Stories for the Middle Column of the WCR This Week Page
Our Lady of Victory Camp offers campers and counsellors alike a week-long infusion of faith. The program at the camp on the west side of Gull Lake is based on youth catechism with daily Mass, Reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration and the rosary. That's a full load of Catholicism, especially compared with secular summer camps that emphasize horseback riding, sports and swimming.
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Raised on a farm near Killam in a devout Catholic family, Rodney Kroetch's own faith was strong enough for him to enter the seminary. However, it was only when he took part in a Cursillo weekend when he was 42 that Kroetch said he experienced the presence of Jesus. As a youngster, Kroetch loved life on the farm and working side by side with his father. But as he neared the end of high school, people began asking him, "What are your plans after graduation?"
Forgiveness is not something we can give ourselves, but requires the mediation of the Church, Canada's bishops say in a new statement on the sacrament of Reconciliation. Simply asking God for forgiveness "in one's own mind and heart" is not enough, because "Jesus himself entrusted to the Church the ministry of the forgiveness of sins," says the text, The Beauty of Mercy: Pope Francis and Confession.