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Alberta's Catholic bishops have invited the faithful to attend the national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) March 27 to 30 in Edmonton. The bishops also apologized to those who experienced physical and sexual abuse in Indian residential schools run by the Church.
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The Edmonton Archdiocese will again offer a Day of Confession for those who may lack time to seek the Lord's forgiveness during regular hours. On March 18, priests in the Edmonton Archdiocese will be available to hear Confessions in their parishes all day, from morning to evening. The event was held for the first time a year ago as part of the Edmonton Archdiocese's centennial celebration.
Registration is free, there's no homework and no prior knowledge is necessary. Upon completion, the students are granted neither a diploma nor a degree. Yet the Treasures of the Faith seminar series garners plenty of attention. By all accounts, the seminar series adheres to the Newman Theological College's motto: Faith Seeking Understanding.
One billion people in the world go hungry on a daily basis, including farmers and peasants who produce the food we eat. That's why this year the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) is joining Caritas Internationalis' global anti-hunger campaign One Human Family: Food for All, launched by Pope Francis in December.
Smiles all around and the couple's life is full of plans, love and dreams coming true. They are getting married. As Catholics being married in a Catholic church, they know they have to go through the marriage preparation course. Trouble is the groom is working at a high-paying job in Fort McMurray and the bride to be is an elementary school teacher in Edmonton.
Residential school survivors and the Oblate priests and brothers who ran those schools "tend to express radically different views of the place of Indian residential schools in Canadian history," says the author of a recent book on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). "The distance between these interpretations of history could not be greater," writes Ronald Niezen in his book, Truth and Indignation, published in October 2013.
Throughout this archdiocese, we have incredible people in pastoral care ministry who have a compassionate heart," said Teresa Kellendonk, associate director of pastoral care for the Edmonton Archdiocese. "What makes it strong and beautiful is that people are so committed. When you have someone in this ministry for 30 years, it's because they care about their fellow parishioner, their fellow human being."
Having faith helps Andy Kemp, a Toronto paramedic, make sense of the madness that is a regular part of the job. "You can't predict Friday night to Monday morning what is going to happen," said Kemp, a deacon at St. Joseph Parish in eastern Scarborough when he's not on the job.
Marriage is better now than ever. The old idea of marriage with the wife at home wearing a mini-apron as she waits for her husband is an idealized, romanticized, impoverished view of marriage, maintain Blake and Brooke Sittler. Sadly, "We play into it and still yearn romantically for that and to our children and in society that has virtually no meaning anymore," the Saskatoon couple said at the annual celebration of World Marriage Day at St. Albert's Holy Family Church Feb. 23.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is coming to Alberta from March 27-30, 2014 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. This will be the last of the seven national TRC events that have been taking place across Canada over the past four years. The Edmonton national gathering, together with the preparation leading to it, represents an important historical moment for First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples, and for everyone who calls Alberta home.
VATICAN CITY – If you haven't been to Confession recently, don't wait, Pope Francis told people at his weekly general audience. One may walk into the confessional with a heavy heart, but forgiveness brings freedom and lightness, he said.
Recently promoted, Padre Major Hope Winfield has just become one of two major-ranked female Roman Catholic chaplains in the Canadian military. The Canadian Forces has about 192 regular force chaplains and 145 reserve force chaplains representing Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths.
The Vatican's apostolic nuncio to the United Nations told a U.S. congressional hearing Feb. 11 that "flagrant and widespread persecution of Christians rages in the Middle East even as we meet." The persecution of Christians in Iraq has increased in the wake of the country's democratic transition, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt told the House subcommittee on global human rights Feb. 3.
The just-released film Son of God promises to tell the story of Jesus from the moment of his birth, describe his teachings and miracles, and follow through to his crucifixion and resurrection. "It's a huge epic sweeping movie that will touch people's hearts and inspire them and strengthen them," says producer Roma Downey.
