WCR This Week

From the category archives: LeftColumn

Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page

Muslims, Jews, Christians meet to promote peace

Yasmeen Quraishi Nizam

December 15, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As war rages in the Middle East and racial tensions heighten in the United States, leaders of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths condemned violence and spoke of peace at Edmonton City Hall Dec. 6. The event, titled Voices of Peace from Abraham's Children, was sponsored by the Phoenix Multi-Faith Society for Harmony, an Edmonton group whose goal is to promote bridge-building and understanding among Christians, Muslims and Jews. "I feel that Islam, the religion that defines me, has been unjustifiably hijacked by (extremists)," said Yasmeen Quraishi Nizam, presiding co-chair of the society and the event's emcee.

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Traveling icon stirs devotion to Joseph

St. Joseph the Worker icon

December 15, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The visit of the icon of St. Joseph the Worker to parishes and schools across the Edmonton Archdiocese brought awareness about the role of St. Joseph and increased devotion to the diocese's patron saint. In mid-November, the icon and historical exhibit created for the Jubilee 100 Year ended an 18-month journey to more than 70 parishes across the archdiocese as well as Catholic schools, festivals and youth rallies.

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Autistic parishioners should be seen as valued contributors

Alessia Mussol

December 15, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

If every Catholic is supposed to go to Mass on Sunday, Pope Francis wants every one of them to be well and truly welcomed when they get there – including the ones who randomly shout, rock back and forth in the pew, moan or unexpectedly laugh. Every family with an autistic child needs to feel at home in church, Pope Francis told 700 participants at a three-day conference Nov. 21-23 on autism organized by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry in Rome. "Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance, encounter and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope," said the pope.

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Pope Francis pushes for unity

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

December 15, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

In reaching full unity with Orthodox Christians, "the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith," Pope Francis said Nov. 30. In a liturgy in Istanbul, Turkey, attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the pope assured Orthodox Christians they would not lose their distinctive forms of worship, spirituality and governance in a reunion with Rome. Full communion between the churches "means neither submission of one to the other nor absorption, but rather welcoming of all the gifts that God has given to each to show the whole world the great mystery of salvation realized by Christ the Lord through the Holy Spirit," the pope said.

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Grandma Europe is weary and losing its soul, pope says

Pope Francis

December 15, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The European Parliament should value the continent's faiths to rejuvenate Europe's social, political and economic life, Pope Francis told the body Nov. 25. "In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a 'grandmother,' no longer fertile and vibrant," the pope said. In too many cases, he said, the Judeo-Christian values and the humanist ideals that inspired the continental drive toward unity seem to have been replaced by "the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions."

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Popular Mary's Veil drama returns to St. Albert

Photo from Mary's Veil

December 15, 2014
COLLEEN SOETAERT
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Back by popular demand, Sandra Brenneis and St. Peter's choir in Villeneuve will again present their popular musical drama Mary's Veil. When asked why the show was coming back after six years, Brenneis responded, "When I talk to people they always ask, 'When is Mary's Veil coming back?' "To be honest, I had no intention of doing Mary's Veil this year. I felt that I was too busy, many of the cast could not return and I knew that if we did it, I would want to rewrite some of the music.

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A vast far-flung nation of the hungry

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December 15, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

I've lived in Toronto most of my life, studied in New York and my beautiful wife is from São Paulo. I have also visited London, Paris, Rome, Beirut, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jerusalem and Nairobi. All of these places are famous in some way for their food. But my most unforgettable meal was about 15 years ago in a village whose name I can't remember. It was in the hilly interior of Nicaragua, in a school building that had lost its roof, windows and doors to a hurricane that had flattened the village.

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Come and See weekend uncovers growing interest in priesthood

Francis Tesalona and Matthiew Gratton

December 1, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Luke Tamayo has been thinking about the priesthood for years. But before making a decision, the 28-year-old St. Albert architect wanted to meet other people who felt called to serve the Lord as priests. "I wanted to meet the full spectrum of people who feel like me," Tamayo said in an interview. On Nov. 21 Tamayo came to a Come and See retreat at St. Joseph Seminary and found plenty of company – 14 others who were pondering the same question.

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Guadalupe feast an occasion to pray with aboriginal people

Dennis Whitford

December 1, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The concerns of aboriginal people will take centre stage across Canada Dec. 12 as Catholics gather to pray in solidarity with them. The Edmonton Archdiocese will mark the day with evening prayer and a Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica. The National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples is celebrated annually on Dec. 12, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared to a humble aboriginal peasant, St. Juan Diego, in Mexico in 1531. "Because Our Lady appeared to this indigenous person, the indigenous people from across America recognize this as a particularly significant devotion for them," explains Archbishop Richard Smith.

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Faith leaders pledge to help house the homeless

Bob McKeon

December 1, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

After a successful five years housing the homeless, local spiritual leaders reaffirmed their commitment to participate in the second half of the City of Edmonton's 10-year-commitment to end homelessness. Representatives of 25 faith communities, including Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, Ukrainian Catholic Eparch David Motiuk and Anglican Bishop Jane Alexander, pledged to help the city realizethe commitment. The signing ceremony took place at City Hall Nov. 13, following speeches by several local leaders.

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