WCR This Week

Parish team offers Montrealers simple plan for rebuilding parishes

Fr. Michael White

December 1, 2014
ERIC DUROCHER
CATHOLIC TIMES MONTREAL

MONTREAL – Do you want to rebuild your parish? Then get ready to "step out of your comfort zone" and focus your energy on disciple-making, the pastoral team from a Maryland parish said Nov. 13. Father Michael White and Tom Corcoran laid out a simple but challenging three-fold strategy for making disciples and renewing the parish: redirect parish energy toward "non-church people," priorize the weekend experience (the Mass) and galvanize parishioners into action. The co-authors of trailblazing book Rebuilt, published in 2013, shared defining moments in their 17-year ministry in north Baltimore, during which they and their sleepy, suburban parish were transformed into a dynamic evangelizing community.

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Family fragmented as son flees Lebanon for life in Edmonton

December 1, 2014
DOREEN ABI RAAD
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

From the time he arrived in Lebanon alone from war-torn Syria nearly two years ago, resettlement to a peaceful nation in the West has been Gabriel's sole aim. But it is with mixed emotions that the 28-year-old Syrian Christian sets out to begin a new life in Edmonton. Expectant hope covered a heavy heart as he spent his final two weeks in Lebanon with his parents and brother who arrived from Syria for his send-off.

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Groups favour outlawing 'barbaric practices'

December 1, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – The Catholic Civil Rights League and REAL Women of Canada both support Canada's Zero Tolerances for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. Introduced by the Government Leader of the Senate Conservative Senator Claude Carignan Nov. 5 as S-7, it has the support of the Tory cabinet. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said the act would close various loopholes in the Criminal Code and other legislation to prevent honour killings, polygamy and forced marriages.

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Repairing the washer can heal your soul

December 1, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Matthew Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft, says work involving making things or fixing things has a wider cultural significance in combating growing passivity and dependency. Today, it is harder to be self-reliant, with some high-end cars lacking even a dipstick to check the oil, he told about 100 people Nov. 19 at this year's Cardus Hill Family lecture. Instead people get an email to remind them, said the Virginia-based motorcycle mechanic and fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. "We can't check our own oil."

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Churches celebrate Catholic milestone

Bishop Donald Bolen

December 1, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

When Saskatoon's Bishop Don Bolen worked for Cardinal Walter Kasper in the Vatican, the boss would tell him that all those documents produced at the Second Vatican Council weren't supposed to sit on shelves gathering dust. "We're supposed to act on them," said Bolen, recollecting his time with Kasper at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Bolen had just finished co-presiding with Anglican Bishop Linda Nicholls at a Nov. 9 ecumenical celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Decree on Ecumenism. The event was held at St. James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto.

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Parishes respond to Smith's plea to sponsor refugees

December 1, 2014
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Paulette Johnson of Catholic Social Services wonders why Canada is not doing more to help the besieged people of Syria. "We should do so much more to relieve them. What do you do when people are so desperate? How can Germany take in 10,000 when we take in only 200?" Her plea came at the same time Archbishop Richard Smith asked parishioners to consider helping these war-torn people. To date, six parishes have made commitments to sponsor Syrian or Iraqi families – nine cases with a total of 33 refugees to be sponsored.

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Canada must accept blame for mining abuses – KAIROS head

Jennifer Henry

December 1, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Canadian mining companies are responsible for water pollution, community displacement, and human rights abuses in the developing world said KAIROS' executive director. "Are we prepared to accept responsibility?" asked Jennifer Henry, when she spoke during a panel discussion at Saint Paul University Nov. 7. Henry also called on Canadians to accept responsibility for our complicity in exploitation through our lifestyles and pension funds. KAIROS, the ecumenical justice initiative, has been involved in "mining justice for 10 years," Henry noted.

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Carson's crosswords evolved from passion of his youth

Bob Carson

December 1, 2014
JIM O'LEARY
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Being the crossword puzzle guy in a prison means you are never without friends. You become the automatic go-to person when someone is stumped. "Hey, Bob, what's the name of George Jetson's dog?" That's just one of the many questions thrown Bob Carson's way over the years. One of the easier ones, too. Who can forget Astro? Carson is the author of the popular crossword puzzle that appears in every issue of the Western Catholic Reporter and The Catholic Register. Or, as he might put it, what's a six-letter word for Canada's Catholic crossword guru? Answer: Carson.

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Homeless Iraqi Christians face uncertain future

Abu and Um Sabah

November 17, 2014
DALE GAVLAK
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The last thing Abu Sabah ever pictured in his life was being homeless and living in a tent in a park somewhere. But that is exactly what he and his family are experiencing in Ainkawa, a Christian enclave outside of Irbil, the capital of the Kurdistan area of northern Iraq. Sabah, a Syriac Catholic from the predominately Christian town of Qaraqosh, a 45-minute drive away, had a good job, a big house, a car and was surrounded by a strong family community until Islamic State militants swept through the town Aug. 6, turning their world upside down.

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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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