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Little Children come to Jesus in adoration

November 28, 2011
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Rapt silence envelopes the cloud of children sitting at the feet of Father Dean Dowle.

A piece of incense is clasped in each child's hand.

"Don't eat it!" warns an adult voice as one youngster brings the black piece of plant material suffused with aromatic oils up to his nose.

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People die from hunger in Nairobi

November 28, 2011
PATRICIA ZAPOR
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

NAIROBI, KENYA -– Normally, Sunday Mass at Holy Trinity Parish in the Kariobangi slum is an energetic celebration that runs for several hours.

But when the pastor, Comboni Father Paulino Mondo, noticed parishioners were starting to faint before Mass ended, he realized it wasn't exuberance that was making them weak. It was hunger.

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Toronto deacon walks mean streets with pushers, pimps

Deacon Robert Kinghorn

November 28, 2011
SHEILA DABU NONATO
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

It's a cool autumn night, and Robert Kinghorn begins his downtown ministry as night falls on Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto. Amid the hustle and bustle of night life near a local hamburger joint, Kinghorn stands out sporting a white Roman collar.

But here on these streets, Kinghorn, the deacon with a background in prison ministry, seems at ease.

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A brother murders; a sister's life is saved

Elizabeth Leenheer

November 28, 2011
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Elizabeth Leenheer used to think that rather than using rats for testing, scientists should use criminals instead.

Today Leenheer is a changed woman, full of compassion, love and forgiveness. Her life was transformed by murder – a violent murder her brother Matthew committed just over three years ago.

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At darkest moment, kidnap victim found the ability to forgive

Amanda Lindhout

November 28, 2011
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Two years after her release from a 15-month ordeal at the hands of Somali gunmen, Amanda Lindhout looks nothing like a person held for ransom under oppressive conditions that included torture and beatings.

"The challenge that I face whenever I share my story is that there are so few remaining visible reminders of the abuse and defamation that I suffered not long ago that people often have a hard time reconciling my image today with the reality of what I survived," Lindhout admits.

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Conspiracy rumours on Vatican statement greatly exaggerated

November 28, 2011
JOHN THAVIS
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The unusual and somewhat mysterious gestation process of Vatican documents came into the spotlight recently, thanks to a controversial white paper on economic justice.

In essence, critics of the document – which called for a global authority to curb the excesses of financial markets – speculated that its authors had done an "end run" to avoid the pre-publication scrutiny of top Vatican officials.

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Society must face up to human mortality

November 28, 2011
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Palliative care funding and resources languish because society is too afraid to face its own mortality.

"Death is inevitable," said Joe Comartin. "Society must see its way through to talk about it. There is a need for discussion about the end of life."

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Crosby aims to free us from the prison of our delusions

Fr. Michael Crosby

November 28, 2011
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Every relationship involves a power struggle and the desire to influence another person. The Christian aim is to interact with every person with care and compassion, but when dealing with difficult people, that is easier said than done.

Father Michael Crosby, a Capuchin Franciscan, said power dynamics are always present because everything is connected by physics and cosmology.

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Advent priorities can centre around the coming of Jesus

November 28, 2011
SHARON ESPESETH
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

"Prepare the way. A Saviour is coming. Prepare the way, . . ." I sing as I clean and decorate the house and do my Christmas shopping. The words are the opening lines of a carol our choir will sing for Christmas Eve Mass.

December for most of us becomes a bustle of busyness. Frustrated, I realize my plans once more exceed the time I have to pull together my bright ideas, plus traditional expectations.

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Sculptor brings joy of fatherhood to Nativity scene

November 28, 2011
VANESSA SANTILLI
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO – As sculptor Tim Schmalz works on his Nativity sculpture, he compares it to a Christmas carol - one of the songs of absolute happiness.

"Throughout this process, what happened was the figures became more joyous, the designs became more lyrical. . . . And it wasn't Silent Night. It was definitely one of loud celebration as far as the representation is concerned," said Schmalz.

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