From the monthly archives: December 2015

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'December 2015'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Refugees prayed as they waited for sponsorship

December 21, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Even as war encamped around them in Aleppo, Syrian Catholic couple Ranim Azghen and Naim Kossa never lost their trust in God. Thousands of kilometres away in Edmonton, Canada, it was that same faith that was propelling a group of volunteers at Holy Family Parish to help deliver their Syrian brothers and sisters to safety. "Prayer helped, every time," said Azghen, whose family, including her two young sons, recently arrived in Edmonton.

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CSS moves main office to west side site

December 21, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In a bid to provide a dignified workplace to its employees, Catholic Social Services has moved its administrative office to a renovated building in west Edmonton. The three-storey building, at 12431 Stony Plain Rd., features office space for 70 employees, an attractive staff lunchroom and, for the first time, a chapel. The chapel, blessed by Archbishop Richard Smith Dec. 8, is a place for staff to pray and meditate before they start their day or during breaks. Mass will be celebrated once a month.

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Minister confident transgender policy can meet constraints

Education Minister David Eggen
December 21, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Education Minister David Eggen is confident Edmonton Catholic Schools' trustees will ultimately produce a policy that provides a safe and supportive learning environment for LGBTQ students. "My ministry will provide further guidance for all (school) boards and in the end I expect we'll have something we can all be proud of," Eggen said Dec 11. "We want to make sure that all students are safe (and) have a safe environment in which to learn and that each school board will follow the letter of the School Act. I'm optimistic we'll reach that goal."

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Pilgrims read '5th Gospel' in Holy Land

December 21, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

John and Lorraine Caldwell found it difficult to describe what it is like to stand on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus himself once walked and first called his disciples. "It was just unbelievable that we were walking in his footsteps," said John. "It's just hard to describe the feeling of that experience." The couple, from Edmonton's St. Joseph's Basilica were among 78 pilgrims led by Archbishop Richard Smith on a pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan Nov. 21 to Dec. 4.

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Ukraine fears world has abandoned it to Russia

December 21, 2015
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Many Ukrainians fear the world is abandoning their country to Russia, says Carl Hétu. Hétu, who visited Ukraine Nov. 23 to 28, said Ukrainians he met believe Russia is "diverting international attention to Syria at the expense of Ukraine." "Many believe there might be secret deals for a peace resolution in Syria if the international community ignores Ukraine and leaves it to Russia," said Hétu, national secretary of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) Canada.

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Murchland a priest who believed in role of the laity

Fr. Wilfrid Murchland
December 21, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

A Holy Cross priest for more than five decades, Father Wilfrid Murchland was proud of having being a student of the Second Vatican Council, one of the most fulfilling periods of his priestly life. "That whole thrust was always important to me," he once said. "That explains my involvement with the lay ministries because there was a whole shift from a clerical Church to a lay-centred Church, moving from ordination to Baptism." Modeling that new vision of Church was a key part of Murchland's ministry.

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Year of Mercy an invitation to joy

December 21, 2015
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

With five strong thrusts, the pope pushed open the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica, declaring, "Open the gates of justice." As the sun broke through on a cloudy, damp morning, the pope bowed his head and remained still for several minutes in silent prayer as he launched the Holy Year of Mercy. The rite of the opening of the Holy Door was preceded by a Mass with 70,000 pilgrims packed in St. Peter's Square Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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Archbishop Smith: Share God's tender love with those in need

December 21, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is a year-long opportunity to rejoice, Archbishop Richard Smith said while launching the archdiocesan celebration of God's merciful love. The Edmonton archbishop opened a holy door and called on churchgoers to be people of mercy in a Dec. 13 Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica. "In this Mass, let's pray for the grace to open wide the doors of our hearts to the gift of God's tender and merciful love, and the doors of love and compassion to our world."

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Belgium tries to expand grounds for euthanasia

December 21, 2015
JONATHAN LUXMOORE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Belgium's Catholic bishops welcomed a statement by top medical professors, psychiatrists and ethicists, who rejected a proposal to allow euthanasia for patients facing "psychological suffering." "We're always opposed to euthanasia, so we approve and support this initiative," Jesuit Father Tommy Scholtes, spokesman for the Brussels-based bishops' conference, told Catholic News Service Dec. 11.

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Seminary rector chosen to head Yukon diocese

Fr. Hector Vila
December 21, 2015
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Growing up, Father Hector Vila never dreamed of visiting the Yukon. But now the Redemptoris Mater priest from Peru can't stop thinking about making his first trip to northern Canada. "It never crossed my mind," said Vila, "but now I plan to make a short trip within the next few weeks." Vila will be making the trip, about a 10-hour flight from Toronto, as part of his preparation to take over as bishop of Whitehorse. "What I'm looking forward to is meeting the people," he said.

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