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Latin America: Off the beaten track for religious tourism

December 12, 2011
EZRA FIESER
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The oldest cathedral in the Americas sits just off a busy plaza in the colonial district of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

However, it's the nearby bronze Christopher Columbus statue, Hard Rock Cafe and cigar shops that draw the lines of tourists in the plaza.

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Music of love calms harried commuters

December 12, 2011
SHEILA DABU NONATO
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO – During the end-of-day rush hour at Sheppard subway station, TTC busker Benjamin "Lex" Tan strums his guitar, preparing to start his evening's repertoire of pop music mixed in with rock, Christian contemporary and Christmas classics.

Although the pocket change is welcome (the most Tan's made in a two- or three-hour session was $60), it's the opportunity to share his talents and God's love through the universal language of music that matters most, he said.

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Rocky parish helps Indian children

December 12, 2011
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE – The Young Families Ministry, Ladies Prayer Group raised nearly $8,500 at a Nov. 18 benefit dinner at St. Matthew's Parish hall to feed hungry children in India.

The group served East Indian food to more than 300 people to raise funds for the Jeevan-Daan Care Centre run by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit in the Diocese of Pune, India.

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Shabbat enters into your body and soul

Rabbi Alan Green

December 12, 2011
JAMES BUCHOK
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

WINNIPEG - Shabbat, the seventh day of the Jewish week, "is something one enters into body and soul, or you could say it enters into your body and soul," says Rabbi Alan Green of Winnipeg's Shaarey Zedek Congregation.

Green said although Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday and the appearance of three stars, it can be experienced anytime.

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World religion class includes speakers from other religions

World Religion

December 12, 2011
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON - Religion, rather than being a stumbling block to community building, is actually one of its essential foundations.

The Christianity and World Religions class explores these great traditions, with respect and reverence and accurate study of the phenomenon of religions.

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Corporate Canada opening up to talk about faith

December 12, 2011
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO - Nadir Shirazi calls religion "the black sheep of the diversity family."

Getting corporate Canada to talk about accommodating religion at work is a tough sell compared to other diversity-in-employment seminars, said Cheryl May executive director of Skills For Change.

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CWL prepares for its 100th anniversary

December 12, 2011
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

From helping women and children flee domestic violence to supporting new immigrants, the Catholic Women's League has a reputation for responding wherever there is a need.

"By their actions they have ensured that the timeless Gospel values of loving service, social justice and solidarity with people in need are faithfully put into practice," Father Mike McCaffery said about the league last June.

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Seminary enrollment jumps 50 per cent

Fr. Shayne  Craig

December 12, 2011
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

A greater emphasis on faith formation and vocations is the reason for a sharp increase in enrollment, says the rector of St. Joseph Seminary.

With 42 seminarians registered in-house this fall and another five on internships, registration is at an all-time high, says Father Shayne Craig.

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Women shackled by poverty, low wages

Joe Gunn

December 12, 2011

As I re-read the Scripture that recounted that first Christmas, it occurred to me that women and their particular needs are often forgotten. On women, and their particular concerns, a light had not yet shone.

A male authority, Caesar Augustus, decided "all the world should be registered." Mary "belonged" to the family of her betrothed, the carpenter Joseph, and so had to travel to his hometown to be counted. No one bothered to ask a humble pregnant woman if an exhausting trip was in her own plan or her best interest - she simply had to go.

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God will answer prayers in his own way

Kathleen Giffin

December 12, 2011
Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 18, 2011

There is a pink pencil in the pen holder on my husband's desk. It is 23 years old now, and holds special significance to us because it is the last of those handed out to our friends on the occasion of the birth of our second child.

The days and weeks after her birth were a difficult time for us, for she was diagnosed with a heart defect and Down Syndrome the day she was born. Airlifted to the city, medical interventions, developmental supports, more hospitalizations all followed in the succeeding months.

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