WCR This Week

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Supreme Court ruling repeats original sin

Archbishop Richard Smith

February 23, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Supreme Court decision legalizing assisted suicide in Canada is a repeat of the original sin in which men and women believed they can be like gods, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve "surrendered to the lie" that they could be "something other than what they were created to be," Smith said in a Feb. 12 interview. "God is eclipsed and his supremacy and sovereignty is replaced with that of the individual," the archbishop said. That human decision in Eden has been the root of all sin and disharmony in the world ever since, he said.

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Journeying with a friend to death can be life-giving

Jo-Anne Paquette

February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Jo-Anne Paquette's three-month journey with Martha Shephard as she died from a brain tumour was both physically draining and a spiritual gift for Paquette. "Martha lived in a house in Ottawa, and I really grew to respect her, thought of her as a mentor," said Paquette. "When I was dropped into the pool of caring for her and journeying with her, it was a sudden thing. It felt like a whole lifetime to me."

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Faith in God plays key role in marriage, Feehans testify

Mona Lee Feehan

February 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The love of a man and a woman committed to an exclusive and permanent relationship is a powerful witness to the love and presence of God. That's what Kevin and Mona Lee Feehan demonstrated during the celebration of World Marriage Day 2015 at St. Albert Church Feb. 8. The couple shared parts of their lives together to bring alive the theme of the celebration: Wherever You Go, I Will Go.

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Men called to lead wives, children to holiness

Dan DeMatte

February 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The way a married man becomes holy is by making his wife and his children holy, says American evangelist Dan DeMatte. "We have this mission to help our wives and children be saved and enter the promised land of heaven," DeMatte told about 400 Catholic men Feb. 7. "In the process of doing that, we are raising saints." DeMatte, 30, is a youth minister, speaker, evangelist, television personality and father of three from Columbus, Ohio.

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Church reform must involve spiritual renewal – Muller

Cardinal Gerhard Muller

February 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Reforming the Catholic Church has always involved an effort to help the Church overcome "a worldly mentality" and engage in spiritual renewal, said the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That is true today and has been true throughout the Church's history, said the prefect, Cardinal Gerhard Muller. "The Church cannot understand itself or justify itself in the world's eyes according to standards of power, wealth or prestige," he wrote in an article published in L'Osservatore Romano.

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Syrian, Iraqi refugees struggle to make a life

February 23, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The current refugee crisis in Iraq and especially Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, says the national director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Carl Hétu says that is the assessment of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees which is tracking the massive refugee crisis stemming from the wars in Iraq and Syria. More than three million refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq have registered with the UNHCR, and likely another million have not registered because of fear, Hétu said in a Feb. 5 talk at Edmonton's Assumption Parish Hall.

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Pray your way to peace

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February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Prayer. Deep meditative prayer. Most of us long for it. Many have achieved it. "But there is a certain degree of fear and anxiety in going after some of those very big feelings," says Dr. Andrew Newberg, "because they are a bit overwhelming and scary in some ways. They are wonderful but they can be very scary at times as well." Newberg, director of research at the Jefferson Myrna Brind Centre of Integrative Medicine in Philadelphia, has delved into the neurological impact of prayer and meditation since the early 1990s.

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In her emptiness, she found Jesus

Janet Bourdet

February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Janet Bourdet, co-director of Edmonton's Marian Centre, was so taken as a child by the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, she found herself asking God, "Why love me?" But amidst her soul searching, she faced a major upset when, come Grade 5, her family had to leave forested Montana and move to San Diego. "I was heart-broken until I saw the pool." Changes happened again when Bourdet left the Church at 18.

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Catholics, Mennonites discuss the meaning of compassion

February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

A snowy winter night and Our Lady of Assumption Parish basement is filled with an intriguing ecumenical gathering of 25 Roman Catholics and Mennonites. This is their annual meeting where they discussed the book Compassion, a reflection on the Christian life by Henri Nouwen, Donald McNeill and Douglas Morrison. "We are in our fifth year of dialogue," said Julien Hammond, director of the ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Edmonton Archdiocese.

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Bishops must be accountable, says abuse commission

Cardinal Sean O'Malley

February 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Bishops who do not comply with the child protection norms must face real consequences, said Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. The commission, he said, "is very, very concerned about this whole area of (bishops') accountability" and has a working group drawing up recommendations for Pope Francis.

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