Catholic residential schools in northern Canada strove to preserve the traditional wilderness way of life, a leading Catholic educator wrote in a 1992 paper. "The schooling provided in the North was based on the assumption that most Métis and Indian children would take up a life of hunting, trapping and fishing, and that the three Rs, while not essential to such a mode of living, would nonetheless give them certain advantages," wrote Dr. Robert Carney, an education professor at the University of Alberta.
Three months of protests in Ukraine that ended with government snipers killing dozens of people strengthened the commitment to democracy of many Ukrainians, said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. The country, however, remains vulnerable to further violence and division, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych told reporters in Rome Feb. 25.
VATICAN CITY – Opening a two-day meeting of the world's cardinals, Pope Francis said the Church's pastoral approach to helping couples must be "intelligent, courageous and full of love." The family today, the pope said, is "looked down upon and mistreated."
In Sisters in Crisis Revisited, Ann Carey offers the best-documented study of the collapse of Catholic women's religious orders to date. The documentation is taken from original sources such as essays, journals and firsthand accounts that illustrate that the demise of traditional religious communities was not a result of happenstance or the "spirit of change" during the 1960s.
EDMONTON – The turbulent times in Ukraine call for prayer and international political support, says the chancellor of the Edmonton Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy. Father Stephen Wojcichowsky said local Ukrainian Catholics are responding with daily prayer at some parishes and spontaneous liturgies.
VANCOUVER – Prison ministry efforts are uniting nation-wide to improve the ways they reach out to inmates, victims, and communities affected by crime. "We're trying to help our Catholic faithful be more engaged in service, outreach, reconciliation, and healing," said Bishop Gary Gordon of Whitehorse.
Follow Jesus courageously in seeking out the poor and sinners, Pope Francis said. The pope, in his message for Lent 2014, also called on Catholics to perform difficult sacrifices in order to help and heal others.
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis said the worst thing about growing old is not becoming weaker or infirm, but the "abandonment, the exclusion, the deprivation of love" in today's "throwaway culture." The pope's remarks came in a written message sent to bioethicists, scientists, health care professionals, religious, theologians and other experts attending the Pontifical Academy for Life's Feb. 20-21 workshop on Aging and Disability.
Backslapping and hearty laughter ensued as scores of Knights of Columbus, their families and 70 priests gathered at the Chateau Louis Conference Centre for Padre Night. "Now we are all masters of our own fate but we support our bishops, priests, deacons and other religious," said Bill Smith, state deputy of the Alberta/Northwest Territories.
If a recovering alcoholic says he's five years sober from alcohol, people applaud his accomplishment. If a man says he's five years sober from cheating on his wife, viewing Internet pornography and compulsively masturbating, people are repulsed. Few people want to hear about sex addiction – it's a taboo subject. However, a Christian sexual addiction recovery group has men talking openly about such problems.
Greeting thousands of engaged couples on the feast of St. Valentine, Pope Francis told them not to be afraid of building a permanent and loving relationship in a culture where everything is disposable and fleeting. The secrets to a loving and lasting union, he said, include treating each other with respect, kindness and gratitude, and never letting daily struggles and squabbles sabotage making peace and saying, "I'm sorry."
Reports from bishops’ conferences in Germany and Switzerland show a clear divergence between what the Church teaches on marriage, sexuality and family life and what Catholics – even those active in parish life – personally believe. The differences are seen “above all when it comes to pre-marital cohabitation, (the status of the) divorced and remarried, birth control and homosexuality,” said the German bishops’ report.
VATICAN CITY – The responses to the Vatican questionnaire about Catholics' family life reflect a great amount of suffering around the world, said the general secretary of the synod. As of Feb. 19, about 80 per cent of the world's bishops' conferences and 60 per cent of the Vatican congregations and councils had turned in formal responses to a questionnaire distributed by the synod office in October.
EDMONTON – The annual World Day of Prayer, sponsored in Canada by the Women's Inter-Church Council, will be celebrated in 17 Edmonton-area churches on Friday, March 7. The World Day of Prayer was started in 1922 as an international ecumenical movement of prayer and action. Every year, Christian women from a different country write the prayer service which reflects justice concerns in their homeland through a biblical lens.