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Jay's Articles

John Paul's encyclical emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit

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January 11, 2016

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the public release of St. John Paul II's landmark encyclical, Mission of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Missio). The great pope's legacy is diverse, but his emphasis on evangelization is one of its hallmarks. Redemptoris Missio is notable for its emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit as "the principal agent of mission."

Year of Mercy a challenge to get priorities right

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December 21, 2015

Zacchaeus' story is fascinating. Zacchaeus is a tax collector and a sinner. "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down," Jesus said to the tax collector in the tree. "I must stay at your house today" (19.5). Others grumbled because Zacchaeus was a man entrenched in sin. Jesus was unmoved. He would be the guest of a sinner. Zacchaeus, however, was moved. He promised to give half of his possessions to the poor and would pay four times as much as he stole from those he had defrauded.

Too distracted to make room for Christ

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

December 21, 2015

Many of us arrive at Christmas tired, running, distracted, and already fatigued with the lights, songs and celebrations of Christmas. Advent is meant to be a time of preparation for Christmas; but for many of us it is not exactly a time for the kind of preparation that enables Christ be born more deeply in our lives. Instead our preparation for Christmas is mostly a time of making ready to celebrate with our families, friends and colleagues.

Ancestral traditions shallow without foundation of faith

Maria Kozakiewicz

December 21, 2015
Christmas Midnight Mass
December 24, 2015

You will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." I need Christmas - as most of us do - and I need it in winter. We, dwellers of the Northern Hemisphere who have been slipping into darkness for weeks, crave light and joy.

<em>Nostra Aetate</em> a triumph for Vatican II

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December 21, 2015

The approval 50 years ago of Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, was one of the great accomplishments of the Second Vatican Council. The council fathers honestly did not realize what they were doing when they approved that document. It has opened up a new realm of dialogue and tolerance among Catholics and people of other faiths. That goal was on nobody's agenda prior to Vatican II.

Christmas letter from head of Canadian bishops

Most Rev. David Crosby, OMI

December 21, 2015
Dear friends,

Goodness abounds! This Christmas, as a counterpoint to the destructive forces of misery and terror that we have witnessed these past months, we must not forget that goodness abounds! More than not forgetting, let us be ready to point it out when we see it. A few weeks ago, I was invited to join a small group of people who help at the Out of the Cold breakfast program in Hamilton. These good folk agreed in the autumn to get up early every Thursday morning from November through March to make their way to a small kitchen outlet to prepare a hot breakfast for over 120 men and women.

Seed of faith grows into eternal destiny

John Connelly

December 21, 2015
Holy Family
December 21, 2015

What do you and I really believe deep down in the depths of our heart and soul? Do we believe the words in this week's Sacred Scripture? Do we believe in the story of the virgin who conceived and bore a divine-human son? Do we believe the whole world will one day bow before this great king who came to be born in a stable?

Faith of today's Magi should inspire us

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December 21, 2015

When we visited Barcelona's Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Basilica in September, I was struck by the reverence in the carving of the Magi displayed on the WCR's front page this week. The sculptor had caught the only reason that would draw three men to travel long distances over hostile terrain to gaze upon a baby - awe at the birth of the Saviour of the world.

Gratitude is spark that ignites joy

Lasha Morningstar

December 21, 2015

Joy. A little three-letter word. But this forgotten emotion packs a heck of a wallop. So often we blank out joy from our life. No wonder, given the fact we are bombarded with negative stories each and every day. It is so easy to develop that Eeyore mindset - always gloomy, waiting for the other shoe to drop. A wise receptionist shared this story with me. A dinner guest was regaling fellow diners with tales about what he would do if he won the lottery.

Sister left lasting legacy in inner city

Bob McKeon

December 21, 2015

I am now at an age where I regularly read the obituary notices in the Edmonton Journal each morning looking for familiar names. Last month I saw the obituary notice for Sister Mary Leo Kirwin, a Sister of St. Joseph, who died in London, Ont., at the age of 93. The obituary notice took me back over 30 years when we served together on a community board in the first years of the Edmonton Inner City Housing Society (EICHS).