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Father Gilbert Dasna was slain in the rectory of the St. Paul Cathedral after answering a doorbell that others would have ignored, said St. Paul Bishop Paul Terrio. Dasna went to the door at 6 p.m. on a Friday because his conscience told him that was the right thing to do, Terrio said in his homily at the murdered priest's funeral May 19. "I know some pastors who would have all kinds of reasons for not answering the doorbell on Friday evening at six o'clock," he said.
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Father Gilbert Dasna was a happy, funny, hard-working priest who loved people, especially the First Nations people he served at Saddle Lake where his kindness and evangelical fervour sparked a flourishing parish. "When my wife and I first started taking care of the church a few years ago, we were lucky if we had five people in church on Sunday," said Greg Hysell of Saddle Lake. "After he was here for a few months, we'd have 40 or 50 people, sometimes more. He completely turned the church around."
Archbishop Richard Smith has supported a federal NDP member of Parliament's motion calling for a national palliative care strategy while also denouncing "sustained pressure" for the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The motion by MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) "is worthy of our support and I am pleased to add my voice and that of the Archdiocese of Edmonton to those of others who endorse it," Smith said in a May 8 statement.
EDMONTON – The stances of Canada's three main federal parties on abortion raises "serious obstacles" to Catholic involvement in the political process, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. The Church encourages its members to be involved in politics by voting and expressing their views, Smith said in an interview. But with the Liberals and NDP saying they will not accept pro-life candidates and the Conservative government barring its MPs from reopening the abortion debate, Smith said the parties are excluding people of informed conscience who could be of great service to the country.
Donna Zuiker pushed her son Michael in a wheelchair through the streets of Edmonton May 8 to proclaim her belief in the sanctity of life. "We are here because we believe in life and we live that," she said as marchers prepared to leave the Alberta Legislature toward downtown. "We want to demonstrate in person that everyone has a right to life." Zuiker, a mother of five, adopted Michael when he was 18 months old knowing he had Down syndrome. He is now 29. "We are still grateful to his parents for allowing him to live."
Growing up, Jim Murphy dabbled in Christianity. He attended church, said his prayers, did no harm to others and lived a good, decent life. However, he would not commit his life fully to Jesus because he feared losing his personal freedom. Today, Murphy's proudest claim is that of being a slave to God. "All of us have a journey, and it's good for us to recount our stories because it reminds us of how faithful God has been," he said. "I'm sure every one of us from time to time says, 'Oh God, where are you?' It's a natural human tendency. It's good to recall how far God has already brought us."
Father Mike Mireau has suffered a relapse in his cancer and says prayer is the only thing that can help him get better. And that's exactly what the beloved priest is getting from Edmonton Catholic Schools and the Edmonton Archdiocese. Edmonton Catholic Schools has printed 11,200 prayer cards asking Venerable Anthony Kowalczyk to intercede on behalf of Mireau. Seven thousand cards were distributed in parishes across the Edmonton Archdiocese and 4,200 went to staff of the school district.
With 600 to 700 dancers, 21 drum groups and roughly 2,500 people in total, the event spilled out of the recreation centre into the surrounding area. What makes Ben Calf Robe's powwow traditional? There are no competitions and no prizes; people dance simply to give glory to the Creator, said Gagnon. Even the drum groups come purely because they love to sing.
It's a small plot of land sitting on the northwest edge of Regina. Overgrown with grass with a single tree in one corner and a couple of bushes in the other, the site is enclosed by a faded and falling down white board fence. It's a cemetery, one in which an unknown number of First Nations children are buried, their identities unknown. They were students at the Regina Indian Industrial School, which was near this site from 1891 until its closure in 1910. Most, it is believed, died of tuberculosis or complications of it.
The principal purpose of the visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land May 24 to 26 will not be a conventional pilgrimage. It is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. The commemoration will be observed –indeed celebrated –by Francis meeting with Bartholomew, the successor of Athenagoras as ecumenical patriarch. This is a very different type of pilgrimage.