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Christians called to be agents of unity

Strathcona County Ecumenical Mission – Logo – Small

October 20, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Christians are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation, said Paulist Father Thomas Ryan and Episcopal Canon William Derby, mission leaders for the 25th annual Strathcona County Ecumenical Mission. The pair took turns giving the sermon at an evening service at Sherwood Park United Church Oct. 6. Christians have a ministry of reconciliation that begins in our inner lives and spreads to family, friends, colleagues, Church and the world, they said.

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Some aging Oblates to move from St. Albert facility

Bro. Tom Cavanaugh

October 20, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Some elderly residents at Foyer Lacombe, the Oblate Fathers retirement home in St. Albert, will soon have to move out as the order has decided to shut down part of the residence. Dwindling membership and the high cost of private health care are cited as reasons for the decision to close New Foyer, the wing that houses residents requiring nursing care. The other wing of the residence, known as First Foyer, will continue to house 16 to 19 independent living residents. "We are getting out of the long-term care business; we are not getting out of the business of caring for our Oblates," said Rob Meilleur, chief administrative officer for the Oblates in Canada.

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Lectures depict future pope as a young radical

Fr. Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II

October 20, 2014
JONATHAN LUXMOORE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WARSAW, POLAND – Less than six months after St. John Paul II was canonized, questions are being raised about a book of lectures he penned as a young priest in his Polish homeland. The two-volume Katolicka Etyka Spoleczna (The Catholic Social Ethic) has never been officially published. But it could, some observers said, affect interpretations of the future pope's philosophical development, highlighting a youthful commitment to radical change which sounded, at times, close to Marxism. "The text certainly reveals how he viewed the political realities of the early 1950s, as well as his deep sensitivity to social issues," said Msgr. Alfred Wierzbicki, director of the John Paul II Institute at Poland's Catholic University of Lublin.

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Parishes find different ways to minister to children

Kendra Stewart

October 20, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Children are an important part of the Church family. The basis for having separate ministry programs for children is that they have specific needs. Kids learn differently than adults and typically have shorter attention spans. Therefore, priests, pastoral associates and teachers across the Edmonton Archdiocese turn to Sunday school, children's liturgies, teaching Masses and other child-specific programs in an effort to meet the unique needs of their younger parishioners. At Holy Trinity Parish in Spruce Grove/Stony Plain, children's liturgy draws about 30 to 60 children at each of the three weekend Masses. "The benefit to the kids coming in here for children's liturgy as opposed to sitting out there at the regular Mass is that they're hearing the same thing but they're hearing it at their own level," said Sheila Rossi, the parish's children's liturgy coordinator.

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'Gaudium et Spes' reflected the spirit of post-war Europe

November 3, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) was the crowning achievement of the Second Vatican Council. There is no document remotely like it in the history of the Church, and it should be regarded as an act of providence, rather than deliberate design, that Vatican II was able to produce such a statement. Gaudium et Spes arose out of the folding-together of various documents the council was preparing and giving those documents a more solid theological foundation than had been found in earlier Catholic social teaching.

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Media bias is different than what writer said

November 3, 2014

This is a response to Celia Paz's letter in the Oct. 6 WCR. We tend to agree that mainstream media and social media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict tends to be biased and constrained. However, we are not sure what coverage Paz is referring to because the mainstream media we hear and read commonly portray Israel as an aggressor.

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L'Arche offers lifein the heart of God

November 3, 2014

I would like to thank Glen Argan for the article entitled "Church should cherish hidden life of Nazareth" (WCR, Sept. 22). As a stay-at-home mom with three young children, I do agree that it can at times feel lonely and unsatisfying leading a "hidden," ordinary life, dedicated to the largely thankless task of raising a family.

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Canada drags its heels as Church speaks clearly on climate change

Bob McKeon

November 3, 2014

Environmental concerns have been very much in the news over the past weeks. Last month, on the occasion of the UN Summit Climate, more than 300,000 people marched together in New York to support a call for effective and timely action on climate change. There is a strong sense of urgency. Unless major changes are made in current governmental policies, practices and commitments, it is almost certain that global warming will exceed two degrees C by 2100, the generally accepted limit by scientific and government authorities around the world. National leaders came from around the world to speak, with our prime minister being a notable exception.

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As days grow shorter, it is time to pray by flickering candles

Lasha Morningstar

November 3, 2014

Night comes sooner. Mornings later. Halloween is just past. That's usually when it's the first time we light a candle in the fall. Fat, juicy pumpkins are hollowed out, the seeds spread under the trees for the birds and then a jolly face carved in the front. A thick white candle is lit, a few drops dripped down to the inside base to give needed support. The flame is blown out, and the candle is placed inside the grinning lantern. At dusk, the candle is lit. (Wooden matches are safest.)

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Church, Caesar are uneasy partners

WCR Logo

November 3, 2014

One unfortunate fallout of the extensive media coverage of the bishops' synod on the family is that it plays into the widespread perception that the only societal issues with which the Catholic Church is concerned are those dealing with human life, the family and sex. Of course, the Church is and ought to be vitally concerned with those issues, but there are many others as well. Coincidentally, the end of the synod fell next to a Sunday when the Gospel reading included Jesus' much-abused statement, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22.21). The statement is misunderstood when it is used to assert that the Church should not concern itself with political matters.

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