Columns

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Columns in the WCR

Young people wait unconsciously for God's embrace

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
May 30, 2016

A seminarian I know recently went to a party on a Friday evening at a local university campus. The group was a crowd of young college students and, when he was introduced as a seminarian, as someone who was trying to become a priest and who had taken a vow of celibacy, the mention of celibacy evoked some giggles in the room, some banter and a number of jokes about how much he must be missing out on in life. Poor, naïve fellow!

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Jesus wants to bring healing to our lives

Lydia Cristini
May 30, 2016
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 5, 2016

As someone who is fairly well acquainted with death, stories of Jesus bringing people back to life do not sit well with me. Perhaps it is because of a rash of deaths in the lives of several friends in the last six months. Perhaps it is because I would like to see people I love, again, even though they are long dead. Perhaps it is because they remind me of old hurts in my faith and prayer life when my 21-year-old friend died of cancer, despite a year's worth of prayers from many, many faithful people across our country.

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Heroes aplenty step forward in wake of McMurray blaze

Lasha Morningstar
May 30, 2016

The word "hero" is rarely used in everyday jargon. But with the dramatic events surrounding the Fort McMurray fire, the word "hero" comes easily to one's lips. Open the dictionary, and you find hero means someone who "does great and brave things." I think, however, a hero is someone who steps outside of their comfort zone to do good, to right a wrong. The element of bravery is implied.

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Self-identification of gender expands, as dose row of initials.

Bishop Fred Henry
May 30, 2016

On May 14, in Edmonton and Calgary, Parents for Choice in Education rallies were held to protest against Bill 10 and Education Minister David Eggen's Gender Diversity: Guidelines for Best Practices. There were also much smaller LGBT counter-protests. Despite the differing signage, ranging from "Flush Bill 10" to "Everyone Can Pee," the issues are not just about bathrooms, plumbing and urination, parental rights, safety of children, how people feel, GSAs and an imperfect Bill 10. What is at stake is the very order of creation.

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Those forgiven much can love the deepest

Kathleen Giffin
May 30, 2016
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 12, 2016

Years ago I became friends with a man who had a deep faith. Early in our friendship, he told me how his life had changed from a self-indulgent way of living to a life with the vibrant faith that was now so evident. He had been raised a Christian, but like many of his generation had left his church as a young teenager to follow the ways of his culture and generation. As a young adult, he experienced a spiritual hunger and found himself exploring many spiritual paths, none of which brought any conviction or peace.

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Flame of compassion will rebuild Fort

Dr. Gerry Turcotte
May 30, 2016

The fire of Fort McMurray has drawn the attention of the world, and has proven again how large the hearts of Albertans are at all times, especially in moments of crisis. Over the coming months, commentators will speculate on what could have been done better and on how to prevent future catastrophes. They will inevitably draw comparisons to other fires: the Great Fire of London, 1666, where 70,000 out of the city's 80,000 residents were left homeless; or the 2011 Great Slave Lake Fire in Alberta where the entire community of 7,000 residents were evacuated.

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Obama's Hiroshima visit an effort to move public opinion

Douglas Roche
May 30, 2016

I hope U.S. President Barack Obama's May 27 visit to Hiroshima gives him the same gut-wrenching experience I had when I first visited the site of the first atomic bomb used in warfare. Then he will leave no stone unturned to rid the world of nuclear weapons, which have rightly been called the ultimate evil. As I toured the Hiroshima museum in the mid-1970s and saw the artifacts left over from indescribable suffering and talked to the hibakusha, the survivors, who pleaded that no one anywhere ever suffer as they did, my life changed.

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Churches played key role in Gainers' strike

Bob McKeon
May 30, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event at the Alberta Provincial Archives commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Edmonton Gainers' Strike. This bitter strike, which went on for more than six months and put more than 1,000 employees on a picket line, is still remembered by those involved, including many in Edmonton area churches. The strike began June 1, 1986. This was a time of economic recession in Alberta with high unemployment and reduced government social supports.

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Assisted suicide only latest stop on a slippery slope

WCR Logo
May 16, 2016

Forty years ago this fall, I was seeking a topic for my master's thesis in philosophy. My advisor, a renowned Catholic ethicist, said to me, "You should write something on euthanasia. It will come down the pipe in a few years." His logic was brief, but impeccable: The inviolable value of human life had been violated with the legalization of abortion. Once human life has been made a relative value, it would be attacked on other fronts, euthanasia being the next.

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Berrigan affected minds and hearts of a generation

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
May 16, 2016

'Before you get serious about Jesus, first consider how good you're going to look on wood!" Daniel Berrigan wrote those words and they express a lot about who he was and what he believed in. He died May 1 at age 94. No short tribute can do justice to Dan Berrigan. He defies quick definition and facile description. He was, at once, the single-minded, obsessed activist, even as he was one of the most complex spiritual figures of our generation. He exhibited both the fierceness of John the Baptist and the gentleness of Jesus.

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