WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Hollywood journey to heaven touches audience's hunger

Connor Corum

April 28, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Christians of every stripe have heard or read of four-year-old Colton Burpo's trip to heaven. The easy-to read book – crafted by Colton's father Todd and New York Times Writer Lynn Vincent – held court on The New York Times bestseller list for three years. So it is natural a movie would follow. Much of the initial storyline is the same in the film. Colton lives with his mother and pastor/volunteer firefighter/ garage door salesman father and sister Cassie in rural Nebraska.

Film critics hold different views of 'Noah's' agenda

April 28, 2014
KURT JENSEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK – Controversy has swirled around director Darren Aronofsky's Noah since well before the movie's release. Aronofsky is an easy target for those on the lookout for anti-Christian messages in his work. Raised as a Jew, he now self-identifies as an atheist, and has often discussed his appreciation of Kabbalah, a mystical offshoot of Judaism. Yet, since the story of Noah's covenant with God takes up fewer than 100 verses in the Book of Genesis, and contains almost no dialogue, filmmakers seeking to recount it in a feature-length movie have inevitably had to pad the tale.

Francis has shone light on human trafficking

April 28, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

As Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, the future pope dragged the hidden problem of human slavery into broad daylight. He held annual open-air Masses in the city's Constitution Square for and with victims of human trafficking – many of them children accompanied by their enormous burlap sacks stuffed with recyclable cardboard. In his homilies, he denounced their oppressors, as he did in 2010 when he condemned the "great mafia of very elegant people" – the traffickers and those who profit from the illegal trade – whose "money is stained with blood."

Holy Saturday: Our day to contemplate, sit and wait

April 14, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Holy Saturday is in the offing. It can be a rich day, full of spiritual contemplation. It would be such a shame to not use it as such. Guidance can often help to use this time in preparation for Easter Sunday. Franciscan Father Kevin Lynch of Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre near Cochrane muses, "A metaphor to me is bread dough. It has to sit before it rises. Be still and know that I am God." He likes words like "threshold" to describe this time, "or stillness or liminal space where something strange might be happening."

Archbishop MacNeil at 90

Archbishop Emeritus Joseph MacNeil

April 14, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Two weeks shy of his 90th birthday on April 15, Archbishop Joseph MacNeil is told he looks healthy. "I'm faking it – cosmetics, Botox!" the long-retired archbishop shoots back near the start of a wide-ranging 90-minute interview. Then MacNeil launches into a description of his 40-year history of long walks around Edmonton and environs. Until a couple of years ago, he made regular trips to Elk Island National Park east of the city, the park where he took Pope John Paul II 30 years ago when the visiting pontiff had an afternoon off.

Marie de l'Incarnation, Laval declared saints

St. François de Laval

April 14, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

The April 3 canonization of two Quebec saints was welcomed with joy and thanksgiving from Canada's bishops, especially in the Archdiocese of Quebec where they are buried. Quebec Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix said the canonizations "give us models of sanctity to encourage us." Pope Francis has given the Church two "great examples of the new evangelization." Canada's bishops welcomed the canonizations "with great joy and thanksgiving."

Parish secretaries touch lives, keep priests organized

April 14, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Roger Rouleau says he is blessed to have a good parish secretary in Roseanne Bingham. "A good secretary is invaluable to the priest in fulfilling his ministry," said Father Rouleau, pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Vermilion. "She is the first greeter to anyone who comes into the parish. She's the one there throughout the day while I run away to the schools or the care homes. The secretary provides that steady base throughout the week, and maintains the fort while I'm in and out of the office," said Rouleau.

The angry parishioner: How do priest respond?

April 14, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Once upon a time parishioners thought their parish pastor knew best when it came to matters of faith and religion and issues of parish administration. He had been appointed by the bishop and could do no wrong. When the faithful approached their pastor, they did so with deference and respect, almost never hostile or confrontational. When the faithful approached their pastor, they did so with deference and respect, almost never hostile or confrontational. Those times are virtually gone.

CWL butts out flavoured tobacco

Pat Keith

April 14, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The popularity of flavoured tobacco is increasing the risk of youth developing a dangerous and lasting addiction to tobacco products. Some jurisdictions have recognized the need to restrict the sale of certain tobacco products designed to attract young people. Both the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Medical Association have been calling for bans on such products.

Ukrainian eparchy restores the kiss of peace

April 14, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton is restoring the kiss of peace during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, a liturgical practice lost centuries ago. But, as Bishop David Motiuk says, this kiss will be on the shoulders, not on the lips as it was during early Christianity. The bishop said this change is part of the eparchy's 25-year pastoral plan which calls for parishes to be more welcoming. The kiss of peace is a sign of peace among the faithful, love in action and a powerful gesture of welcome towards strangers and guests.