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For more than 50 years in the service of the Gospel of our Lord, the Western Catholic Reporter has provided news and commentary to the People of God in this archdiocese and beyond. Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of Glen Argan and his staff, the paper has developed a rich legacy of journalistic excellence, recognized through many industry awards.
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The Church is more, much more, than a doctrine or a document. The Church has the life of a community coursing through its veins. For 51 years, the Western Catholic Reporter chronicled the life of the local Church, the Canadian Church and the global Church. Its vocation was to have the smell of the sheep of which Pope Francis speaks so often.
You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Pasting a happy face over the closure of the Western Catholic Reporter is not in my repertoire. I wish the Edmonton Archdiocese all the best in its new communications ventures; I hope it develops effective means of evangelization and of challenging our culture. It's a culture that puts too much emphasis on things and not enough on the human person raised to glory by Jesus Christ.
A small group of Edmonton Christians took part in an ecumenical prayer walk on the grounds of the Pastoral Administration Offices to observe the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation Sept. 1 The group began the walk at St. Francis de Sales Chapel and stopped four times for prayer along the way, including a stop in front of the large statue of Christ the Teacher, west of Newman Theological College, and another in front of the statue of St. Francis of Assisi, just south of the college.
With psalms praising the marvels of God's creation and prayers begging God's help to end the selfishness that destroys the earth and harms the poor, Pope Francis led vespers for the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. During the evening service Sept. 1 in St. Peter's Basilica, the pope prayed to God, "Pour out your spirit of wisdom upon us so that we would safeguard the gifts of your providence for the good of each person and every generation."
Parents, students and teachers beamed with excitement as they arrived at St. Brendan Elementary/Junior High Catholic School for the first day of classes. The new principal, Dale Astill, welcomed almost everybody with a handshake and a wide smile. Most looked with admiration at the $20-million building, which was built over the past two years as a replacement school for the now-closed St. Kevin and St. James schools.
Fire in the Old Testament often signifies the presence and power of God. Moses first encounters God in the burning bush in Midian, after fleeing from Egypt. Once Moses convinces Pharaoh to set his people free, a cloud leads the people through the desert in the day while a pillar of fire is their beacon at night. Later, when Moses calls the people to obey, he describes God as "a devouring fire, a jealous God" (Deuteronomy 4.24). Elijah, in his contest with the priests of Baal, calls upon God who sends down fire on his sacrifice of a young bull, consuming not only the bull, but also the wood, the stones, the dust from the altar and even the water with which Elijah had doused his sacrifice.