WCR This Week

Climb aboard to confess your sins on England's 'Mercy Bus'

March 7, 2016
SIMON CALDWELL
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

BURNLEY, England - A diocese in England is using a double-decker bus for priests to hear the Confessions of people who have stopped going to church. The Mercy Bus is touring the Diocese of Salford during Lent in an attempt to reach out to lapsed Catholics. Each Saturday, the bus parks in a busy area of Manchester or one of the outlying towns, and volunteers try to engage shoppers by offering miraculous medals blessed by Pope Francis as gifts.

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Youth prepare to discover universal Church at WYD

March 7, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

For Abigail Hartman, preparation for this year's World Youth Day started even before she decided to attend. Hartman, 19, is one of hundreds of young people in the archdiocese getting geared up to go to the international meeting in Krakow, Poland in July. It is not the first WYD pilgrimage for the University of Alberta student, who also attended the event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013.

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Clear communication might have prevented Reformation

Martin Luther
March 7, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

One main reason for the 500-year-old split between Lutherans and Roman Catholics is "a lack of clear communication between family members," says a Lutheran scholar. The Rev. Gordon Jensen, a professor of theology at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, compared the split to a failing marriage where couples don't communicate carefully and allow things to become a complete mess. "That's what happened in the 16th century (between Lutherans and Catholics).

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Retired primate lauds opportunities Year of Mercy provides

Archbishop Maurice Couture
March 7, 2016
PHILIPPE VAILLANCOURT
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

QUEBEC CITY - Archbishop Maurice Couture, 89, embraces the Year of Mercy as a concrete sign of hope for both society and the Church, especially on critical issues such as euthanasia, divorce and abortion. As archbishop of Quebec from 1990 to 2002, he was among the most important Church figures in Canada.

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Videos offer insights into priestly vocations

March 7, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Jim Corrigan never thought he had what it takes to become a priest. But when he asked God what he wanted for him, the Lord showed him the way. Corrigan thought he wasn't worthy. He had struggled with alcohol and, after working 24 years in the building trades, he was pretty sure he couldn't stop swearing. As for celibacy, he didn't even know how to spell it.

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Path to priesthood took diverse twists and turns

March 7, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

The first major life event calling Father Pierre Champoux to the priesthood occurred during St. Pope John Paul II's 1984 visit to Ottawa. Champoux, today the vocations director for the Ottawa Archdiocese, had not been caught up in the excitement of the pope's visit. But he happened to be riding a bus that stopped at the Rideau Canal just as the pope was traveling up the canal in an open boat. He got off the bus, headed to the top of the Laurier Street Bridge and watched the pope greeting people from the boat.

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Priests strive to keep Syrians' hope alive

March 7, 2016
GABY MANISCALCO
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Even in the midst of constant bombing, Jesuit and Salesian priests remain in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, trying to create a sense of normalcy for those unable to leave. Jesuit Father Sami Hallak has been keeping a crisis journal during his time in Aleppo, narrating daily life as he and hundreds of thousands of the city's residents cope with the reality of a war that began in March 2011. In late January, Hallak wrote, Islamic State militants "cut the water for reasons still unknown."

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Lent: A privileged moment to celebrate mercy

February 22, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

This issue, we continue our journey toward Easter by reflecting on Lent's daily readings in the spirit of the Year of Mercy. Lent, Pope Francis says, is "a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God's mercy."

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Lenten pro-life prayers are helping save babies

March 7, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

John Lankreijer believes prayer might help in the battle to end abortion. So every Wednesday morning for the past five years he's been coming from Spruce Grove to pray the rosary across from the Women's Health Options at 12409-109A Ave. "I come at 10 o'clock, rain or shine, and stay here an hour," the 78-year-old Catholic says. He was there again Feb. 24. Beside him was an unidentified man who has been coming for 22 years and two women who come sporadically.

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Catholic schools must serve Church's mission, says Jesuit

March 7, 2016
JAMES BUCHOK
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

WINNIPEG - For Catholic schools to fulfil the hopes and dreams of Pope Francis, they will have to make noise, get dirty and proclaim the joy of the Gospel, says Jesuit Father Len Altilia. "Catholic education exists to serve the mission of the Church, which is the proclamation of the Gospel," said Altilia. "There is no other reason for its existence. "That mission must be firmly established at the core of Catholic education, and not be simply some peripheral adjunct."

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