Suffering contains a call to become more like Christ

Mark Pickup

February 9, 2015

There was a change in how I viewed being chronically ill for more than three decades. I cannot pinpoint when it happened; the change progressed gradually over time. No longer did I see my incurable sickness and handicap as a curse but as a blessing disguised as misfortune. What began with the question "why?" became anger that no answer seemed forthcoming. Eventually the anger simmered and cooled into acceptance and finally acceptance was followed by peace and anticipation. There are questions for which there are no answers, only understanding. They are questions that focus on the deepest meaning of life or eternity.

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Ordinary Time can still bring exhilarating experiences

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

February 9, 2015

As a child I was always thrown when the priest announced that we were in Ordinary Time. Sometimes it seemed self-evident; but often it was anything but ordinary. My uncle bagged a moose; someone won the lottery; another had triplets. And in the papers . . . goodness me, nothing seemed ordinary. So why was the priest proclaiming that we were in the fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time? What, I always wondered, was extraordinary time? Maybe I should come back later when the cool things were happening.

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Encyclical can make a difference for creation

Joe Gunn

February 9, 2015

The priest from Newfoundland was the most honest. Our agency had provided worship guides and hymns on creation themes for use in services last September on the same weekend when more than 300,000 people marched in New York City, calling for action on climate change. But the Newfoundland pastor reported, "I'll use the Prayers of the Faithful you sent, but I don't feel comfortable preaching about climate change. You know, we just never talked about that in seminary." True. And this is something Pope Francis wants to change.

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Why do Gospels have 2 sets of Beatitudes?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

February 9, 2015

Why are the Beatitudes presented so differently in Matthew and Luke? It seems to me that they should be the same. Who is right?

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Church strives to build on what is good in local culture

February 9, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

From the beginning, the Church has tried to evangelize culture, to build on what is good and to imbue it with the spirit of the Gospel. When St. Paul went to Athens and found an altar dedicated to an unknown God, he used that to try to convince the Athenians that the God who created the world is the Lord of heaven and earth (Acts 17.22-28). When missionaries have tried to throw out the culture they wanted to evangelize with a supposedly pure Christian culture, they have created problems. The culture they imported was invariably not pure, but rather a European culture that supplanted the indigenous one with colonialism.

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More than 6M Filipinos celebrate Mass with pope

January 26, 2015
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis urged a crowd estimated at six million gathered in a Manila park to protect the family "against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture." The pope's homily at the Jan. 18 Mass also reprised several other themes he had sounded during the four-day visit, including environmental problems, poverty and corruption. Despite continuous rain, the congregation in Rizal Park began to assemble the night before the afternoon celebration. The crowd was so dense in spots that people passed hosts to fellow worshippers unable to reach priests distributing Communion.

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United appeal for Church charities achieves success

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Catholics responded well to the first consolidated charitable appeal in the Edmonton Archdiocese. More than 80 parishes took part in the Together We Serve appeal, raising $1.721 million. That's $121,000 more than the original goal of $1.6 million. "It went really well," says director of development Connie Lunde. "We are very, very pleased because, of course, a first year can be a little bit scary. It's hard for people to change something that they are very used to." Together We Serve replaced nine special collections previously taken in all parishes at various times throughout the year. The appeal began at Easter and ran until the end of December.

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Catholic Cemeteries provides safe home for human remains

Deacon Paul Croteau

January 26, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

People who have buried or cremated relatives and loved ones in Edmonton's Catholic Cemeteries need not worry. Fires at Hainstock's Funeral Home and Crematorium in south Edmonton on Jan. 9 and 10 prompted families to express concerns about the safety of the remains of their loved ones. Deacon Paul Croteau, director of Catholic Cemeteries, would not comment on the Hainstock fires. But families, he said, should not worry about the safety of their loved ones' remains at Edmonton Catholic Cemeteries.

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CSS enjoys another successful Sign of Hope campaign

Beth Allard-Clough

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – The Sign of Hope campaign has again surpassed its campaign goal in support of Catholic Social Services. From October to December the campaign raised $3.4 million – $300,000 more than its goal of $3.1 million. "I'm thrilled and proud," said campaign chair Beth Allard-Clough. "I'm incredibly grateful for the amazing support of our community." What brought the campaign over the top was "lots of hard work as a team," Allard-Clough explained. "I really believe in this agency and I am passionate about the cause, and when you believe in something you make it happen."

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Encounter offers opportunity for unity amidst diversity

Filipe Drumond

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well invites us to try water from a different well and also to offer a little water of our own. That's the idea behind the biblical verse "Give me a drink," which is the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Jesus said those words to a Samaritan woman as he sat at a well owned by Samaritans, a tribe despised by the Jews of the time. Bishops, leaders and lay people of many different Christian churches and organizations took part in the opening service of the Week of Prayer at Braemar Baptist Church Jan. 18.

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