WCR This Week

In Sri Lanka, pope appeals for national reconciliation

Kurukkal SivaSri T. Mahadeva

January 26, 2015
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA – Pope Francis told Sri Lankans seeking reconciliation after two-and-a-half decades of civil war that, before they can forgive each other, they must repent of their own sins. "Only when we come to understand, in light of the cross, the evil we are capable of, and have even been a part of, can we experience true remorse and true repentance," the pope said Jan. 14, during a prayer service in the northern jungle town of Madhu. "Only then can we receive the grace to approach one another in true contrition, offering and seeking true forgiveness." The pope had traveled 250 kms in a helicopter from the capital city of Colombo to visit the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary, which houses a statue of Mary venerated by Sri Lankans since the 16th century.

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Some truths can only be seen through tears

January 26, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Tears often are the only correct response to suffering, Pope Francis told 30,000 young people Jan. 18. While it is impossible to explain why God would allow children to suffer, he told the young people, "only when we, too, can cry" can one approach a response. "I invite each one of you here to ask yourself, 'Have I learned to weep and cry when I see a child cast aside, when I see someone with a drug problem, when I see someone who has suffered abuse?" the pope told the gathering in Manila. Being moved to tears out of compassion and in the face of the mystery of suffering is holy, he said. It is not the same thing as crying to manipulate or get something from someone.

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'Ideological colonization' threatens the family

January 26, 2015
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES – Catholic families should resist "ideological colonization that tries to destroy the family" through such practices as contraception and same-sex marriage, Pope Francis told a meeting of families Jan. 16. Commenting on a reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which St. Joseph twice learns God's will for the Holy Family from an angel in a dream, Pope Francis said dreaming could serve an analogous purpose in ordinary Christian families. "I very much like this idea of dreaming in a family," the pope said. "When you lose this capacity to dream, you lose the capacity and energy to love." But the pope noted St. Joseph's dreams also revealed the "dangers which threatened Jesus and Mary, forcing them to flee to Egypt and then to settle in Nazareth.

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The rains pour down, but weather won't separate Pope Francis from the people.

January 26, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

MANILA – New situations are opportunities to learn new things, even about the 78-year-old Pope Francis. After two days of watching the pope tenaciously keep his appointments in the Philippines despite pouring rain Jan. 17-18, one lesson is that the papal wardrobe needs to be expanded to include rain gear. A white umbrella – the usual Vatican response to a drizzle – is not adequate. And cancelling or moving an event indoors – the usual Vatican response to a heavy rain – is not acceptable to Pope Francis if his appointment is with thousands or even millions of predominantly poor people.

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Son's murder shook mother's faith to the core

January 26, 2015
AGNIESZKA KRAWCZYNSKI
THE B. C. CATHOLIC

A mother's faith was shaken to the core after her son was shot dead in 2007 in B.C.'s worst gang murder case. "I literally hated God," Eileen Mohan told The B.C. Catholic. "My faith, my everything, was taken away from me. I stopped believing at that moment." Eileen and her 22-year-old son Christopher lived in an apartment building in Surrey. When they temporarily moved from the 14th to the 15th floor seven years ago, they unknowingly became across-the-hall neighbours of drug trafficker Corey Lal. "I bumped into him a couple of times, and he would say 'hi' to me," Eileen recalled. "He seemed a nice person. There was nothing for me to think he was a drug dealer."

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Pope Francis names landmark Guelph church a basilica

January 26, 2015
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

GUELPH, ONT. – The Church of Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph, the childhood parish of Cardinal Thomas Collins, has been named a basilica. The landmark church perched on a hill overlooking the city was designated a basilica last month by Pope Francis, catching parishioners by surprise. Parishioners heard the news Dec. 8 during a special Mass celebrating the church's new altar when Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby announced at the end of his homily that Pope Francis had approved the designation.

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Daughters of St. Paul made for media

Sr. Helena Burns

January 26, 2015
RUANE REMY
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Over the years, the strongest of Pauline Sisters could manage the huge printing presses and handle the massive rolls of paper – work that men usually did. But these women religious were determined to share the Gospel the way their founder thought best a century ago: The Daughters of St. Paul were made for media. Today, the sisters outsource printing, but have their hands in almost every media pie imaginable spanning print, broadcast and the Internet. Technology has been good to these media mavens. "That's what makes us so unique.

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Holy Trinity Parish celebrates mortgage burning

January 26, 2015
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

SPRUCE GROVE – A wonderful celebration and mortgage burning took place on Jan. 11 at Holy Trinity Church here. The parishioners paid off the mortgage on their church building ahead of schedule. Bishop Paul Terrio of St. Paul, pastor of Holy Trinity from 2002 to 2012, came to celebrate with the parish. Terrio spoke of the challenges he faced in leading parishioners to become a community and how, working with the parish finance committee, he instituted the unpopular weekly second collection, to meet the monthly mortgage payment of $20,825.

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Bringing roses to abortion clinic lands woman in jail

Mary Wagner

January 26, 2015
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Mary Wagner is back behind bars after illegally entering a Toronto abortion facility armed with roses and pregnancy-help information cards. Within half an hour of her arrival on Dec. 23, police spilled out of three cars and arrested the 40-year-old British Columbia woman, charging her with breach of probation, and mischief for interfering with a business. Wagner has been in and out of prison in Ontario over the past four years. She spent two years locked up while her lawyer Charles Lugosi defended her in the Ontario Court of Justice on charges of mischief for interfering with a business and other minor charges. She was convicted last June and he is seeking leave to appeal. Lugosi said the judge and the prosecution wanted to release Wagner on bail but she refused to sign an undertaking promising she would not return to the facility.

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New cardinals reflect Church's global nature

January 12, 2015
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis has named 20 new cardinals, 11 of them from the global South. The new cardinals come "from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the Church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world," the pope said. Fifteen of the new cardinals are under age 80 and will be eligible to vote in a papal election.

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