Pope Francis welcomes migrants, refugees to Year of Mercy

January 25, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY - Welcoming thousands of migrants and refugees to the Vatican for a Year of Mercy celebration, Pope Francis urged them to resist everything that would rob them of hope and joy. "Each of you is the bearer of a history, culture and precious values and, unfortunately, also often of experiences of poverty, oppression and fear," he said. But the Jan. 17 gathering in St. Peter's Square "is a sign of hope in God. Don't allow yourselves to be robbed of hope and the joy of living, which spring from the experience of divine mercy."

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Archdiocesan collection raises more than $2M

Connie Lunde
January 25, 2016
LORRAINE TURCHANSKY
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

There's no question - 2015 was a tough year, and the cries for help were many. But despite economic hardship, people in the Edmonton Archdiocese responded generously. When a massive earthquake devastated Nepal in April, they contributed more than $336,000 to Development and Peace's relief efforts.

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Sign of Hope finds new kind of success

Stephen Carattini
January 25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The 2015 Sign of Hope campaign ended Jan. 5 after raising $2.6 million, about $800,000 less than the previous year. While it is the first time in its 32-year history that the annual Catholic Social Services' fundraising campaign failed to exceed the previous year's results, the organization's officials appear satisfied. After all, they never set a financial goal for the campaign. Instead, they asked for prayers, volunteers and donations, and they got them all.

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Settlement agencies seek more gov't support

January 25, 2016
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO - As thousands of Syrian refugees land in Canada, Catholic settlement agencies are asking governments for money and programs to help our newest neighbours build successful lives. Catholic Cross-Cultural Services of Toronto has renewed calls for Ottawa to revive its abandoned Host program, which would pave the way for more volunteers to help new arrivals navigate life in Canada.

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Ethiopian drought worsens

January 25, 2016
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

As the worst Ethiopian drought in 60 years threatens as many as 20 million people living in Africa's second largest country, Catholic aid agencies in the desperate nation are asking for help as the crisis continues into 2016. "We can do more if more resources are available," CST-Together country representative Patricia Wall said in an email to The Catholic Register. "The needs are enormous." CST-Together stands for Catholic Social Teaching Together and is a joint project of three Catholic aid agencies in Ethiopia.

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Christian leaders come together to pray for unity

Brian Holdsworth
January 25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Edmonton Christian leaders began the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity imploring God for unity and thanking the Lord for their Christian identity and vocation. "We pray this year with the Christians of Latvia, who have prepared this service, in the hope that we may grow in our communion with our Lord Jesus Christ and with all our brothers and sisters aspiring to unity," the Rev. Kevin Kraglund of St. Patrick's Anglican Church said. Kraglund spoke at the beginning of the prayer service at First Presbyterian Church, 10025-105 St., Jan 17.

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Happy-go-lucky Oblate lightened life with his sense of humour

Fr. Maurice McMahon
January 25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

ST. ALBERT - Oblate Father Maurice McMahon, a beloved missionary to Aboriginal people across Alberta, was a well-known preacher and a pioneer in the development of the Star of the North Retreat House in St. Albert. As well as recruiting retreatants for events at Star of the North, McMahon preached on a variety of topics, including spirituality and marriage.

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Papal visit to synagogue a mutual display of warmth

Pope Francis
January 25, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME - While the Catholic Church affirms that salvation comes through Jesus, it also recognizes that God is faithful and has not revoked his covenant with the Jewish people, Pope Francis said. Interrupted repeatedly with applause at Rome's main synagogue Jan. 17, the pope said the Church "recognizes the irrevocability of the Old Covenant and the constant and faithful love of God for Israel."

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Modern popes enter the lion's den

Pope Francis
January 25, 2016
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Before he was elected pontiff, Pope Francis had a reputation for not liking to do interviews. "Really, I don't give interviews. But I don't know why. I can't, that's just how it is. I find it a bit tiresome, but I'm grateful for your company," he told the more than 70 journalists accompanying him aboard his first papal flight.

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Vancouver lay women invent a new form of consecration

Patricia Ballard
January 25, 2016
JOSH TNG
THE B. C. CATHOLIC

VANCOUVER - A group of women have heard the call to consecrate themselves to Christ, but not as religious. "It's a specific calling, though not a call to the religious or monastic life. Women who are called to be Daughters of the Church are not called to be anything but themselves," said Patricia Ballard.

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