Sculptor being formed for priesthood

June 27, 2016
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

In the small dormitory room that smelled of moist modelling clay, dozens of statues of a laughing Jesus lined wooden shelves against a wall. The small plaster statuettes showed the Lord reclining on the ground against a rock, his eyes pinched tight and his hand on his chest, which was inflated with a hearty hoot. "As students become deacons, I give them one," said Edward Gibney, 54, a Canadian seminarian and sculptor from Saskatoon.

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Howe great in graciousness as well as in hockey

June 27, 2016
MIKE STECHSCHULTE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

He was Mr. Hockey, but he was also Mr. Family. That's what Father J.J. Mech will take away from his experiences with Gordie Howe, the hockey legend who died June 10 at age 88. "I think that's probably what he was the most proud of, to be honest," said Mech, rector of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament and a long-time friend of the Howe family. "Even though he was Mr. Hockey, I think they were his real gift, his family. And I think he recognized it. I find that to be a testimony to who he is."

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Church puts priority on God's mercy, says scripture scholar

June 27, 2016
BETH GRIFFIN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The motif of God's mercy is not a minor key but "the ground melody of the Bible and Christian heritage," according to Passionist Father Donald Senior, one of America's leading Scripture scholars. "Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith," Senior said. Yet, there are serious voices in the Church today who are uncomfortable with such an emphasis on mercy, he told participants at the New York Catholic Bible Summit June 18.

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Religions responsible for building bridges of understanding, love

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June 27, 2016

The prayer Jesuit Father Patrick Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, offered at a prayer vigil for the victims of the mass murder at a gay nightclub was straightforward. Conroy called for peace and an end to "violence against populations of people who are identifiable for who they are, whom they love, what they believe or what race they belong to." He also called on God to give us the grace to "build a world where no person needs to fear violence."

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Spiritual connection offered by a great hamburger

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
June 27, 2016

The spiritual writer, Tom Stella, tells a story about three monks at prayer in their monastery chapel. The first monk imagines himself being carried up to heaven by the angels. The second monk imagines himself already in heaven, chanting God's praises with the angels and saints. The third monk cannot focus on any holy thoughts, but can only think about the great hamburger he had eaten just before coming to chapel. That night, when the devil was filing his report for the day, he wrote: "Today I tried to tempt three monks, but I only succeeded with two of them."

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Jesus walks with lambs in midst of wolves

John Connelly
June 27, 2016
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 3, 2016

In this week's Gospel, Jesus speaks these words to his disciples, "I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." This is an interesting image. Lambs are not normally sent among wolves. Wolves prey on lambs. They kill them and eat them. What is Jesus getting at? We live in a world filled with predators, a world where the innocent are preyed upon. A world where violence, abuse and war are considered normal.

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New movements can thrive in the ordered world of the Church

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June 27, 2016

In the 13th century, the Franciscans and Dominicans would have been considered "new movements" in the Catholic Church. Not only were they new, but they also brought evangelical fervour to the Church which enabled her to respond to the signs of those times. Renewal in the Church rarely comes from the hierarchy. One central function of the Church hierarchy is to preserve pastoral and doctrinal order in the Church. However, the Second Vatican Council and the current pontificate of Pope Francis are examples of when renewal has come from the centre.

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Shortness of life should spur us to make our dreams come true

Lasha Morningstar
June 27, 2016

Life is finite. Easy to read that little sentence, isn't it? It is true. It is factual. But it seems to be one of those realities that never apply to oneself - that is, until a close friend or relative dies. It can also come to the forefront when someone starts talking about their bucket list. These are things a person wants to do before they reach the end of their days. Usually their wishes delight their senses. Practicality usually is never included, things like trotting to the lawyer and making out a will that includes trust funds for children and/or pets.

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Salvation depends on grace of God

Lydia Cristini
June 27, 2016
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 10, 2016

The law and the heart; Jesus had a lot to say about this topic. Some of his harshest words were to the spiritual leaders of the day, who followed the law "perfectly" . . . and then used it as a stick to keep the rest of the people under a heavy burden. It is an easy trap to fall into: to feel like we earn our way into heaven by doing good. It creates a false sense of security, this belief that we can earn salvation. Then, when that happens, we often look down on people who do not follow the rules as properly as we do.

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Gov't priority on palliative care long overdue

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June 27, 2016

It is good to see leaders of various Canadian faith groups speaking out in unison in favour of greater availability of palliative care in this country (Faith leaders unite in call for palliative care). This call is especially timely with the advent of legal assisted suicide. One force that could drive significant numbers of people to seek assisted suicide is the lack of palliative care which meets the social, psychological, medical and spiritual needs of the dying. When people feel isolated and abandoned in their hour of greatest distress or when their medical needs are not being fully met, the temptation to turn to assisted suicide becomes stronger than ever.

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