WCR This Week

From the category archives: WCR This Week

Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page

Turmoil and faith are story behind overflowing RCIA

March 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Sitting around the table at the meeting at Thomas More Church, Darlene Smigelski felt a smile start to soften her face. "Lord, you are funny. When you want to communicate with me you hit me with a two-by-four, don't you?" Smigelski had just agreed to be coordinator of the RCIA program for the church. That was 15 years ago. "I have been doing this since the turn of the century. That is what I like to say."

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Vanier honoured with prestigious Templeton Prize

March 23, 2015
NATE MADDEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Jean Vanier, the Canadian Catholic author and philosopher who founded L'Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize. L'Arche is dedicated to the creation and growth of communities, programs and support networks for people with intellectual disabilities across the globe. The movement began quietly in northern France in 1964, when Vanier invited two intellectually disabled men to come and live with him as friends, and has grown to include 147 L'Arche residential communities in 35 countries. As well, there are more than 1,500 Faith and Light support groups in 82 countries that urge solidarity among people with and without disabilities.

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Salesians continue to serve youth through parishes

March 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Romano Venturelli grew up on a farm in Italy. He put so much dedication into his farm chores that people thought he would make a good farmer. But the young boy's heart was in the priesthood. He wanted to be a missionary in Latin America and minister to indigenous people. However, the young Venturelli was recruited by the Salesians of Don Bosco and ended up in Canada instead. In fact, he has spent most of his priestly vocation in Canada, primarily in Montreal and Edmonton.

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Winnipeggers ponder prospect of urban reserve

Chief Glenn Hudson
March 23, 2015
JAMES BUCHOK
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

Within sight of Winnipeg's shiny new IKEA store lie dozens of abandoned buildings on acres of desolate land that First Nations are eager to transform into a neighbourhood with green space, retail shops and commercial property. But the federal government refuses to give up the land to the First Nations, and some residents of the affluent bordering communities of Tuxedo and River Heights may not want a so-called urban reserve in their backyards. "As Christians we are compelled to foster dialogue that crosses the divides of humanity," David Balzer said during a March 5 panel discussion at the nearby Canadian Mennonite University.

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Abandoning the aged is a sin, says pope

thumbnail photo
March 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Seeing the elderly only as a burden "is ugly. It's a sin," Pope Francis said at his March 4 weekly general audience. "We must reawaken our collective sense of gratitude, appreciation and hospitality, helping the elderly know they are a living part of their communities" and sources of wisdom for the younger generations, he said. "An elderly person is not an alien," the 78-year-old pope said. "The elderly person is us. Soon, or many years from now – inevitably anyway – we will be old, even if we don't think about it."

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Homeschooling mom offers many ways to build tradition

Therese McDonald
March 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Faith is at the heart of Therese McDonald's home, where learning and the formation of the whole child go together. The mother of four has been homeschooling for 20 years and says, "All the formation we give our children in reason, in reading, in mathematics, in writing, in conversing and in creating are all bound up in the faith." McDonald was one of several speakers at the Western Canadian Catholic Homeschool Conference at Providence Renewal Centre in Edmonton.

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Pope Francis at 2 years

March 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

When Pope Francis went out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for the first time, he said he did not prepare what he was going to say, but "I felt deeply that a minister needs the blessing of God, but also of his people." He did not know if it was right to explicitly ask the thousands of people in St. Peter's Square to bless him, so instead he asked them to pray that God would bless him, he said. And he bowed for their prayers. Marking the second anniversary of his election March 13, Pope Francis spoke about the conclave that elected him in 2013, about his life the last two years and about the future in an interview with Valentina Alazraki of Mexico's Televisa.

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Pope blesses women gathered at Vatican to share stories

March 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The pope's comments March 8 preceded a five-hour celebration in the Vatican of the ways Christian women minister to their sisters who are poor, sick, excluded from education, victims of human trafficking and exploitation. The celebration, Voices of Faith, also included a session in which participants expressed their hopes and dreams for fuller involvement of women in Church decision-making. Chantal Gotz, executive director of the Fidel Gotz Foundation and chief organizer of the celebration, told Catholic News Service, "It's not about arguing doctrine or wanting something; it's highlighting the contributions women already are making.

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Holy Year of Mercy begins in December

March 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
and CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Catholic Church's "mission to be a witness of mercy." "No one can be excluded from God's mercy," the pope said March 13, marking the second anniversary of his pontificate by leading a Lenten penance service in St. Peter's Basilica. "I frequently have thought about how the Church can make more evident its mission to be a witness of mercy," he said during his homily. So he decided to call a special holy year, which will be celebrated from Dec. 8, 2015, until Nov. 20, 2016.

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