Stories for the Right Column of the WCR This Week Page
Less than a decade ago Benjamin Ripley decided to leave his Baptist faith to become a Catholic. Today he is a fully-fledged Franciscan brother, wearing the famous brown habit the Franciscans have donned for the past 800 years. The 41-year-old former sailor made his final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a Franciscan brother in Lumsden, Sask., Aug. 21. Family, friends and friars from across Western Canada were present at his solemn profession.
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A rerouting of Ottawa's Gay Pride Parade Aug. 23 took marchers past St. Patrick's Basilica, prompting some Catholics to mount a protest. Social activist John Pacheco, who organized the 15,000-strong March for Marriage in 2005, urged men to gather in front of the basilica to pray the rosary with their backs turned to the parade. Forty to 50 people, both men and women, arrived shortly before 1 p.m. and began to pray.
VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis asked thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square to be quiet for a moment and ponder the question, "Who is Jesus to you?" After the moment of silence Aug. 23, the pope introduced the Angelus prayer by asking Mary to help Christians purify their faith, removing "worldly incrustations and fears."
VATICAN CITY - From the time he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis has said special prayers for catechists on the feast of St. Pius X, who wrote a catechism in 1908. Pope Francis celebrated a private Mass in his residence early on the feast day, Aug. 21, but decided to pray for catechists at the tomb of St. Pius in St. Peter's Basilica. About 70 people were sitting or kneeling at pews in front of the tomb waiting for a 7 a.m. Mass when the pope arrived, so he joined them, sitting in the front pew.
VATICAN CITY - Catholics will celebrate Sept. 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis has decided.The day of prayer, the pope said, will give individuals and communities an opportunity to implore God's help in protecting creation and an opportunity to ask God's forgiveness "for sins committed against the world in which we live. "The pope's decision was announced by the Vatican Aug. 10.
WASHINGTON - The Catholic Committee of Appalachia has called on the 26 bishops of the region to engage Catholics in the pews, the mining industry and elected officials on Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment.
VANCOUVER - Spiritual retreats should not be limited to the middle class, says Ted Penton. A Jesuit in formation, Penton leads retreats for homeless people through the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP), which runs in 27 North American cities. Penton visited Vancouver July 11-17 to see if it could be the next city to offer retreats to the homeless.
If you are new at teaching religious education or simply want fresh tips, there is a new book with sound advice.It's called So You're Teaching Religion and offers helpful guidelines for teachers seeking to create engaging and dynamic faith formation classes.Written by Dr. Richard Rymarz, a professor at St. Joseph's College at the University of Alberta, the 63-page book explores content areas and teaching strategies that will "help Catholic teachers be good religious education teachers."
WASHINGTON - Pornography is sexualizing the innocence of young children, causing a race to adulthood before the end of childhood.Young girls are being bombarded with Photoshopped images and are buying into unrealistic expectations set before them at an age meant for skinned knees and the Disney Channel.Those were some of the concerns raised at a symposium July 14. "Our entire culture is getting our girls porn ready," said Gail Dines, a professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College in Boston. "It hypersexualizes them at a young age."
As part of centennial celebrations in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, a centenary icon of the Holy Family was commissioned and is currently visiting churches across the archdiocese.After its tour, the icon will be permanently on display at St. Mary's Cathedral.The icon was designed and written by Andre Prevost.