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Discerning young men are helped at the annual Come and See weekend by gaining a glimpse into the many aspects of life at St. Joseph Seminary. Coordinated by the Office of Vocations, the free, live-in weekend provides opportunity for men who are contemplating a vocation to the priesthood.
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VATICAN CITY – A sharp decline in the number of practising Catholics "must not find us inert, but rather must motivate our efforts for a new evangelization," Pope Francis told the bishops of Austria. "To be Church doesn't mean to manage, but to go out, to be missionaries, to bring the light of faith and the joy of the Gospel to men and women," the pope said in a message he handed to the bishops Jan. 30.
Edmonton and Calgary Catholic school districts will receive four out of 15 new schools planned for the province. The Alberta government announced Feb. 10 that a new kindergarten to Grade 9 school will be built in Summerside in southeast Edmonton, making room for up to 750 Edmonton Catholic Separate School District students.
An Alberta-born liturgist is trying to broaden opportunities for devotional prayer with a new booklet that combines reflections on the resurrection with lush photographs of light from across Canada. "The Mass is the centre of our prayer life, but there needs to be a variety of other forms to help lead us to a deeper appreciation of what the Mass is about, and to participate more fully," says author Glenn Byer. "The Via Lucis is just such a thing."
VATICAN CITY – The "poor in spirit," the pure and the merciful, whom Jesus described as "blessed," are the same people the world considers to be "losers," Pope Francis told Catholic young people. But Jesus offers his followers the true path to happiness, the pope said in his message for World Youth Day 2014.
One woman dreamed of a thermometer; the other heard a voice at the carwash. Both found themselves unexpectedly called upon to share their testimonies of faith at the Edmonton Catholic Renewal Services prayer breakfast when the scheduled speaker became ill.
Recent conflicts in California and Texas between physicians and the families of patients considered to be brain dead have prompted new questions about end-of-life decision-making. But the well-publicized case of 13-year-old Jahi McMath in Oakland, Calif., and the less-well-known case of Marlise Munoz, a 33-year-old pregnant woman in Fort Worth, Texas, provide a teaching moment to help clarify Catholic teaching on the determination of death, according to the leading U.S. Catholic bioethical organization.
PHILADELPHIA – There is "great misunderstanding" among Catholics and others about the Church's teachings on whether and when life-sustaining medical treatment can be withdrawn when death is near, says a leading Catholic bioethicist. Marie Hilliard, director of bioethics and public policy and a staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, said the centre conducts about 2,000 consultations a year with "families in distress" who want to talk with an ethicist "about the Church's teaching in light of their (family) situation."
As early on as it is for the pontificate of Pope Francis, his statements and actions already have given guidance for how simple changes can improve the world, said panelists at Georgetown University. In the latest in a series of conversations hosted by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life Feb. 3, two journalists and an expert on church management considered the effect of the "Francis factor" on politics and public policy.
An emotional Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila welcomed Catholic leaders reviewing Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts, saying that the work to rebuild devastated communities can show the world a Church united in the service of people in need. Tears welled up as he described the utter destruction he saw during a visit to Tacloban soon after the Nov. 8 typhoon swept in from the sea with 310-km-an-hour winds and a tsunami-like storm surge.