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Canes and crutches are left behind at the Lac Ste. Anne pilgrimage site, evidence of healing miracles experienced at the sacred shore. Impressive stories of people being healed of diseases such as leprosy, entering the water lame and coming out walking, and other healings of various sorts are not hard to come by at the pilgrimage, which is likely the largest annual Church event in Western Canada, drawing tens of thousands of people, mainly Aboriginal.
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St. Kateri's virtue of forgiveness was celebrated at the second annual St. Kateri Gathering July 11 at Maskwacis (formerly Hobbema). "Some of our people have great animosity toward the Church," said Ermineskin elder Alec Piche. "At some point in life we have to forgive. We can't dwell on the past forever and ever, and I think her example – she forgave people that shortchanged her, – this is what we have to do as native people. We have to forgive and then the hurt will leave gradually."
Glen Argan, a veteran journalist known for both his personal and professional commitment to the Gospel, is being honoured as this year's recipient of the Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award. Glen has served for more than 28 years as editor of the Western Catholic Reporter, the biweekly newspaper published by the Archdiocese of Edmonton. Under his leadership, the WCR has become one of the most respected Catholic newspapers in North America, winning multiple honours for editorial writing, news reporting, layout and design, and general excellence.
In the 10 years since same-sex marriage became legal in Canada, observers have seen a steady erosion of religious freedom and conscience rights. They also warn about negative impacts on education, particularly sex education, parental rights and the effect of marriage redefinition on the rights of children.
SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA – Pope Francis visited one of Latin America's most notorious prisons, calling himself "a man who was and is saved from his many sins." "I couldn't leave Bolivia without seeing you, without sharing the hope and faith given in the cross," he told people at Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz.
For years the outdated library in the basement of the Bathurst, N.B., diocesan offices saw more mice and rats than readers, said Bishop Daniel Jodoin. But when pipes burst during the spring thaw, new doors were opened to our nation's past. The flood waters brought closer inspection of the library and the discovery of historical texts dating back to Canada's earliest days.
Brandi Linkewich says spending a good chunk of her summers at Camp Encounter over the years changed her life. She appreciates the camp's "loving environment" and the fact she can feel God's love in there. "You feel totally accepted here," the 17-year-old Edmonton youth said. "Coming here is probably one of my favourite things to do in the summer."
It's just before noon on a sunny Saturday on Fourth Street in Berkeley, Calif., a busy boulevard of upscale cafes, shops and businesses. The gleaming Apple store is doing a bang-up business in the next newest thing; a steady stream of customers await tables at Bette's Oceanview Diner, where weekend breakfast is a daylong opportunity.
Divine mercy is more than just a prayer for the Polish religious congregation Sisters of Merciful Jesus. It's more than an image, a novena, an hour or a feast day. Divine mercy is their charism – their special gift, and it is their spirituality – their way of living the Gospel.
Father Rajumr Chebattina got his 15 minutes of fame in early July when he was featured with Father Paul Batchilder on CBC's new summer series, Still Standing. For Still Standing, comedian Jonny Harris, best known for his role as Crabtree in Murdoch Mysteries, travels to small towns across Canada to spend a week immersed in the community. At the end of the week, he performs original comedy material based on his experiences before an audience of townspeople.
Pope Francis returned to his roots July 12 when he visited Banado Norte, a poor neighbourhood near the Paraguay River where residents battle seasonal flooding and face possible eviction. "I couldn't be in Paraguay without being with you, in your land," he told the crowd gathered outside St. John the Baptist chapel, one of 13 chapels in the huge Holy Family Parish.
The mining industry, especially in the world's poorest countries, must make a "radical change" to respect the rights of local communities and protect the environment, Pope Francis said. The companies, the governments that are supposed to regulate them, investors and consumers who use the myriad products relying on mined material "are called to adopt behaviour inspired by the fact that we are all part of one human family," the pope said.
SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA – The world needs "an economy of Christian inspiration," one which respects human dignity and guarantees the rights to land, housing and work, Pope Francis told an international gathering of grassroots activists. Such an economy would also provide access to education, health care, culture, communications and recreation, he said.
Angela Kirby believes in living life to its fullest and won't let the challenges of multiple sclerosis get in her way. Diagnosed with MS at the age of 50, she never felt deterred from hiking up mountains and travelling the world. So to mark her 70th birthday and the 20th anniversary of her diagnosis, Kirby has decided to spend the year on a tour around the world to raise money and awareness for MS research.
LONDON - Catholic bishops in England and Wales hope to establish evangelization teams to transform about 5,000 churches into "missionary parishes." However, there will be no place for proselytizing, "door-stepping" or "cold calling" in an attempt to win converts, said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
WINNIPEG – The Archdiocese of Winnipeg welcomed two new priests into its fold with the ordinations of Fathers Christopher Dubois and Peter Nemcek by Archbishop Richard Gagnon at St. Mary's Cathedral July 3. "Tonight we have come to celebrate the ordination of these two men," Gagnon said. "They have become believers and as believers they have discovered the Lord's call to become 'fishers of people'" (Matthew 4.19).
LYIV, UKRAINE – Ukrainian Catholic Father Tykhon Kulbaka was headed to the chapel in the room rented by the local Catholic community. En route, he stopped at a store, where four men grabbed him, blindfolded him and made him breathe chloroform.
In 1866, Pope Pius IX appointed the Redemptorists as custodians of the 15th-century icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help with the mission to "make her known throughout the world." Fifteen years later, a community of Redemptorists brought a replica of the icon with them when they established a permanent presence in Toronto.
Catholic leaders in the Texas Rio Grande Valley are alarmed by the detrimental effect they say local gaming parlours are having, especially on families. "I am sorry they are here in our county," said Deacon R.C. Salinas of Sacred Heart Parish in Escobares. "I don't think they are doing anybody any good."