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In a moving celebration at St. Joseph Basilica July 9, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith ordained four men to the permanent diaconate. He also ordained seminarian Roger Niedzielski to the transitional diaconate, the final phase of his preparation for the priesthood. After serving as a deacon for a year, Niedzielski will likely be ordained a priest. The four new permanent deacons are professional men with extensive ministry experience in their parishes. They just completed a four-year formation program and were ordained for the service of the Word, altar and charity.
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Theodore Waskahat's words were wrapped in reverence. "The presence of God was there." The 29-year-old acclaimed musician mentioned he had been nervous when he played the flute at the third annual St. Kateri Gathering at Maskwacis July 9. The more than 200 people in the audience did not notice any nervousness. They fell silent as they listened to his emotive renditions of The Drum Song and The Lord's Prayer.
As Redemptorist Father Mick Fleming blessed the waters of Lac Ste. Anne July 17, people waded into the lake in droves, anxious to dip themselves into the sacred waters. Many filled jars with the blessed liquid to take back home. A young woman, pain clearly visible on her face, slowly pushed her walker into the lake in the hope of obtaining relief. Younger people helped their elders into the water. Some older people with canes walked in by themselves. Priests and bishops also walked inside the lake to bless the people, one by one.
After six years as bishop of Saskatoon, Donald Bolen was appointed archbishop of Regina July 11 by Pope Francis. The archdiocese has been without a bishop since the Jan. 15 death of Archbishop Daniel Bohan. Bolen will continue to serve as apostolic administrator in Saskatoon until his installation as archbishop of Regina this fall; the date has not yet been set.
The Vatican's top official for liturgy is encouraging priests to celebrate Mass facing away from the congregation, but the Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis has made it clear no changes are foreseen. Cardinal Robert Sarah urged priests and bishops at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London July 5 to start celebrating Masses "ad orientem," or facing away from the congregation.
The Church – from individual parishes to the Vatican – needs to collaborate with highly skilled specialists if it wants to get serious about evangelization, said a Canadian media, design and marketing entrepreneur. While Church leaders should turn increasingly to lay experts, lay Catholics should “step up a lot more in our parishes and our dioceses,” offering their expertise, Matthew Harvey Sanders told Catholic News Service July 14. The 34-year-old Toronto native is founder and managing director of Longbeard Creative, a web and graphic-design company that works with nonprofits.
As Jesus travelled from Galilee to Jerusalem, the crowd following him grew in number. One time, someone approached him and said, "I will follow you wherever you go." Perhaps we are like that too. Drawn by Jesus' personal magnetism or by the truth of the Gospel, we believe we are ready to go anywhere with him. Jesus, however, issues a caution. "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head" (Luke 9.57-58).