Romero's life raises issue of how to be voice of the voiceless

Bob McKeon
June 15, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a group who had gathered at Providence Centre to celebrate the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero. We were able to watch a live broadcast of the beatification liturgy from San Salvador on a large screen TV. Many in the group had immigrated to Edmonton from El Salvador, fleeing from the persecution and the violence of a harsh military dictatorship.

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Why are no babies baptized in Lent, Advent?

Sr. Louise Zdunich
June 15, 2015

Our baby was born during Advent. When we asked to have her baptized shortly after, we were told that we couldn't. When we asked why not, we were told it was because the rule is that no Baptisms are allowed during Lent or Advent. However, we were not given a reason. Can you explain why no Baptisms are allowed during these specific periods?

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Faith can be lived in an uncertain world

June 15, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

One of the most brilliant mathematicians of the late 19th century was the Englishman William Kingdon Clifford. Clifford also dabbled in philosophy and was noted for expounding this principle: "It is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence." That is, you should never believe something merely because you think it is true or on the basis of evidence that is anything less than indubitable. Applying Clifford's principle would lead one into a most humourless existence with one ever seeking to find sufficient evidence for the truth of even our most mundane beliefs.

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Canada's arms sale to Saudis creates jobs drenched in blood

WCR Logo
June 1, 2015

Does creating jobs for Canadians rate higher than respecting human lives and human rights in Saudi Arabia? The Canadian government would seem not to care. Federal government approval of a $15-billion arms deal with the Saudis last year was given without performing a required assessment of the country's human rights record. The government proudly announced the sale of light armoured vehicles (LAVs), known colloquially as tanks. But when researcher Ken Rubin dug into the sale, the department of foreign affairs gave no evidence that it is monitoring human rights in the oil-rich country and said it has not assessed the human rights situation there for the past two years.

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Light of the World is brighter than torches, lanterns

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
June 1, 2015

What's the use of an old-fashioned, hand-held lantern? Well, its light can be quite useful when it's pitch dark, but it becomes superfluous and unnoticeable in the noonday sun. Still, this doesn't mean its light is bad, only that it's weak. If we hold that image in our minds, we will see both a huge irony and a profound lesson in the Gospels when they describe the arrest of Jesus. The Gospel of John, for example, describes his arrest this way: "Judas brought the cohort to this place together with guards sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, all carrying lanterns and torches."

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Eucharistic presence transforms hearts

Lydia Cristini
June 1, 2015
Corpus Christi
June 7, 2015

Theoretically, the Eucharist is one of my favourite topics. Ever since I attended a Youth 2000 retreat the summer before my Grade 12 year, the Eucharist has been a central, if not the central, focus of my faith life. Until then, no one had told me the meaning of the wafer and wine I took at Mass, at least not in a way I really understood. At 17, when the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal told us about the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it changed my life.

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Today's culture of freedom calls for Church's enlightened response

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June 1, 2015

Anti-religious secularism would appear to have won the game in Western civilization. The highest value today, a value which cannot be questioned, is that of human freedom. The autonomous individual is king (or queen) in our culture, and any societal force which attempts to limit that autonomy is playing a reprehensible game. The Church - the Catholic Church above all - is, not without reason, cast as the main opponent of the culture of individualism. It is the Church, so the theory goes, that "imposes" moral obligations and duties on its flock and would like to do so for the whole of society.

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Focus on royals diverts attention from negative news

Lasha Morningstar
June 1, 2015

I once wondered why my mother kept a scrapbook of photos of the royal family. She would cut out the candid and posed shots from newspapers and magazines and paste them in big, blue scrapbooks. The scrapbooks were for her eyes and hands only. But I would catch glimpses of the pages when she would sit at the library table in the living room, gluepot and scissors at the ready, leafing through The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Life Magazine.

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We plant seeds and God makes them grow

Kathleen Giffin
June 1, 2015
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 14, 2015

We planted some seeds in the garden a few days ago, my granddaughter and I. She carefully laid the pea seeds one after another in a row all by herself. Together we scattered the tiny carrot and lettuce seeds. She has been over to the vegetable patch a few times since then to check on their progress; the spinach peeked through yesterday but still no sign of the peas, which of course she is most interested in.

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Musical interlude dropkicked me through the goalposts of life

Dr. Gerry Turcotte
June 1, 2015

The role of a university president is varied and always interesting. I can truly say I was prepared for the bulk of the issues that have come my way, but there are still some that have caught me by surprise. Sometimes an issue can emerge that is so unexpected that it leaves me speechless. One of the most unusual matters I dealt with last year was a formal complaint about our answering service.

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