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During the wildfire of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit sets all flesh free

Peace of The Holy Spirit

June 9, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The feast of Pentecost has traditionally been seen as the third most important feast in the Church, more important than any feast other than Easter and Christmas. Perhaps the importance of Pentecost is creeping back into our imagination. But when it is raised to higher importance, it is often domesticated as the "birthday" of the Church. Religious art depicting the descent of the Holy Spirit also tends to be static showing Mary and a collection of disciples neatly sitting in orderly rows or in a semi-circle while little flames sit above their heads.

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Palliative care motion wins Commons approval

Charlie Angus

June 9, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Canada's Catholic bishops, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) and other groups are welcoming the passage of a motion to bring in a national palliative care strategy. The House of Commons passed NDP MP Charlie Angus private member's Motion 456 May 28 almost unanimously. Only one Bloc Quebecois MP was opposed. "Today in the House of Commons, we have all main parties, especially the government, standing up on the need to establish a pan-Canadian palliative care strategy," Angus told journalists after the vote.

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St. Gabriel parents win battle to save south-side school

June 9, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Ottewell neighbourhood will be home to a new state-of-the-art school after the Catholic School Board decided to close three aging schools in southeast Edmonton. Trustees voted to close St. Kevin, St. Brendan and St. James schools but, in a surprising move, they decided to spare St. Gabriel in the Capilano neighbourhood. "This shows our community's voice was heard," said a jubilant Lana Brenneis, head of St. Gabriel's parent advisory council and spokesperson for the Greater Hardisty Community Sustainability Coalition.

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St. Brendan parents upset with abrupt school closure

June 9, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – After more than 40 years serving the Ottewell community in southeast Edmonton, St. Brendan Catholic School will close at the end of June so construction of a new replacement school can start on its site. The chair of the school's parents' advisory committee says she and other parents are "frustrated and upset" the school is being closed with little notice. "We were always told that we had another year to plan and coordinate and get the kids used to the idea of going someplace else and now we have a month," parents' council president Sherry Stewart told the WCR.

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Pope, patriarch express yearning for greater communion

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

June 9, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Half a century after an historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the same place to seek inspiration for Christian unity at the site of Christ's death and resurrection. "We need to believe that, just as the stone before the tomb was cast aside, so, too, every obstacle to our full communion will also be removed," the pope said May 25 during a prayer service at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

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Parishes, schools make sacraments more available

Sr. Maria Therese

June 9, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Thanks to a pilot program that seeks to harmonize sacramental preparation across the Edmonton Archdiocese, some parishes and schools are doing a lot more talking and visiting. Pastors, school principals and sacramental coordinators in at least 10 parishes have been meeting for the past nine months to discuss sacramental preparation of children. Their aims are to ensure no child falls through the cracks when it comes to sacramental preparation and to bring families to a deeper understanding of the faith.

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Sanctum marks 10 years of restoring weary spirits

Sanctum Retreat House

June 9, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Spring tune-ups, regular maintenance. We maintain a multitude of things. We also maintain our minds and bodies. Exercise, diet, lifelong learning. But what about our spirit? Every now and then, Christians need a spiritual retreat, spent away from their everyday lives, for the purpose of reconnecting on a deeper level with God. While most retreats of generations ago were run by religious orders, members of those orders are aging and their numbers declining.

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ACSTA backs report urging teaching excellence

June 9, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – The Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association has thrown its support behind the provincial government's controversial Task Force for Teaching Excellence. In a May 16 press release, the ACSTA said it is encouraged that the taskforce made a commitment to excellence in teaching and school leadership its key "outcome." It also lauded Alberta Education for its collaborative approach to gathering reaction to the taskforce from all involved stakeholders.

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Feehan honoured for defending Catholic education

Kevin Feehan

June 9, 2014
CATHY JAMES
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Kevin Feehan not only lives his Catholic faith, but he integrates it into his professional life as well. A lawyer living in Edmonton, Feehan has consistently given back to the Catholic education community for three decades. His dedication to working to ensure Canadians have fair and proper access to Catholic education is why he was nominated and awarded the 2014 Justice James Higgins Award. The CCSTA's Higgins Award is presented annually in memory of Canadian Catholic school trustee and jurist, the Hon. Justice James Higgins.

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Priest appointments in Edmonton Archdiocese

June 9, 2014
Following are recent and upcoming appointments of priests in the Edmonton Archdiocese. The appointments take effect Aug. 13, unless otherwise indicated.

PARISHES IN EDMONTON

Annunciation Parish: Salesian Father John Mariapragasam, pastor.

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