4. Consumerism sending society into ethical, cultural decline.

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Consumerism and individualism have seriously eroded traditional cultures and sent society into "ethical and cultural decline," says Pope Francis. An emphasis on economic growth has led to increased standardization through efforts to cut costs and simplify procedures, the pope said in a chapter on Integral Ecology in his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home.

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5. Pope Francis will not settle for halfway measures

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Humanity is engulfed in "a spiral of self-destruction" which can only be halted through dialogue at the international, national and local levels, Pope Francis said in his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home. In his fifth chapter of the encyclical, Lines of Approach and Action, the pope shows greater faith in the ability of public pressure to bring about positive change affecting the natural environment than he does in current political and economic processes.

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6. Solutions come when we discover God in all things

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Lives lived with "small gestures of mutual care" and rooted in a spirituality that discovers God in all things can bring forth the goodness in others that will lead to better stewardship of our common earthly home, says Pope Francis. In the final chapter of his encyclical Laudato Si', Care for Our Common Home, the pope says better laws alone will not change people's conduct, even when those laws are effectively enforced.

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Pope pushes Putin to work for peace in eastern Ukraine

June 29, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

When Pope Francis met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vatican June 10, the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine was the principal topic of their conversation. Putin arrived at the Vatican more than an hour late, beating the 45-minute tardiness he chalked up in November 2013, the last time he visited the pope.

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Harper brings residential school findings to Pope Francis

Stephen Harper
June 29, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Religious freedom, the conflict in Ukraine and the environment were on the table as Pope Francis met briefly June 11 with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The prime minister's office said their discussions also included reference to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which detailed the treatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools supported by the Canadian government but administered by religious organizations, including the Catholic Church.

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Vows of consecrated life bring freedom

June 29, 2015
BONNIE KIRK
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

In proclaiming the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis has invited us to stop, pray, reflect, encourage and support. Before I share my reflections, I invite you to pause and think of all the persons, groups and life experiences that you associate with the term consecrated life.

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Benedictines offer timeless chant with Marian themes

June 29, 2015
ABBEY JAROMA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Once again the hills are filled with the sound of music, only this time the music soars from Benedictine monks rather than the Von Trapp Family. In Norcia, Italy, about 110 kms northeast of Rome, an international community of monks operates a craft brewery and spends hours a day chanting the Mass and the Divine Office.

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Firefighter urges men to enter spiritual 'Man Cave'

Todd Stahl
June 29, 2015
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

While many men spend time in their man cave, drinking beer and watching sports, Todd Stahl would rather pass his time in male solitude with devotions and self-reflection. Stahl is calling all Christian men to 40 days of devotions in their comfort zones and has detailed how in his first book, 40 Days in the Man Cave.

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Family has changed, but children's needs stay same

June 29, 2015
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Although society may change the shape of the family, "children have the same exact needs you had when you were children," said the founder of a program designed to help young children learn how to empathize with others. The first relationship, that of a mother with an infant affects the rest of the child's life, said Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy.

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Life of 'fun' was boring, so young man followed Jesus

Fr. Joseph Tsang
June 29, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Joseph Tsang says a life without God can never be a life of fulfillment. Only when Tsang decided to follow Jesus did he achieve peace and spiritual liberation. Tsang, the pastor of Edmonton's Mary Help of Christians Chinese Parish, was the guest speaker at the charismatic prayer breakfast at Chateau Louis Conference Centre June 13.

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