Deacons urged to hear cry of the poor

July 25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In a moving celebration at St. Joseph Basilica July 9, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith ordained four men to the permanent diaconate. He also ordained seminarian Roger Niedzielski to the transitional diaconate, the final phase of his preparation for the priesthood. After serving as a deacon for a year, Niedzielski will likely be ordained a priest. The four new permanent deacons are professional men with extensive ministry experience in their parishes. They just completed a four-year formation program and were ordained for the service of the Word, altar and charity.

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Muslims, Catholics build bridges at Ramadan ritual meal

July 11/25, 2016
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Time and again one heard a familiar refrain from dinner tables at the Catholic-Muslim dinner held at Providence Renewal Centre June 28: "Building bridges." The event was an iftar, the ritual meal that is held at the end of each fasting day during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Two hundred Muslims, Catholics and people of other faiths came together to meet each other, and discover the meaning of the tenets of each others' faiths. By doing that, they, as was said many times during the evening, were building bridges.

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WCR did not publish July 11 issue — next issue will be dated August 15

WCR Logo
July 25, 2016

Because of Canada Post's threatened lockout of its workers, the Western Catholic Reporter did not provide a print edition of its scheduled July 11 issue. However, we did make the e-edition of that issue available free of charge via the newspaper's website, wcr.ab.ca.

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Pilgrims touched by Spirit at St. Kateri gathering

July 25, 2016
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Theodore Waskahat's words were wrapped in reverence. "The presence of God was there." The 29-year-old acclaimed musician mentioned he had been nervous when he played the flute at the third annual St. Kateri Gathering at Maskwacis July 9. The more than 200 people in the audience did not notice any nervousness. They fell silent as they listened to his emotive renditions of The Drum Song and The Lord's Prayer.

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Come to the water

July 25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As Redemptorist Father Mick Fleming blessed the waters of Lac Ste. Anne July 17, people waded into the lake in droves, anxious to dip themselves into the sacred waters. Many filled jars with the blessed liquid to take back home. A young woman, pain clearly visible on her face, slowly pushed her walker into the lake in the hope of obtaining relief. Younger people helped their elders into the water. Some older people with canes walked in by themselves. Priests and bishops also walked inside the lake to bless the people, one by one.

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Syrians escape turmoil, happy to receive a Canadian welcome

Pascal Zafar and daughter Selena
July 11/25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Matilda Alber and husband Pascal Zafar underwent many challenges back in Syria. Pascal was kidnapped, Matilda's brother was also kidnapped and the couple's two pharmacies were destroyed by bombing. Life was unbearable. So the couple packed what they could and left for Lebanon only to learn that Christians like them are not welcome in the refugee camps. All that is over now, and Matilda and Pascal wear pleasant smiles and seem happy. They have been in Edmonton since October, all thanks to the Sisters of Providence who sponsored them.

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Joan Carr: Superintendent of the year

Joan Carr
July 25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Joan Carr, superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools for the past 10 years, has been recognized as Canada's leading school superintendent. The Canadian Association of School System Administrators presented Carr with its award of excellence at its Winnipeg conference July 7. The award recognizes the Canadian superintendent of the year.

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Consultant delivers blistering report on Edmonton school board

July 25, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON - Edmonton's Catholic school board will be required to report regularly to Alberta's deputy minister of education after a consultant's report concluded the board is unlikely to alter its high degree of "conflict and confusion" without direct oversight from outside. In a highly-critical 16-page report, consultant Donald Cummings says the board's current governing style – which includes bullying, disrespect, distrust, innuendo and attack – is "intractable."

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Jesuit led spiritual writer to become boundary dweller

Margaret Silf
July 11/25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Jesus moves freely among his fellow men and women, with little regards for their religious practices or even their religious denominations. When Margaret Silf began to believe that, she felt free and started to live outside normal Church structures. She felt those structures were a box, which had become too uncomfortable. Silf is unquestionably a believer, a spiritual woman, but she is not married to "stale" structures.

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Pope sends Bolen home to Regina

Archbishop Donald Bolen
July 25, 2016
KIPLY LUKAN YAWORSKI
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

After six years as bishop of Saskatoon, Donald Bolen was appointed archbishop of Regina July 11 by Pope Francis. The archdiocese has been without a bishop since the Jan. 15 death of Archbishop Daniel Bohan. Bolen will continue to serve as apostolic administrator in Saskatoon until his installation as archbishop of Regina this fall; the date has not yet been set.

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