Sign of Hope campaign. At the Edmonton Catholic Schools Foundation, he will be responsible for a two-year-old organization with a mandate to raise public awareness about the benefits of Catholic education and to enhance funding for Catholic schools in Edmonton.

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