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Beaverlodge parish bounces back from devastating fire

CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Parishioners in Beaverlodge, 43 km west of Grande Prairie, have been attending Mass in St. Mary's Catholic School since a Jan. 2 fire seriously damaged their church. "We have not missed any services. We were able to get into the school after the fire," said Father Arul Jothi Arockiasamy, pastor of St. Mary's Parish. "The following Sunday, we had Mass in the school gym. We are looking towards good things happening with the reconstruction," he said.

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Pope John's short pontificate had huge impact on the Church

April 14, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Although he served as pope for less than five years, Blessed John XXIII left one of the most lasting legacies in the Catholic Church's history by convening the Second Vatican Council. A plump, elderly, smiling Italian of peasant origins, the future pope had an illustrious career as a papal diplomat in Bulgaria, Turkey and postwar France. He became pope amid the dismantling of colonialism, the rise of the Cold War and on the cusp of a technological transformation unlike anything seen since the Industrial Revolution.

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John XXIII chafed under the bit of papal protocol

Blessed John XXIII

April 14, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Blessed John XXIII struggled to shake off many formalities that came with the papacy and often conspired with his valet to sneak out of the Vatican. One covert road trip in the Alban Hills outside of Rome got Guido Gusso, the pope's valet, in trouble with the Italian police responsible for the pope's safety. But the security breach just made the pope chuckle – happy with their unauthorized escapade, Gusso told journalists during a news conference at Vatican Radio April 1.

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Palliative care relieves suffering, makes dying a normal process

April 14, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – When someone goes in for cancer treatment, others have a fairly good idea of what that entails. The same cannot be said for palliative care, an area of health care that continues to be misunderstood. Dr. Ann Syme, a registered nurse with Covenant Health, said palliative care embraces the notion of helping people die in a humane, dignified way. Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to chronic illness. It can be used at any stage of illness, not just the advanced stages.

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Blessed John Paul brought moral courage to world stage

Blessed John Paul II

April 14, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Blessed John Paul II, who will be canonized April 27, was one of the most forceful moral leaders of the modern age. He brought a philosopher's intellect, a pilgrim's spiritual intensity and an actor's flair to his role as head of the universal Church for more than 26 years. The Polish pope was a tireless evangelizer and forceful communicator, speaking to millions in their own languages. But toward the end of his life, his powers of speech faltered with his worsening illness, which left him often unable to even murmur a blessing.

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Ukrainian eparchy restores the kiss of peace

April 14, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton is restoring the kiss of peace during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, a liturgical practice lost centuries ago. But, as Bishop David Motiuk says, this kiss will be on the shoulders, not on the lips as it was during early Christianity. The bishop said this change is part of the eparchy's 25-year pastoral plan which calls for parishes to be more welcoming. The kiss of peace is a sign of peace among the faithful, love in action and a powerful gesture of welcome towards strangers and guests.

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CWL butts out flavoured tobacco

Pat Keith

April 14, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The popularity of flavoured tobacco is increasing the risk of youth developing a dangerous and lasting addiction to tobacco products. Some jurisdictions have recognized the need to restrict the sale of certain tobacco products designed to attract young people. Both the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Medical Association have been calling for bans on such products.

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The angry parishioner: How do priest respond?

April 14, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Once upon a time parishioners thought their parish pastor knew best when it came to matters of faith and religion and issues of parish administration. He had been appointed by the bishop and could do no wrong. When the faithful approached their pastor, they did so with deference and respect, almost never hostile or confrontational. When the faithful approached their pastor, they did so with deference and respect, almost never hostile or confrontational. Those times are virtually gone.

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Parish secretaries touch lives, keep priests organized

April 14, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Roger Rouleau says he is blessed to have a good parish secretary in Roseanne Bingham. "A good secretary is invaluable to the priest in fulfilling his ministry," said Father Rouleau, pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Vermilion. "She is the first greeter to anyone who comes into the parish. She's the one there throughout the day while I run away to the schools or the care homes. The secretary provides that steady base throughout the week, and maintains the fort while I'm in and out of the office," said Rouleau.

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Marie de l'Incarnation, Laval declared saints

St. François de Laval

April 14, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

The April 3 canonization of two Quebec saints was welcomed with joy and thanksgiving from Canada's bishops, especially in the Archdiocese of Quebec where they are buried. Quebec Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix said the canonizations "give us models of sanctity to encourage us." Pope Francis has given the Church two "great examples of the new evangelization." Canada's bishops welcomed the canonizations "with great joy and thanksgiving."

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