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Begin new year by discussing end of life

Gordon Self

January 30, 2012

New Year's heralds all kinds of personal resolutions to improve our lives - spend quality time with family, get back into shape, pray more, give to charities, and so forth.

But we know the dismal track record of Jan. 1 resolutions if they remain a half-hearted, private wish. Thinking them through, writing them down and publicly acknowledging what I resolve to do with a trusted friend or family member helps deepen the level of commitment and make it real.

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Battle with MS led us to follow Christ with complete abandon

Mark Pickup

January 30, 2012

My wife, LaRee, and I were in Saskatchewan to speak at a retreat of Christian students in medical school. The retreat dealt with the subject of suffering.

We spoke to the students about our sorrows and grief that have accompanied our 28 years living with chronic, degenerative multiple sclerosis. We shared insights about suffering from our Christian perspectives. I spoke about the terror of having an aggressive version of MS.

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Prayer lets us meet God, know his love

John Connelly

January 30, 2012
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 5, 2012

Prayer has always held a deep fascination for me. It is a subject that is limitless. What an amazing thing to actually be in contact with God. The God who created and sustains all things. The God who knows us, loves us and calls us by name.

What would happen if we all dedicated our lives to really learning to pray? What would happen if we created authentic schools of prayer for our young people, families and churches?

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The mosquito bites of life can cause us to forget grace

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 30, 2012

When grace enters, there is no choice – humans must dance.

W.H. Auden wrote those words and, beautiful as they sound, I wish they were true. When grace enters a room we should begin to dance but, sadly, more often than not, we let some little thing, some minor mosquito bite, blind us to grace's presence.

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Take the fascinating – and surprising – Catholic house tour

WCR Logo

January 30, 2012

One obligation Catholics have is to become catholic. The four marks of the true Church, as we learned in catechism class, are to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic. However, these are not badges to be worn with pride; they are obligations for living.

The Church is sometimes accused of being a relic of mediaeval times; in fact, it is a Church of all times. For G.K. Chesterton, the famous 20th century apologist and convert to the Catholic Church, Catholicism "is not an old religion; it is a religion that refuses to grow old." It is not old, but eternal.

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Vatican dusts off the art of apologetics

January 30, 2012
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

In the Catholic Church, it's true that everything old can be new again, and the Vatican wants one of those things to be the art of "apologetics" – dusted off and updated to respond to new challenges, including those posed by militant atheists.

The term "apologetics" literally means "to answer, account for or defend." Through the 1950s even Catholic high school students were given specific training in responding to questions about Catholicism and challenges to Church teaching.

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Chinese parish opens its doors to year of Dragon

January 30, 2012
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Authentic Chinese cuisine, dance and arts, and kung fu demonstrations plunged people into the Oriental world, allowing them to not only cherish Chinese culture but also to celebrate unity.

Mary Help of Christians Parish hosted a two-day celebration of Chinese New Year, Jan. 21-22.

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Antigonish borrows to pay abuse victims

Diocese of Antigonish-Coat of Arms

January 30, 2012
COREY LEBLANC
THE CASKET

ANTIGONISH, N.S. – The Diocese of Antigonish had to tap into $2 million of bridge financing to make its second payment towards a class action suit settlement for victims of sexual abuse.

The $4.2 million instalment had to be made by Nov. 1.

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Prayer takes on a multitude of guises

January 30, 2012
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

PICKERING, ONT. – Believers in every religion and through every century of human history have done something they can't quite describe, justify or do without. They pray.

They may meditate, contemplate, recite, babble or immerse themselves in silence. They may seek solitude or seek company to pray with others. They may follow the rules of a liturgy, improvise or seek a simple, direct encounter with God.

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Christians are united as children of God

Rev. Dr. Catherine MacLean

January 30, 2012
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Nothing that we do in love is ever wasted.

That was the central message of the Rev. Dr. Catherine MacLean, from St. Paul's United Church, when reflecting on the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

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