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Images of war-torn towns, broken bodies of children, starving Iraqi people flash through the daily newscasts, splash across the front pages of newspapers. But there are those who know what these people are going through because they themselves fled the terror years ago and are now desperately trying to rescue relatives and friends left behind. Zeina Pauls of St. Albert and her two children have been living in the safety of Canada for 15 years.
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Marc Barylo, the driving force behind Catholic Social Services' successful Sign of Hope fundraising campaign for 30 years, is this year's winner of the Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award. Barylo, CSS's vice-president of development and community relations, is "an impassioned leader" who inspires his team of community leaders and volunteers, said Father Mike McCaffery, former archdiocesan chancellor, in nominating Barylo for the award.
Christians and Muslims agree that love, peace and hope are some of the most basic gifts they can offer as they practise their faith in Canada's secular society. At their second dialogue in Edmonton, leaders of both major religions encouraged participants to live out their faith so others will see them as people of faith and agents of peace and love. Almost 250 people, including Muslims of the Sunni and Shia sects and Christians of the Roman Catholic and Mennonite churches, attended the event at the Edmonton Islamic Academy Sept. 13.
The gold stars on his report card are many. Now 83, celebrating his 65 years of religious life, Brother Donatus Vervoort is hard pressed to reply when asked what the greatest joy has been in his life. "You have put me at a dilemma," and a smile softens his face. "Music! I love music. The choirs, the singing . . ." This comes from years of study at Ward Institute in Roermond, Netherlands. As a child, Donatus and his 11 brothers and sisters lived on a five-acre farm. The 250 chickens, two cows and two pigs supplemented their father's wages as a labourer at a linen factory.
Church officials fear that a proposal to fingerprint volunteers might discourage many people from offering their time and talents to the Church. The RCMP proposal would require volunteers to be fingerprinted prior to receiving a criminal record check. The procedure is aimed at increasing public safety and reducing the likelihood that somebody could obtain a criminal record check or police information check using false identity.
The newest addition to St. Joseph's College at the University of Alberta is a liberation theologian who works for peace and justice in the Middle East. Basilian Father Maurice Restivo, who spends part of his time in Hebron keeping the peace between Palestinians and Israelis, began teaching theology at St. Joseph's in January. "I hesitate to call myself a peacemaker because I know I still have so much violence in my own heart," he says.
Depending on your perspective, the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignatatis Humanae) made a major change to an unchangeable Church teaching or only an evolution in that teaching. Either way, the roots that gave rise to the decree go back to the persecution of the Church begun during the French Revolution and which continues in various ways to this day. Prior to the Revolution of 1789, the Church was a dominant and privileged force in France.