Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page
In the wake of a unanimous Supreme Court decision legalizing assisted suicide in Canada, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith urged Catholics to work with their members of Parliament to ensure that the nation’s health care system respects every human life to its natural end. The health care system should also provide “the best and most accessible end-of-life care possible,” Smith said in a Feb. 6 prepared statement. The archbishop said he was “deeply disappointed” to learn of the Supreme Court ruling in the Carter case, which struck down the law prohibiting doctors from assisting certain patients to die.
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For the past decade, Lorraine Kasper has been spending an hour or more each week adoring the Blessed Sacrament at Corpus Christi Chapel adjacent to St. Andrew's Centre on Edmonton's west side. Even when she moved to Onoway for a time, Kasper kept coming. "This is priority for me. I feel that I must do it," she says matter-of-factly. "I have to come because it's just part of me. It's like air." If for some reason she is unable to make it, she immediately notices changes in the people in her life.
Farmers must find a delicate balance between reaping the precious gifts of the earth and protecting them for future generations, Pope Francis said. That task becomes even more serious given the threat of climate change, the pope said in a Jan. 31 meeting with an Italian trade group that lobbies to protect agricultural land and promote farm-friendly policies.
Radicals have to fight their way into the history books. Ninety years after her death, Katherine Hughes is finally winning that battle. Hughes wasn't the usual sort of radical. She began her life and career as a solid contributor from within Canada's Catholic establishment. She was one of the founders of the Catholic Women's League.
On the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, 2014, the Church around the world – at the invitation of Pope Francis – began to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life, which will conclude 12 months from now on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Feb. 2, 2016. The Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories would like to take this occasion to address Christ's faithful and all people of good will regarding the immeasurable contribution that consecrated men and women have made to the life of the Church and of all people in this region for over 150 years.
About a decade ago, Pierre Ducharme came to Edmonton from Vancouver to study theology at Newman Theological College. He wanted to go into ministry as a layperson. Through Newman, he met local members of the Franciscan order and ended up becoming a Franciscan. Today, he wears the brown habit, which has been the symbol of the Franciscans for more than 800 years.