Philippine order's 700 'Marias' walk with Mary

January 11, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As a child growing up in the Philippines, Mara Ubalde rejoiced whenever she saw the sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary. Their visibility in their long habits was significant to the young Ubalde, whose first attraction to enter religious life came, not through the sisters, but because of her love for the movie The Sound of Music. Now called Sister Maria Mara Ubalde, the Edmonton-based junior member of the congregation no longer looks up to Maria of The Sound of Music, but like all members of the congregation, takes her first name and inspiration from Mary, mother of Jesus, the patron of the congregation.

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Church respects native spirituality, but must evangelize

January 11, 2016
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - While the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls on churches to affirm Aboriginal spirituality, Archbishop Gerard Pettipas says the Church will continue to follow Jesus' call to evangelize to all nations. Pettipas, however, said the issue is going to require more dialogue. The Catholic Church's emphasis on new evangelization calls on the Church "to evangelize anew, to bring the Gospel and share it with others," he said in an interview.

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Video takes Laudato Si' to the people

January 11, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Pope Francis' encyclical On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si') had an immediate effect on film producer Kevin Moynihan. The pope's comprehensive letter on the environment tackling issues such as pollution, climate change, access to water, loss of biodiversity and their interconnectedness with global inequality, hit home for Moynihan.

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TRC report needs response from all Canadians - Pettipas

January 11, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The Alberta bishop with a leading role in the reconciliation process with Indian residential schools says a growth in understanding requires grassroots action. "It isn't by making laws you are going to overcome racism," said Archbishop Gerard Pettipas of Grouard-McLennan. "Look at what's continuing to happen in the United States with black Americans," Pettipas said. "You still have white cops killing black kids.

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The next step: Form a National Council for Reconciliation

January 11, 2016
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - Now that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has completed its mandate, the federal government must establish a National Council for Reconciliation, says lawyer Pierre Baribeau. Baribeau, who represented the 50 Catholic entities that were parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, said unless the council is created the momentum for reconciliation "will still be there but in slow motion."

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Pope prescribes spiritual virtues to fight curial ills

Pope Francis
January 11, 2016
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

If Pope Francis sees the Church as a field hospital after battle, then his annual Christmas address to the Roman Curia often looks like the triage tent, with him holding the charts. For Pope Francis, his year-end moment with cardinals and top officials is not a typical gathering to exchange thanks and best wishes.

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Learn from baby Jesus' humility

Pope Francis
January 11, 2016
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The Christmas season is a time to learn from baby Jesus to let go of selfishness and be as humble and giving he is, Pope Francis said. In fact, people should take the little figurine of Jesus from their Nativity scene, kiss it "and tell Jesus, 'I want to be humble like you, humble like God,'" the pope said Dec. 30. The pope dedicated his catechesis during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square to the importance of contemplating baby Jesus.

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Catholic writers face challenges in today's society

Michael Higgins
January 11, 2016
MIKE MASTROMATTEO
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

In the Dappled Things online literary magazine and blog, writer Joseph O'Brien of Wisconsin said Walker Percy was one of a small group of writers who have helped define the mid-20th century American literary experience and the Catholic contribution to American letters. A 1983 New York Times book review described Percy as "the greatest Catholic novelist since Flannery O'Connor."

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God's 'disappearance' brings darkness to society

Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi
January 11, 2016
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

For many contemporary people, God has not only disappeared, but his absence is not even seen as a problem, the pope's representative in Canada told a national student gathering. "In the horizon of many of our contemporaries, today, God has somehow disappeared, is absent," Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi said Dec. 30 in Montreal. Moreover, God's absence is no longer "perceived as a problem" and "brings forth the night with its accompanying darkness," Bonazzi said.

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Author draws on Church's spirituality

Thomas Fleming
January 11, 2016
MIKE MASTROMATTEO
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK - Author Thomas Fleming was surprised to be solicited for a profile about how being Catholic influences a writer's work. The author of more than 50 published works, Fleming described his relationship with the Church as "combative."

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