Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page
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.
Joan Carr, superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools for the past 10 years, has been recognized as Canada's leading school superintendent. The Canadian Association of School System Administrators presented Carr with its award of excellence at its Winnipeg conference July 7. The award recognizes the Canadian superintendent of the year.
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.
Father Sylvio Lacar is a man who, for the past 50 years, has nurtured not only his own faith, but also that of prisoners and parishioners. At the moment, he is doing pastoral work, saying Mass for parishioners at Ma-Me-O Beach. But before that, this native of the Philippines said the Lord directed him to the prison ministry.
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 challenges and experiences of the Church in Latin America figure heavily in Pope Francis' papacy. The pope's Latin American background is increasingly visible when it comes to making bishop appointments, addressing global issues and the pastoral care of the poor and the marginalized. Pope Francis' preference for "shepherds with the smell of sheep" has become a prerequisite in his recent appointments.
You shouldn't always believe what you hear or read in the news. Even journalists - especially journalists - know that. Yet, since the formation of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in 1965, you could count on a work stoppage every few years. In fact, there have been 20 strikes, rotating strikes, lockouts and other ways that the mail has ground to a halt over those 51 years. So, when Canada Post said it was going to lockout its workers on Friday, July 8, who were we to doubt it, even though the union had said it didn't want a strike?