WCR This Week

From the category archives: MiddleColumn

Stories for the Middle Column of the WCR This Week Page

Winter settles in on displaced Iraqis

November 17, 2014
DALE GAVLAK
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Sister Habiba's kindly face is etched with sadness as she surveys the muddy field in Ainkawa, Iraq, where dozens of tents sheltering displaced Iraqi Christians once stood. Cold, punishing rains and blustery wind swept through the encampment Oct. 20, earlier than expected for winter, crashing down the tents in the dead of night. Shoes, slippers and toys were strewn about, stuck in the muddy mess, signaling the mad dash for safety.

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'Flying Dutchman' had passion for liturgy, history

Br. Donatus Vervoort (2005)

November 17, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Smiles filled his voice as Father Shayne Craig chuckled, "I used to call him the Flying Dutchman because he was all over the place." The man he was referring to was Brother Donatus Vervoort who died Oct. 28 at 83 years of age. For decades, Donatus' lively passion for liturgical music and Church history enriched students at Newman Theological College and St. Joseph's College at the University of Alberta. Added to that was a love for gardening, which provided tonnes of food for the hungry over the years. But what local Catholics will most remember about "the Flying Dutchman" was his awesome levels of energy and generosity.

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Spirited seniors gather at basilica to strengthen faith

St. Joseph's Basilica-logo-small

November 17, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Elderly parishioners of St. Joseph's Basilica are gathering to socialize, strengthen their Catholic beliefs and receive spiritual guidance. Catherine Ryan and other parish seniors determined that less mobile or physically challenged seniors cannot always get out as often as they would like. "Wintertime in the city, they slide down sidewalks and maybe even not drive, so although they have Communion taken to them, they love to get to Mass. So we thought once a month, a spiritual experience such as this would be welcomed," said Ryan.

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Shakespeare closet Catholic amidst persecution

November 17, 2014
JONATHAN LUXMOORE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Inside the recently refurbished Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, a massed audience, banked on three floors, gazes attentively out over a wide, brightly lit stage. "Necessity will make us all forsworn. Three thousand times within this three years' space; for every man with his affects is born, not by might master'd, but by special grace," recited the actor playing Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost.

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Monk unites painting and theology

November 17, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

If you get up close, within centimetres of Brother Emmaus O'Herlihy's monumental painting of Christ the King, you may see a tear descending from Jesus' left eye. Or you might not. O'Herlihy didn't paint a tear; it's just that some people see one. In early October only a few had seen the completed painting, which will hang eventually at King's University College at Western University in London, Ont. Even before he was finished, one of the other artists sharing the studio space noticed the tear.

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Tagle: Family poverty remains central concern for synod fathers

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

November 17, 2014
SIMONE ORENDAIN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The impact of poverty on families, especially in Asia, was a major concern of participants at the recent world Synod of Bishops, says Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. "Poverty is really affecting the Filipino family in a dramatic way," Tagle told reporters at an Oct. 30 news conference. Despite heavy emphasis on divorce and gay unions in media coverage of the event, the synod was more than a series of discussions on those issues, the cardinal said.

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Survivors need consolation

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November 17, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Someone dies. What do we say when we meet their relative, their friend, their family? Too painful, right? Maybe we will blurt out something inane or insensitive. Yet this is the very time the grieving person needs words and/or actions of comfort. Father Leo Hofmann is sensitive to what not to say when someone has died, such as "God only takes the good ones." Or if a child dies, one shouldn't tell the parents, "'Oh, you are young. You can have another.' That is the most unfortunate thing. It's not like a litter of puppies.

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Giving to charity through one's estate leaves a testament

Carla Smiley

November 17, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As disciples of Jesus, Catholics are stewards, not owners, of what God has entrusted to them. "In fact we are accountable to God for what we receive and how we used it to serve others," explains Carla Smiley, coordinator of planned giving for the Edmonton Archdiocese. At the end of our lives, "we are to give whatever gifts we received back to God with increase." One way to be a good steward is to leave money to charity in your will, says Smiley, noting that Catholic charities rely primarily on Catholics for funding.

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