WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Turmoil and faith are story behind overflowing RCIA

March 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Sitting around the table at the meeting at Thomas More Church, Darlene Smigelski felt a smile start to soften her face. "Lord, you are funny. When you want to communicate with me you hit me with a two-by-four, don't you?" Smigelski had just agreed to be coordinator of the RCIA program for the church. That was 15 years ago. "I have been doing this since the turn of the century. That is what I like to say."

Brazil is world champion in inequality, says bishop

Bishop Eugenio Rixen

March 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Brazil is said to have one of the world's strongest economies. The problem is that the Brazilian economy is designed to favour the rich, keeping millions of Brazilians in extreme poverty. That's according to Bishop Eugenio Rixen of Goias, Brazil, who is the Share Lent visitor of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. He was in Alberta March 11-16 for a number of public events. "Brazil is the world champion in inequality," Rixen, who is originally from Belgium, said in a March 13 talk to staff at the Catholic Pastoral and Administration Offices. He spoke in French and his lecture was translated into English by Holy Cross Sister Sylvia Landry.

Entering Church a family affair

March 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Born a Catholic, Adam Mickelson left the Church in his teens, but came back "because it was comfortable, familiar." His wife Trisha was "United, but not part of a church-going family." She had Mormon friends, started to think about faith, but never found anything that fit her. "Even after we were married. I was drawn to the Mormon church because that was more familiar to me."

Vanier honoured with prestigious Templeton Prize

March 23, 2015
NATE MADDEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Jean Vanier, the Canadian Catholic author and philosopher who founded L'Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize. L'Arche is dedicated to the creation and growth of communities, programs and support networks for people with intellectual disabilities across the globe. The movement began quietly in northern France in 1964, when Vanier invited two intellectually disabled men to come and live with him as friends, and has grown to include 147 L'Arche residential communities in 35 countries. As well, there are more than 1,500 Faith and Light support groups in 82 countries that urge solidarity among people with and without disabilities.

Catholic schools can work with gay-straight alliances

Fr. Stefano Penna

March 23, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Catholic officials are welcoming new Alberta legislation which will give students the right to establish gay-straight alliances in the province's schools. "We see this legislation as something we can work within," Father Stefano Penna told reporters March 12. Likewise, the Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association (ACSTA) issued a prepared statement saying "Catholic schools will be able to work with the legislation." Penna, vice-president of college development and advancement, spoke at a news conference to give a Catholic perspective on Bill 10, which the legislature passed March 10.

Alta. Dioceses combine marriage tribunals

March 23, 2015
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – The five Roman Catholic dioceses of Alberta and the Northwest Territories have integrated their marriage tribunals into one body based in Edmonton. In making the announcement, Archbishop Richard Smith, moderator of the newly-established Interdiocesan Tribunal of Edmonton, said the bishops hope the new body will "offer better and more timely service to anyone who requires a declaration of nullity before entering a new marriage within the Catholic Church." The new interdiocesan tribunal has its main office at the Pastoral and Administration Offices of the Edmonton Archdiocese, and an auxiliary office at the Catholic Pastoral Centre of the Diocese of Calgary, Smith said.

Salesians continue to serve youth through parishes

March 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Romano Venturelli grew up on a farm in Italy. He put so much dedication into his farm chores that people thought he would make a good farmer. But the young boy's heart was in the priesthood. He wanted to be a missionary in Latin America and minister to indigenous people. However, the young Venturelli was recruited by the Salesians of Don Bosco and ended up in Canada instead. In fact, he has spent most of his priestly vocation in Canada, primarily in Montreal and Edmonton.

Parliamentarians will mark Canada's first John Paul II Day with April 1 reception

March 23, 2015
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA -– The first national Pope John Paul II Day falls on April 2 to mark the day the new saint died 10 years ago. On Parliament Hill, the national day will be celebrated April 1. Conservative MP Wladyslaw Lizon, who put forward the private member's bill that became law last year, said Parliament is celebrating a day early because April 2 is Holy Thursday. Many MPs and senators will be traveling back to their ridings that day for the Easter break, he said. "We're going to have a reception hosted by the speaker of the House," Lizon said. The reception will include parliamentarians, and people from a range of different communities to commemorate the life of a great world leader.

With God's help, young woman battles rare disease

Jennifer MacDonald

March 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Pain-wracked, 19-year-old Jennifer MacDonald said, "OK God, you can take me now. I can't do this anymore. "I'll always remember this moment, looking at the wall and thinking, 'I am going to die now.' I've always been very scared of death. . . . Sometimes it's hard to face our own mortality." Looking at the turquoise wall in the Stollery Children's Hospital she told her mother, "I love you Mom." Her mother whispered in her ear. "I love you, and Jesus and Mary are with you."

Cross visits city schools in memory of Fr. Mireau

March 23, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Six months after his death at the age of 42, Father Mike Mireau's spirit is very much alive in the classrooms of the city's Catholic schools. He is the talk of the town as a wooden cross made in his honour tours Catholic schools in the city. On March 9, the travelling cross came to St. Justin School, where it began a tour of every classroom. Led by teacher Laurie Wojcichowsky, the Grade 3 class held a lively discussion on Mireau and the cross, which stood tall in a corner of the classroom. When Wojcichowsky asked the class what they had learned about Father Catfish, as the priest was widely known, several hands went up.

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