WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Syrian, Iraqi refugees struggle to make a life

February 23, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The current refugee crisis in Iraq and especially Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, says the national director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Carl Hétu says that is the assessment of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees which is tracking the massive refugee crisis stemming from the wars in Iraq and Syria. More than three million refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq have registered with the UNHCR, and likely another million have not registered because of fear, Hétu said in a Feb. 5 talk at Edmonton's Assumption Parish Hall.

Romero's conversion a slow process

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February 23, 2015
CHAZ MUTH
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero is held up as a beacon for the poor and oppressed, but scholars who have studied Romero's life say his conversion to the poor was a slow process. It's a common narrative that Romero had a sudden conversion from a quiet, cerebral archbishop to one whose outreach to the poor and disenfranchised led to his death. However, Damian Zynda, a Romero researcher at Jesuit-run Creighton University, argues that transformation happened over many years.

Educator tries to raise profile of black history in Canada

February 23, 2015
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Everton Lewis is trying to raise awareness that black history is as much a part of Canada's past as the stories of European explorers like Samuel Champlain. "Being black and being Canadian at the same time I always asked 'Where is my story?'" during history class, said the Toronto Catholic school board's community relations staff member. "When I was in school I didn't hear anything, it was almost like there was no beginning and that somebody just snapped their fingers and here we were."

Pray your way to peace

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February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Prayer. Deep meditative prayer. Most of us long for it. Many have achieved it. "But there is a certain degree of fear and anxiety in going after some of those very big feelings," says Dr. Andrew Newberg, "because they are a bit overwhelming and scary in some ways. They are wonderful but they can be very scary at times as well." Newberg, director of research at the Jefferson Myrna Brind Centre of Integrative Medicine in Philadelphia, has delved into the neurological impact of prayer and meditation since the early 1990s.

Prayers for husband's health answered

February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Natalie Rose's husband Todd had been feeling poorly for such a long time, her first prayer was "to finally figure out what was wrong. We knew he was gravelly ill." So when the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer came, "It was not the diagnosis I was looking for but I remember feeling it was answered prayer." The statistical outcome was not good: "Less than 10 per cent survive. And there was no guaranteed complete recovery."

Christian bikers have a mobile apostolate

February 23, 2015
AGNIESZKA KRAWCZYNSKI
THE B. C. CATHOLIC

VANCOUVER – B.C. biker Fred Sawatzky said he rides to Mexico to convert other bikers to Christ every year. "I go to their drug cartels, take Bibles in my suitcase, and hand them out," Sawatzky said at Missions Fest, an annual conference. Sawatzky is one of 32 members of the Christian Motorcycle Association in the Fraser Valley.

In her emptiness, she found Jesus

Janet Bourdet

February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Janet Bourdet, co-director of Edmonton's Marian Centre, was so taken as a child by the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, she found herself asking God, "Why love me?" But amidst her soul searching, she faced a major upset when, come Grade 5, her family had to leave forested Montana and move to San Diego. "I was heart-broken until I saw the pool." Changes happened again when Bourdet left the Church at 18.

Deacon heard his call through words of others

Dr. Randall Abele

February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Prayer is a constant companion with Dr. Randall Abele. A deacon and Edmonton urologist, Abele says, "Prayer is essential. You're walking with God and you always want to be walking where he wants you to be walking. "You pray to have contentment in your heart, peace in your heart about your life." Prayer, he said, is something that comes out of faith.

Religious gain wisdom through obedience – pope

February 23, 2015
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Total obedience to God's will brings wisdom, joy and hope, Pope Francis told religious men and women. Jesus came not to follow his own will, but to obey the Father's will, the pope said Feb. 2 during a Mass for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The Church marks the feast as the World Day for Consecrated Life. "Whoever follows Jesus takes the path of obedience," which means lowering, emptying and humbling oneself like Jesus, the pope said.

Catholics, Mennonites discuss the meaning of compassion

February 23, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

A snowy winter night and Our Lady of Assumption Parish basement is filled with an intriguing ecumenical gathering of 25 Roman Catholics and Mennonites. This is their annual meeting where they discussed the book Compassion, a reflection on the Christian life by Henri Nouwen, Donald McNeill and Douglas Morrison. "We are in our fifth year of dialogue," said Julien Hammond, director of the ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Edmonton Archdiocese.