Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page
Jason Alderman was beaming as he got out of church Feb. 22. The 26-year-old Red Deer man had just taken part in the annual Rite of Christian Election and felt excited about becoming a Catholic. Alderman said shaking Archbishop Richard Smith's hand during the ceremony made him feel welcome to his new faith. Alderman, an auto mechanic and electrician, grew up a Baptist and professed that faith until he met his girlfriend Khristine a year ago.
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As Catholics are encouraged to make going to Confession a significant part of their lives during Lent, Pope Francis offered some quick tips to help people prepare for the sacrament of Penance. After a brief explanation of why people should go to Confession – "because we are all sinners" – the pope listed 30 key questions to reflect on as part of making an examination of conscience and being able to "confess well."
Pope Francis is a radical reformer who is facing enemies inside and outside the Church opposed to at least some parts of his agenda, says a prominent Church historian. Dr. Massimo Faggioli, an expert on the Second Vatican Council and the author of several books, said the pope is not a liberal who exalts the individual as the centre of the world and who sees a minimal role for the Church in public life.
Conservative MPs quashed a Liberal motion to fast-track legislation on physician-assisted suicide Feb. 24 by a vote of 146-132. Instead, the Tories indicated the government will undertake extensive consultations and still meet the one-year deadline set by the Supreme Court of Canada when it struck down the laws against assisted suicide Feb. 6.
By listening to people's suffering, joys and daily endeavours, Catholics bring the vision of the Second Vatican Council to the world, said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines. Such action shows that the Church values the dignity of every person, especially the poor, and that it welcomes encounters with the world without fear, Tagle told an audience at The Catholic University of America in Washington.
Lent should be a time for Catholics to spiritually prepare for the celebration of Christ's resurrection and less about forgoing materialism. "When we think of Lent we think we have to give up something and we've kind of lost that whole focus on the interior aspect," said David Gilbert, president and founder of the Burlington, Ont.-based Serviam Ministries.
Here is the second installment of the WCR Lenten series taken from Pope Francis Dec. 22, 2014 Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia. We trust that the pope's reflections on "spiritual diseases" that weaken our service to the Lord will assist you in your own Lenten examination of conscience.
The Supreme Court decision legalizing assisted suicide in Canada is a repeat of the original sin in which men and women believed they can be like gods, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve "surrendered to the lie" that they could be "something other than what they were created to be," Smith said in a Feb. 12 interview. "God is eclipsed and his supremacy and sovereignty is replaced with that of the individual," the archbishop said. That human decision in Eden has been the root of all sin and disharmony in the world ever since, he said.
Jo-Anne Paquette's three-month journey with Martha Shephard as she died from a brain tumour was both physically draining and a spiritual gift for Paquette. "Martha lived in a house in Ottawa, and I really grew to respect her, thought of her as a mentor," said Paquette. "When I was dropped into the pool of caring for her and journeying with her, it was a sudden thing. It felt like a whole lifetime to me."
The love of a man and a woman committed to an exclusive and permanent relationship is a powerful witness to the love and presence of God. That's what Kevin and Mona Lee Feehan demonstrated during the celebration of World Marriage Day 2015 at St. Albert Church Feb. 8. The couple shared parts of their lives together to bring alive the theme of the celebration: Wherever You Go, I Will Go.