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Parishes can be full of life

September 8, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The secret to a flourishing parish? "The people take ownership of it," says Oblate Father Andrzej Stendzina with directness. Stendzina talks enthusiastically about St. Albert Parish where he served for 14 years until recently. Smiles fill his voice as he says, "The theme for our pastoral council was to become an inclusive and welcoming community, that we were a team."

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Papal teaching left Vatican II fathers in a quandary

September 22, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Depending on your perspective, the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignatatis Humanae) made a major change to an unchangeable Church teaching or only an evolution in that teaching. Either way, the roots that gave rise to the decree go back to the persecution of the Church begun during the French Revolution and which continues in various ways to this day. Prior to the Revolution of 1789, the Church was a dominant and privileged force in France.

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Chew on this! Canada's tax cuts take priority over ending poverty

Joe Gunn

September 22, 2014

My daughter just can't believe the poverty she has seen this past week. I was a bit surprised at this news, when she reached us by phone. Here, after all, is a young woman who has traveled to Ecuador, Chile, Guatemala and Bangladesh, and completed her university degree. She had just left for a six-month stint, along with 17 other young adults from Nicaragua and Canada, to live with host families, learn each other's customs and work with social agencies.

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In numbing the voice of pain, grief makes it hard to experience love of God

Mark Pickup

September 22, 2014

A family friend recently lost his wife after 65 years of marriage. Ted Byfield is heartbroken, except for one thing: He is a devout Christian. My wife and I sent him a sympathy card. A few weeks later we received a note of acknowledgement from Ted. He wrote, in part: "Many thanks for your card of condolence. I knew of course that my wife was a remarkable woman, but now that I am having to live without her I am discovering just how remarkable. . . .

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Jesus used parables to challenge his hearers with a radical message

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

September 22, 2014

Few people would deny the importance of education. This week I had the pleasure of welcoming a record number of new students to the St. Mary's orientation. It was a thrill both to watch the excited faces in the crowd and to observe the educational styles of the many speakers who came forward to greet our students: from campus ministry to student advisor to the president of the student legislative council. What struck me most about our event was the range of rhetorical techniques the speakers used to communicate with the audience.

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How do Christians interpret the Old Testament?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

September 22, 2014

I know we Catholics use the Old Testament in many ways, including as Mass readings, but how do Christians interpret the Old Testament? Is it used mainly as it relates to the New Testament and Christianity?

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Autumn 'mysticism' can spur hunt back into recesses of time

Lasha Morningstar

September 22, 2014

September is a mystical time of year. It's a time of transformation. Flowers droop and die. Leaves trade their green for gold, scarlet, chestnut brown and flutter to the ground. Insects disappear, save for an angry wasp or two. Most birds move house, some flying south, others north. Some stay with us the whole year round. So out come the feeders – both seed and suet. Gutters are scrubbed clean, storm windows latched on and car winterized.

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Church should cherish hidden life of Nazareth

WCR Logo

September 22, 2014

It is encouraging that 14 married couples have been invited to the World Synod of Bishops on the Family next month. One hopes that a significant majority of these couples have had the joyous and demanding experience of raising children. Unfortunately, this cannot be taken for granted, despite the Church's own emphasis on procreation as an essential end of marriage. Too often, the couples the Church holds up for imitation are those who have lived marriage in a state of celibacy or who, at least, have been childless with the result that they can better devote their time to various ministries.

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Son of God meets us in irritating people

Brett Fawcett

September 22, 2014
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 5, 2014

When we donate money to a charitable cause, choose to spend time with a relative or friend who we find tiresome or exhausting, or volunteer for church functions, we may be inclined to be a little proud of ourselves. We could have used these resources for ourselves, but instead, we've benevolently chosen to share them with others. This Sunday's Scriptures should end that kind of thinking once and for all.

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Trudeau's denial of conscience rights undercuts rule of law

Douglas Roche

September 22, 2014

With his latest statement repeating that Liberal MPs will not be allowed to vote their conscience on the abortion issue (CBC, Sept. 14), Justin Trudeau has rejected efforts by the pro-life movement to build a bridge to him. This is very troubling, for it shows that the leader whom polls show could become the next prime minister of Canada has turned his back on a sizable number of Canadians. I was part of a small group of Edmontonians, Citizens for Conscience Voting, who recently wrote to Trudeau, asking him to review his previously announced policy denying Liberal MPs a free vote in Parliament on abortion.

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