Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page
Roderick Bryce could not have imagined a better start to St. Joseph's Basilica's new springtime Festival of Sacred Music. The first concert on April 2, a program of Ukrainian sacred music featuring 50 mostly professional men's voices, was sold out. The sound was incredible. But what struck Bryce the most was how many people who are engaged in the city's artistic community approached him to say they had never been in the basilica before.
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Despite its wealth, Canada still has almost five million people struggling to make ends meet. These are people who struggle to pay their rent, feed their families and address basic needs. To solve this problem, Canada needs a national plan on poverty reduction, says Darlene O'Leary, socio-economic policy analyst for Citizens for Public Justice. CPJ is an Ottawa-based national organization inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy.
Pro-lifers are heartbroken that the only province that didn't provide abortion services has succumbed to pressure from the abortion lobby. When the premier of Prince Edward Island announced that abortions will soon be legal on the island, it brought despair to the national pro-life movement. "It is a heartbreaking situation," said Mary Ellen Douglas, Campaign Life Coalition's national co-ordinator. "I am very sad about it and a little surprised.
The same mercy and patience essential for building a strong family must be shown to those whose families are in trouble or have broken up, Pope Francis said in his highly anticipated document on the family. The post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), on Love in the Family, released April 8, contains no new rules or norms. However, it encourages careful review of everything related to family ministry and, particularly, much greater attention to the language and attitude used when explaining Church teaching and ministering to those who do not fully live that teaching.
VATICAN CITY - True harmony within a Christian community ensures that none of its members are left wanting and places the needs of others before the selfish desire for money, Pope Francis said. "The true 'harmony' of the Holy Spirit has a strong relationship with money. Money is the enemy of harmony, money is selfish," the pope said April 5 during his morning Mass. The pope reflected on the day's First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (4.32-37), which said the first Christian communities were "of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common."
Heroin and painkillers plague the streets of North American cities and towns. Mexican drug cartels have turned swaths of that country into battle zones. In South Africa, young people are getting hooked on a drug made from a medication meant to fight HIV. Around the globe, a worldwide addiction to illicit drugs is fueling violence, human trafficking, a proliferation of guns, organized crime and terrorism, the Vatican has said. Now, as the UN General Assembly prepares to meet April 19-21 for a special session on the issue, the Church is calling on governments and civil society groups to address a problem that has existed for decades but continues to change and pose new threats.