Terrio grateful for no deaths as Fort McMurray evacuated

Flames from a wildfire rise in an industrial area of Fort McMurray. The entire city has been evacuated because of the fire.
May 4, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ST. PAUL, ALTA. – As firefighters fought to save Fort McMurray from a wildfire that threatened to destroy the northern Alberta city, a bishop gave thanks that there had been no loss of life. St. Paul Bishop Paul Terrio, whose diocese includes Fort McMurray, also said in a May 4 statement that the city's St. Paul Church is rumoured to have been destroyed in the blaze that forced the evacuation of the city's entire population the previous day.

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WCR top regional Church newspaper in Canada

WCR Logo
May 4, 2016
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

For the second year in a row, the Western Catholic Reporter has been named the top regional Church newspaper in Canada. The Canadian Church Press, which gave the general excellence award, as well as eight other awards to the WCR, has honoured the WCR as the first or second best regional newspaper eight out of the last 10 years. The CCP announced its award winners April 30 at its annual conference in Toronto. All the awards were for publications in 2015. The CCP also gave first place awards to the WCR for the best news story and the best opinion article.

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Assisted suicide law would create chaos, bishops say

Bishop Douglas Crosby
May 4, 2016
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

OTTAWA – Chaos will be the result of the federal government’s decision to leave protection for the conscience rights of medical professionals and health care institutions to the provinces, says the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, Ont., said the government should clarify the rights of professionals and institutions who conscientiously object to participating in assisted suicide and not hand the issue off to provincial legislators or professional bodies.

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Sacramental preparation standards set for archdiocese

May 2, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

After almost four years of consultation, the Edmonton Archdiocese is releasing new standards for preparing children and youth for the sacraments. The 100-page binder effectively harmonizes sacramental education and preparation across parishes and schools in the archdiocese. One aim of the standards is to ensure no child falls through the cracks when it is time to receive sacramental preparation, says Kathleen Nguyen, sacramental education coordinator for the Edmonton Archdiocese.

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Amoris Laetitia shows pope understands family – Smith

May 2, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Reading Pope Francis' exhortation on the family is like having a discussion at the kitchen table with your grandfather, says Archbishop Richard Smith. The apostolic exhortation - Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of the Family) - is like being able to "talk openly with a man who already understands your problems and your weaknesses," the archbishop said in an interview. "The pope has a beautiful way of expressing in accessible language what is on the mind of the Church," he said.

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Health Canada approves another abortion drug

May 2, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – News that Health Canada expects to make an abortion drug available in July has pro-life groups and doctors concerned. "We're deeply saddened that this is going to become available to Canadian girls and women," said Campaign Life Coalition's Ottawa lobbyist Johanne Brownrigg. "We're concerned girls and women in isolated communities will think of this as an answer to a difficult situation and in fact complicate their own health."

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Couple witness to how daughter has given them life

May 2, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

When Jeri and Chuck Marple's eighth child Mary was born at 22 weeks gestation, the choice of life or death was set before them. Doctors said if Mary survived, she had a 90 per cent chance of having severe cerebral palsy. They suggested disconnecting Mary's lifeline and respirator because she would be a burden to them, and it was not fair to them or to society.

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Smith urges fight against assisted suicide

May 2, 2016
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Archbishop Richard Smith issued a passionate call to arms in the ongoing fight against physician-assisted suicide. "We are witness in this country to extraordinary events which are not of God's doing - the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia," he said. Smith issued his challenge to an attentive audience at St. Charles Church April 14. The education seminar was the last of the five-part Every Life Matters series created by the Edmonton Archdiocese.

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Pope annoyed with media focus on Communion for the remarried

May 2, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM GREECE – The news media has focused so much on the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried that they skewed the public's perception of the 2014 and 2015 meetings of the Synod of Bishops, says Pope Francis. The pope told reporters he has been "annoyed" and "saddened" by the over-emphasis. "Don't they understand that the family throughout the world is in crisis?" he asked.

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St. Dominic's 'family' sets out to encounter Christ in Kraków

May 2, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

World Youth Day is a family affair for the young pilgrims from St. Dominic Savio Parish in Edmonton. "Just over half the group is related to me, one way or another," said Kiara Smyth, 23, a leader of the group of 13 heading to this year's pilgrimage in Kraków, Poland. "I've got a big family." Spending time with her friends and relatives as they gear up for this year's WYD has been nice, said Smyth. But some young Catholics feel alone in their faith.

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