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Advent priorities can centre around the coming of Jesus

November 28, 2011

"Prepare the way. A Saviour is coming. Prepare the way, . . ." I sing as I clean and decorate the house and do my Christmas shopping. The words are the opening lines of a carol our choir will sing for Christmas Eve Mass.

December for most of us becomes a bustle of busyness. Frustrated, I realize my plans once more exceed the time I have to pull together my bright ideas, plus traditional expectations.

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Sculptor brings joy of fatherhood to Nativity scene

November 28, 2011

TORONTO – As sculptor Tim Schmalz works on his Nativity sculpture, he compares it to a Christmas carol - one of the songs of absolute happiness.

"Throughout this process, what happened was the figures became more joyous, the designs became more lyrical. . . . And it wasn't Silent Night. It was definitely one of loud celebration as far as the representation is concerned," said Schmalz.

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Pope urges world to respect Africa

Pope Benedict

November 28, 2011

COTONOU, BENIN – On a three-day visit to Benin, Pope Benedict urged African Catholics to make the Church a model of reconciliation for the entire continent.

The Church must be "attentive to the cry of the poor, the weak, the outcast," the pope said at an outdoor Mass Nov. 20.

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School becomes church for some students

Natalie Mahedem

November 28, 2011

Natalie Mahedem, a student at Austin O'Brien Catholic High School, has a firm belief in God although she and her family "never went to church, never prayed (and) never did anything Catholic" other than receiving a Catholic education.

"How is it that the relationship between my family, the Church and God is non-existent in my life yet I still have a firm belief in and trust in God?" the Grade 11 student asked.

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Palliative care is best option to legalized euthanasia

NDP MP Joe Comartin

November 28, 2011

OTTAWA – Days after a Royal Society of Canada report advocated legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide, an all-party parliamentary committee named suicide prevention, effective palliative care and elder abuse intervention as three pillars of care for vulnerable Canadians.

The Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care report entitled Not To Be Forgotten is silent on the legality of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

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Restoring Communion rail would make us reverent

If the Church allows for communicants to receive the Host on the tongue while kneeling, why not bring back the Communion rail? To the best of my knowledge, Vatican II in no way stated that the Mass should get rid of the Communion rail.

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Pompous language discourages the young

When I received my December Living with Christ and saw the new translation of the Roman Missal, my heart sank. The formalism of the language makes it inaccessible, exclusive, stilted and stuffy, closing too many of the windows thrown open by Pope John XXIII at Vatican II.

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Quebec day care system boosts social equality

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada study fails to take into account the benefits of Quebec's universal day care. Low and medium income Alberta families would welcome Quebec's $7 a day childcare. The money a family saves could purchase more and better food for the children and help pay the rent.

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Pope says Benin trip highlighted Africa's joy

December 5, 2011

Pope Benedict said his second trip to Africa left him convinced that the joy and faith of the continent's people – especially the young – represent a hope for all humanity.

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Faith must keep its balance in good times and in bad

St. Francis de Sales

November 28, 2011

Sometimes the little analogies from nature that St. Francis de Sales uses to illustrate our development in the spiritual life bear more resemblance to a Disney cartoon than to real life. For example:


"When caught out in the field by a storm little bees pick up small stones so that they can keep their balance in the air and not be easily carried away by the wind."

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