Superficial trendiness ignores the authority of traditions

Mark Pickup
April 18, 2016

Every city has its hip area with trendy shops offering locally made trinkets and markets for vendors of organically grown produce. In Edmonton, it is Old Strathcona. Accountants and stockbrokers who wear power suits Monday to Friday may transform on Saturday into hipsters in faded jeans, t-shirts and bandanas around their heads or floppy straw hats to saunter around Whyte Avenue.

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Sidelines are no place to reconcile with indigenous

Joe Gunn
April 18, 2016

Where do the churches find themselves in the journey towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples? In an Ottawa sanctuary at the end of March, Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, described our current status in vivid terms.

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Luke tells of Jesus' outreach, Matthew of obeying the Law

April 18, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Jesus, as portrayed in Matthew's Gospel, has a harder edge than the Jesus found in the Gospel of Luke. It is in Matthew that we hear Jesus say, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (5.48). It is in Matthew where, in one of Jesus' parables, a king orders that a man who entered a banquet without a wedding garment should be bound hand and foot and thrown into the outer darkness "where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (22.13).

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The three-fold suffering of the cross

April 4, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Majed Mardini cut a striking figure walking the Outdoor Way of the Cross in Edmonton this Good Friday. A Syrian refugee, walking the streets of the city's deep inner city, carrying the heavy cross of Jesus Christ: A trifecta of suffering. "Unwilling to defend the innocent, Pilate condemns Jesus to death, beginning the savior's terrible journey towards Calvary," said Mardini, reflecting on a passage from the Gospel of Luke with Father Glenn McDonald, chaplain at St. Joseph's College of the U of A.

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St. Vincent de Paul looks north

April 4, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

On a winter day in Tuktoyaktuk, everyone is gathered around a wood stove inside a Society of St. Vincent de Paul community food and clothing distribution centre. Redemptorist Father Jon Hansen, new to the Arctic community, cannot help but smile when he sees one little boy with his brand new plush stuffed toy, holding it like his new best friend. "Those little moments kind of make you smile, like you're making a difference," he said.

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Sr. Toner honoured for humanitarian works

Sr. Ada Toner
April 4, 2016
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Sister Ada Toner has received the 2016 Humanitarian Diamond Award from the Fort Saskatchewan International Women's Day committee just days before her 98th birthday. The Sister of Charity of the Immaculate Conception continues to live in the city 25 km northeast of Edmonton after ministering for 22 years at Our Lady of the Angels Parish there.

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Gospel offers alternative to 'shifting sands of change'

April 4, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The permanence and stability of the Gospel are signs of hope amidst "the shifting sands" of change which are producing "useless anxiety" among the people of our time, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. Just as Jesus bore faithful witness to the unchanging, permanent love of the Father, so too we must live "as faithful witnesses to the identity and mission entrusted to us," Smith said in his homily during the annual Chrism Mass. "Hope is found when we encounter the unchanging and steadfast love of God revealed in Jesus Christ."

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Archbishop reflects on message of Easter

April 4, 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

At Easter, we celebrate the reason for hope real hope. Hope is something we need at all times, of course, and I find that these days we need it with particular urgency. I meet many people, including students in our schools, who talk quite openly about the stress they feel, even bordering sometimes on depression, which comes from the normal pressures of school, perhaps from difficulties at home, or for many other reasons.

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Bishops deplore closure of religious freedom office

CCCB logo
April 4, 2016
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked the federal government to reconsider its decision to close the Office of Religious Freedom. "Religious freedom and freedom of conscience have a pivotal status among human rights," said a statement from the bishops' conference. "Religious freedom is more than the right of an individual to believe and pray. It equally involves a faith community's identity as well as its interactions with society."

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Time is right for Christian unity dialogue

Rev. Ingrid Dorschel
April 4, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The lack of Christian unity is one of the strongest motives for people abandoning their faith altogether, says a local Lutheran minister. "People outside don't understand why we are separated and why we don't work together," said the Rev. Ingrid Dorschel, senior pastor of Edmonton's Trinity Lutheran Church. "What happened in the past cannot be changed, but what is remembered of the past and how it is remembered can, with the passage of time, indeed change," Dorschel said at the last in a series of five Lenten dialogue sessions between Lutherans and Roman Catholics.

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