Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page
After almost four years of consultation, the Edmonton Archdiocese is releasing new standards for preparing children and youth for the sacraments. The 100-page binder effectively harmonizes sacramental education and preparation across parishes and schools in the archdiocese. One aim of the standards is to ensure no child falls through the cracks when it is time to receive sacramental preparation, says Kathleen Nguyen, sacramental education coordinator for the Edmonton Archdiocese.
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When Jeri and Chuck Marple's eighth child Mary was born at 22 weeks gestation, the choice of life or death was set before them. Doctors said if Mary survived, she had a 90 per cent chance of having severe cerebral palsy. They suggested disconnecting Mary's lifeline and respirator because she would be a burden to them, and it was not fair to them or to society.
World Youth Day is a family affair for the young pilgrims from St. Dominic Savio Parish in Edmonton. "Just over half the group is related to me, one way or another," said Kiara Smyth, 23, a leader of the group of 13 heading to this year's pilgrimage in Kraków, Poland. "I've got a big family." Spending time with her friends and relatives as they gear up for this year's WYD has been nice, said Smyth. But some young Catholics feel alone in their faith.
On her way to the Catholic Women's League Archdiocese of Edmonton convention, one of Elsie Paul's favourite songs came up on the radio. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," the Métis/Cree elder sang along. "I thought, 'Wow! What a good reminder!" said Paul, who spoke on the topic Be the Face of Mercy: Through our Indigenous Sisters with Archbishop Emeritus Sylvain Lavoie. >"So there's lessons all the time, everywhere," she said.
Jeff Fidelak could hardly describe the joy he was feeling the night his artwork was on display at L'Arche Edmonton's Art From the Heart exhibit. "I feel just . . ." he started, finishing his sentence with a broad smile, "wonderful! Because everybody likes my art pieces. It makes me proud." The celebration of creativity by members of L'Arche Edmonton's day program took place April 22 and 23 at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts.
When the head of communications for an international Catholic charity visited Syria, it was not safe to go to Aleppo. So Sister Annie Demerjian, an Armenian religious sister from the city, traveled to visit him. Demerjian and her community provide emergency support to Christians and others living in the bombed-out remains of Aleppo. "She showed us photographs and told us individual stories," said John Pontifex, head of communications for Aid to the Church in Need in the United Kingdom.
TORONTO - If the Supreme Court of Canada says Canadians have a right to a doctor's help in committing suicide, Ottawa South MPP John Fraser says we also have a right to timely access to quality palliative care. "People have a right to the care that they need," Fraser told The Catholic Register. Fraser is parliamentary assistant to Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins with special responsibility for modernizing and expanding the province's palliative care capabilities.
An inquiry into the life of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, will begin soon and run to the end of 2016. The Archdiocese of New York, which is sponsoring her sainthood cause and is where Day oversaw Catholic Worker houses, made the announcement. The Dorothy Day Guild, established in 2005 to promote her life and works, said on its website that 52 people have been chosen for interviews in the inquiry.
The spectre of assisted suicide is leading aging people to "fear an institution that should be the last thing they should ever fear - a hospital," says Archbishop Richard Smith. "But the strong feeling is, 'If I can't speak for myself, if I'm alone with no family members, are they going to kill me?'" he said during the second of the Every Life Matters series April 5 at Edmonton's Corpus Christi Church. It is a question that "flows naturally" from the Supreme Court decision, the archbishop said.
OTTAWA - Canada's Catholic bishops welcomed Pope Francis' post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetita: On Love in the Family April 8, noting in its teachings its rejection of euthanasia. As the Canadian government is in the process of crafting a law that would permit doctor-assisted death, the statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) notes: "Amoris Laetitia reiterates the necessity of protecting human life from beginning to its natural end." The pope also stressed the duty of conscientious objection in health care facilities and the "urgency to assert the right to a natural death without aggressive treatment and euthanasia," the CCCB statement said.