WCR This Week

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Church's oils spur growth in economy of salvation

Archbishop Richard Smith, aided by seminarian Roger Niedzielski, blesses the holy oils at the annual Chrism Mass March 30 at St. Joseph's Basilica in Edmonton.
April 6, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Church, like the provincial economy, is resource dependent, says Archbishop Richard Smith. Speaking at the annual Chrism Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica March 30, the archbishop said the Alberta economy is heavily dependent on oil, a resource whose fluctuations in price create an unstable economic foundation for the lives of the people. The Church herself is resource dependent, he acknowledged. "She relies upon the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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In the family, we show our real selves

Archbishop Richard Smith
April 6, 2015
ARCHBISHOP RICHARD SMITH

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called a special Synod of Bishops for this coming October. The theme he has designated is The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World. This provides us with an opportunity to ask what our Easter celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches us about the call of the family. Much can be said, of course, in response to this question. One dimension of the vocation of the family, especially in our day, is to be what I call the bulwark of the real.

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Edmonton native to head Cochrane retreat centre

Susan Campbell
April 6, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Susan Campbell wants people to know what a treasure they have in Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre. Campbell, the newly-appointed director of the Cochrane retreat house, had been to Mount St. Francis before and experienced its spiritual richness. "It's a sacred place," she said, "and I want people to know that it is here and it is available so they can get in touch with their inner spirit."

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Romero High School gears up for patron's beautification

April 6, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ<
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Students and staff at Edmonton's Archbishop Oscar Romero High School are rejoicing at the upcoming beatification of their school's patron, who gave his life for the poor and the oppressed. They say Romero is their role model and are happy that the Vatican is fast-tracking his cause. Romero was archbishop of San Salvador during the bloody and tension-filled time leading up to El Salvador's 1979-1992 civil war. Shot dead while celebrating Mass in 1980, the archbishop has long been considered a saint by many in Latin America, but the official Vatican process of canonization had lingered for years.

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New Book details Romero's life, death, journey to sainthood

April 6, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Few among the poor and oppressed of El Salvador have had to wonder about the sainthood of Archbishop Oscar Romero. For them, he has been viewed as a saint for years. For the powerful, however, it has been hard to accept. In his book Oscar Romero: Love Must Win Out, author Kevin Clarke says powerful people both in El Salvador and in Rome have quietly campaigned against Romero's sainthood for years. They have maintained, among other things, that the slain archbishop did not die for his faith or for the poor but as a "combatant" in a political struggle.

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Paschal mystery is God's gift to us

April 6, 2015

The paschal mystery, for Father Robbie McDougall, is a love story. "It's a gift from God to us in regards to the ups and downs of everyday life. It is the personal presence of Christ who is with us always in our suffering and our joys. "This is the incarnated attitude that God is with us always in the personal level for personal growth."

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Jesus shows us the way to confront an era of fear

Scott Bader-Sayer
April 6, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Christians must respond to fear the way Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, says Texas ethicist and author Scott Bader-Saye. Despite his fear of being tortured and dying on the cross, Jesus did not fight the soldiers who came to pick him up but chose a less confrontational path, Bader-Sayer said at the ecumenical Social Justice Institute at Newman Theological College. The ethicist said Jesus' example can be used to confront all sources of fear, individual and collective, including school shootings and racial tension, both seemingly rampant in the United States.

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Ont. doctors go to court to defend their consciences

Deacon Larry Worthen
April 6, 2015
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

After seven months of refusing to meet face-to-face with the affected doctors, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario will now face them in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, supported by the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians' Societies, has filed an application to the court seeking a permanent injunction against the college's new human rights policy. That policy would force doctors to refer for abortion, contraception and legal euthanasia even if doing so violates their sincerely held religious beliefs and their conscience.

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Quebec school wins court battle to teach the Catholic faith

April 6, 2015
PHILIPPE VAILLANCOURT
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

A Jesuit-run high school in Montreal won an eight-year legal battle against the Quebec government when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it should be allowed to teach the mandatory ethics and religious culture course from a Catholic perspective. In a 7-0 decision, the court ruled March 19 that Loyola High School can favour Catholicism in teaching the course, which is required by the Quebec Ministry of Education. "The minister's decision requiring that all aspects of Loyola's proposed program be taught from a neutral perspective, including the teaching of Catholicism, limited freedom of religion more than was necessary given the statutory objectives," the court wrote in its opinion.

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Papal encyclical will challenge throwaway culture

April 6, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The Catholic Church supports the efforts of scientists to study the causes and effects of climate change and insists governments and businesses must get serious about specific commitments for protecting the environment. But Pope Francis, like his predecessors, does not pretend to have a technical solution to the problem. However, he does feel a responsibility to remind Christians of their religious obligation to safeguard creation. That begins with human beings who are created in the image and likeness of God.

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