WCR This Week

Casey looks back as his 10-year term as CCODP head ends

Michael Casey
May 4, 2015
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Ten years of fighting off friendly fire attacks from the pro-life movement and politically motivated budget cuts from Ottawa has left outgoing Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace executive director Michael Casey feeling inspired, consoled, hopeful and at peace. Casey has moved on to a new job as executive director of the Canadian Co-operative Association and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, while Development and Peace is expected to announce his replacement by June. As he took possession of his new office April 2, Casey spoke to The Catholic Register about his decade leading Canada's biggest Catholic lay movement. "I found it a fascinating and enriching experience for me personally. It opened whole new horizons of perspective," Casey said.

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Churches name Alta.'s social issues

Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton
May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

"We are here primarily to listen and to understand," said the Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches. "We will be passing forward what we have heard from you to Parliament Hill and we'll discuss it with politicians." Several Edmonton leaders spoke on what their organizations are doing to end poverty and advance climate justice in the city.

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Uso-Ereyi entered seminary to say 'thank you' to God

Deacon Michael Uso-Ereyi
May 4, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Many young people look for some sort of sign from God to confirm their life's vocation, especially when it comes to pursuing the priesthood. But for Deacon Michael Uso-Ereyi, no sign was needed at all. This summer, the St. Joseph's seminarian will be ordained as a priest for the Grouard-McLennan Archdiocese in northwestern Alberta – the culmination of a journey which began at his birth in his native country of Nigeria. Growing up in southern Nigeria, a young Uso-Ereyi went to church with his mom every day. He greatly admired the Augustinian missionaries – the religious order which ran his church in Edo State – a congregation whose presence in the West African country stretches back to the late 1500s.

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Red Deer man on a journey with Jesuits

Erik Sorensen
May 4, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As a child, Erik Sorensen would gaze up at the planes soaring above the Red Deer Airport and wonder at "the technological marvel of it. It was manmade and metal, yet it was effortlessly flying the through the air." That wonderment turned into a passion to fly, a passion that nearly kept him from considering the priesthood. Presently living at Regis College, the Jesuit faculty of theology in Toronto, Sorensen is finishing the first of three years of studying philosophy on the long journey to becoming a Jesuit priest.

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Oppression of aboriginal people has left bitter legacy, says director

Bernadette Lahtail
May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Aboriginal people are suffering from a legacy of centuries of dispossession, oppression and exploitation, says Bernadette Lahtail. That legacy is reflected today in their high rates of mental illness, suicide, homicide, incarceration, unemployment and poverty, Lahtail said.

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Community 'fear' undermines battle against homelessness

Bob McKeon
May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

One major obstacle to providing housing for homeless people in Edmonton is that communities often don't want the poor in their neighbourhoods, says Pastor Mike Van Boon. Boon, a board member of the Capital Region Interfaith Initiative on Homelessness and Affordable Housing, said when city representatives and developers propose a project in certain neighbourhoods they are often met with hostility. "There is a lot of fear that tends to dominate the conversation and then we see housing projects, affordable housing, and permanent supportive housing projects that get shut down," he told the Canadian Council of Churches delegation.

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Bissell Center director gives the low-down on poverty

Mark Holmgren
May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

'We tend to talk about poverty in terms of just numbers or money or poverty lines and forget what poverty really is," says Mark Holmgren, CEO of the inner city Bissell Centre. "Poverty is the deprivation of being connected and being together in healthy ways and equitable ways," he said. Founded in 1910, "the mission of the Bissell Centre is to end poverty in our community," Holmgren explained.

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Church to build low-emissions home

May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

A group led by a Presbyterian church plans to build a low-emissions housing project on the grounds of the Westmount Presbyterian Church in the North Glenora neighbourhood. The project, to be built in partnership with Edmonton Inner City Housing and the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, will have a church with a daycare centre and 16 new townhomes for large newcomer families.

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Climate change will have greatest effect on the most vulnerable, says prof

Randy Haluza-DeLay
May 4, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Climate change will have different effects in different places, says Randy Haluza-DeLay, a sociology professor at The King's University. "The whole planet is changing at an unprecedented speed," Haluza-DeLay said, noting that the impact of climate change will be localized. "We must think about how we do justice to the other people that we share the earth with and the other creatures that are part of creation," he said.

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Filles de Jesus have love for the poor

Filles de Jesus – Logo
May 4, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Sister Doreen Victoor gives an evocative reply when asked why so many vocations for her order, the Filles de Jesus, come from away – Africa, the Philippines, India. "A vocation is about God's call," said Victoor. "The soil was fertile in North America, and now it has shifted to places such as Africa." It is in those southern continents that les Filles de Jesus (Daughters of Jesus) are gaining new members, with 40 professed in Latin America and 44 in Africa in 2013, plus 25 postulants in Africa. The mission of the order no doubt attracted the women from these developing areas. Its traditional ministry is in the care of the sick and poor, and the education of girls.

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