WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Pope Francis says prayer, fasting, almsgiving should wake us up

March 17, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME – Lent is meant to wake up Christians and help them see that God can give them the strength to change their lives and their surroundings, Pope Francis said. Before receiving and distributing ashes at an evening Mass March 5, Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis gave a homily focused on a line from the prophet Joel: "Rend your hearts, not your garments."

Systemic racism has scarred natives

March 17, 2014
KIPLY LUKAN YAWORSKI
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

The relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians is faulty and needs to be fixed, says Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). What is needed is a relationship founded on mutual respect, he told some 650 participants attending a banquet held in conjunction with a two-day 10,000 Healing Steps: Resilience and Community conference in Saskatoon.

First Nations world view can be a gift to the Church

Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie

March 17, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The world view of First Nations peoples could be accepted as a gift to the Church, says retired Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie. "Most of all, it's the world view of the sacred. We have the scientific world view; we explain everything scientifically. For the aboriginal people, the world view of the sacred is so powerful and so real. "Everything is sacred and walking in harmony."

Secularism, separatism, euthanasia at issue in Quebec election

March 17, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

QUEBEC – The calling of a Quebec election killed euthanasia Bill 52, but the Parti Quebecois' divisive Charter of Quebec Values has put the separatist party in line for a majority government April 7. "I think the PQ has a dual agenda to establish a secularist, separatist society," said McGill University bioethicist Margaret Somerville. "The two goals are complementary."

Even the best residential schools had big problems

March 17, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Qu'Appelle Industrial School in Lebret, Sask., was likely as close as any of the residential schools to being a success. The founder of the school, Oblate Father Joseph Hugonnard, encouraged the use of aboriginal languages, allowed substantial contact between the students and their extended families, started brass bands and team sports, set up an apprentice program in which older students worked with nearby settlers, and even helped establish an agricultural colony for graduates.

Lebanese doctor pleads for help for Syrian refugees

March 17, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Eleven years old, tops in her class, dreams for the future, a future wiped away with the blast of a bomb. Her mother and siblings, save a 10-year-old brother, were killed. Now the Syrian child stands at a dusty roadside selling water to passing soldiers and workers. The $4 she makes each day is handed over to her father, who already has a new wife. "Her future is gone," says Dr. Rita Rhayem.

Franciscan urges Syrians to use non-violent resistance

March 17, 2014
DALE GAVLAK
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

AMMAN, JORDAN – A Franciscan priest who led reconciliation efforts in the midst of violent, sectarian conflict in his native Bosnia-Herzegovina urged Syrian activists to work harder to end the civil war ripping apart their country. Saying they hold untapped power, Father Ivo Markovic told about 30 Syrians in a workshop Feb. 24 to learn negotiation techniques, use peacebuilding activities among the warring factions and hone their case to present it more effectively to the global audience.

CCODP animator comes face to face with African poverty

Sara Farid

March 17, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As the Alberta leader of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Sara Farid has lots of opportunities to travel. But her latest trip to Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso was different. "It changed me in ways that I don't even understand," she says. "I wasn't ever keen on wasting food or taking our food for granted but now it has a different value."

St. Mary's ends the disadvantage in higher learning

March 17, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

A mother with six children, Levia Quequezana has found new confidence through a program at Calgary's St. Mary's University College. "I always put my children as my priority in life, but I put myself and my dreams in the last position in line," Quequezana said in an interview. Through the college's Humanities 101 program, however, she was able to find the support she needs to get a university education. It gave her bus tickets to attend class, a delicious meal each day, free tuition, childcare and lots of assistance.

Shalom Media sets up Edmonton unit

Fr. Jim Corrigan

March 17, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Shalom Media's Catholic charismatic TV channel will soon be supplementing the pastoral efforts of the Church. The new 24/7 satellite TV channel will broadcast to English-speaking viewers worldwide. Shalom Media has eight production houses in the United States, with its main headquarters in Sacramento, Calif.