Get Flash to see
The heart of a Catholic school is Jesus, the archbishop of Edmonton told Catholic elementary students in St. Albert April 13. Speaking to students at J.J. Nearing School, Archbishop Richard Smith said the Catholic school system is all about Jesus – knowing him, loving him and following him. "In a Catholic school, you learn all kinds of wonderful things, but at the heart of it all is learning about Jesus." Smith spent all morning at the school, speaking to different grades separately in the library. The visit was part of his plan to visit all 182 Catholic schools in the archdiocese.
Read More »
MONTREAL – Four years into Syria's civil war, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is petitioning Ottawa to work harder for peace in the region and to increase aid to the war's victims. An online petition launched by CCODP calls on the federal government to provide more aid, make a diplomatic contribution to a peace plan and increase its efforts to choke off the money that keeps both the Assad regime and ISIS fighting.
We ought to love as Jesus loves, says Father Bob Mitchell. Speaking to employees of the archdiocesan Pastoral and Administration Offices, the Franciscan priest said love is essential to transform the world, which is the mission of the Church. "All beings, Christian and otherwise, are called to love. And there isn't a person in this room who doesn't need to be loved, who doesn't need to be accepted."
The religious order that brought Catholicism to much of Canada is facing hard questions about its future. The Oblates of Mary Immaculate sold its only Yukon property in February, closing a 117-year history of service. "Our numbers have been diminishing and our personnel are aging," said Father Richard Beaudette, superior of Lacombe Province, which includes all of Canada except Quebec.
John Ourfali, 77, remembers how as a child he saw an elderly family friend break down and cry whenever he met with Ourfali's parents, unable to speak about what had happened to him and his family in the dark days of what today is known as the Armenian genocide. "He used to cry a lot and couldn't talk about it so we never knew what happened to his family," said Ourfali, an Armenian Catholic whose original family name is Khatcherian.
Mercy is what makes God perfect and all-powerful, Pope Francis said in a document officially proclaiming the 2015-16 extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy. "If God limited himself to only justice, he would cease to be God, and would instead be like human beings who ask merely that the law be respected," the pope wrote in Misericordiae Vultus, (The Face of Mercy). The document is the "bull of indiction" calling a holy year to begin Dec. 8.
Today, some are inclined to say that the Second Vatican Council is old hat. After all, the council wrapped up 50 years ago, society and the Church have changed enormously since then and we shouldn't be waging the same old battles that were fought half a century ago. Not so fast! "From an historical perspective, the council is still very young," writes leading Vatican II interpreter Massimo Faggioli. It takes a long time – decades, even centuries – to bring the fruits of a major Church council to harvest.