WCR This Week

From the category archives: LeftColumn

Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page

Parishes find different ways to minister to children

Kendra Stewart

October 20, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Children are an important part of the Church family. The basis for having separate ministry programs for children is that they have specific needs. Kids learn differently than adults and typically have shorter attention spans. Therefore, priests, pastoral associates and teachers across the Edmonton Archdiocese turn to Sunday school, children's liturgies, teaching Masses and other child-specific programs in an effort to meet the unique needs of their younger parishioners. At Holy Trinity Parish in Spruce Grove/Stony Plain, children's liturgy draws about 30 to 60 children at each of the three weekend Masses. "The benefit to the kids coming in here for children's liturgy as opposed to sitting out there at the regular Mass is that they're hearing the same thing but they're hearing it at their own level," said Sheila Rossi, the parish's children's liturgy coordinator.

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Christians called to be agents of unity

Strathcona County Ecumenical Mission – Logo – Small

October 20, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Christians are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation, said Paulist Father Thomas Ryan and Episcopal Canon William Derby, mission leaders for the 25th annual Strathcona County Ecumenical Mission. The pair took turns giving the sermon at an evening service at Sherwood Park United Church Oct. 6. Christians have a ministry of reconciliation that begins in our inner lives and spreads to family, friends, colleagues, Church and the world, they said.

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Many parishes in need of ‘divine renovation’ – priest

Fr. James Mallon

October 20, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Imagine being a pastor who walks into a parish and quickly realizes not only are there too many empty pews but the parishioners who are there are not present. Yes, their physical beings are there but their spiritual reason – coming to be with Jesus – is sadly absent. Church is just a habit. They know they are expected to be there. So they are. They go through the service by rote, half listen (maybe) to the homily and readings, and duck out after receiving Jesus's blood from the chalice. Why wait to sing the closing hymn? If they time it right, they can be among the first out of the parking lot and in time for the football game on TV. That's the scenario – among others – that hit Father James Mallon when he was assigned from 2004 to 2010 to a Maritime parish where "nothing new had really taken place for 30 years."

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Christian views diverge on bombing ISIS

US Navy F-18E Super Hornets

October 20, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Debate over the usefulness and wisdom of a bombing campaign against the Islamic State has Christians re-examining the criteria for a just war – and coming up with different answers. An air campaign against terrorists in control of parts of Syria and Iraq won't result in peace or justice in the region, said Catholic commentator Michael Coren. But conscience pricks us to action. "Most of us know what Christian conscience is and when we look at what is going on there we viscerally realize, and intellectually, we have to do something about it, particularly as we helped to make this happen," said Coren.

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Family Synod midterm report stirs controversy

Synod of Bishops on the family – Logo – Small

October 20, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops has proven highly controversial inside and outside the synod hall, with some synod fathers saying it does not accurately reflect the assembly’s views. The report, delivered Oct. 13 by Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, uses strikingly conciliatory language toward divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and same-sex unions. Following Erdo’s nearly hour-long speech, 41 of the 184 synod fathers present took the floor to comment the same morning, the Vatican said.

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Ukrainian: Priests' families witness to Gospel

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk

October 20, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – By tapping into its Eastern theological and spiritual traditions, the Catholic Church could find an appropriate way to minister to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said. "According to the tradition of the Byzantine Church, a priest or a bishop is not a judge. His task is not to justify or to condemn somebody, especially in such a delicate area as marriage and family," Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk told reporters Oct. 11. The Church has to deal with many wounded people, he said. "We have to realize how many different possibilities, how many instruments Jesus Christ gave us."

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This is NOT your parents' folk mass

Darkness Divided

October 20, 2014
RUANE REMY
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Under blue skies, dressed in black, stand the members of Christian band Darkness Divided. In the serenity of a forest clearing, the band members' hands are stretched straight up, revealing streams of thick, dark blood pouring from wounds artificially created on their open palms. In the background, lyrics suggestive of Christ's crucifixion are belted out supported by the severe guitar and drum sounds typical of a metalcore band. This is a scene from The Hands that Bled, a single off the band's newly released album, Written in Blood. Three of the four members of Darkness Divided are Catholic, but on tour the entire band attends Mass, said guitarist Christopher Mora.

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Archbishop Durocher: Church Teaching is Pastoral Care

Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, President of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops, discusses the relationship between church teaching and pastoral care.

 

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Seminary draws largest numbers in 50 years

Fr. Stephen Hero

October 6, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Thanks to prayer and hard work, St. Joseph Seminary is bursting with seminarians this year. Currently 53 seminarians from several Western dioceses are studying for the priesthood at St. Joseph. That's about 10 more than last year. "This is very exciting," said seminary rector Father Stephen Hero. "These things go a little bit in cycles sometimes but I have to say we haven't had this many (seminarians) probably since the late 1960s." The seminary has room for 60 seminarians and 51 are living in house at the moment. Two are away doing their pastoral internships.

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Mireau changed the lives of students at St. Francis Xavier

October 6, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Mike Mireau was the most important person in Sarah Oskobiny's life. The young chaplain was an inspiration to everyone in St. Francis Xavier High School, with his open door policy, willingness to listen, and a constant smile that brought joy to the students' lives. "We will always remember him and he is always in our hearts," said Oskobiny. Mireau, 42, died Sept.22 following a year and a half battle with cancer. Dan Donnelly, principal at St. Francis, said of Mireau, "He would really make the kids question and look at their faith. He brought the Gospel down to their level, made it relevant to their lives at the moment.

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