My grandmother never said much about the "old country." I can remember her telling my little brother and me about the day Joseph Stalin's men came to round up her brothers and her dad. They lined them up against the barn to execute them. Then, for some unknown reason, they changed their minds. After Stalin's men left, my great-grandfather said only one thing to his family, "Run! Go, two by two, go to Canada - they're accepting us."
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In Laudato Si', Pope Francis calls each of us into action - to care for our common home. He invites us to reflect and act upon issues in our daily lives that need our care. He holds up the poorest of the poor and the oppressed for our special attention. There is an oppression within rural Alberta that is threatening the livelihoods and indeed the lives of rural Albertans.
We talk about reconciliation, apologies and forgiveness, but we never have a truthful solution to First Nations issues. We get only negativity to do with problems on reserves. What we need to do first and foremost is to abolish First Nations reserves and their isolation from the rest of society. Segregation does not make people inclusive or feel part of society.
I commend you for capturing so well the spirit of Pope Francis' comments on mercy in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) ("Pope Francis: Open hearts will lead the brokenhearted to fullness of life," WCR editorial, May 16). These are the very things we need to say to our Catholic LGBTQ students: we need to offer them mercy, not the law; a mother, not a taskmaster; in order to welcome them into a relationship with Jesus who has mercy on them.
My young sons come running for me after each visit to town and the local credit union. "Daddy, blow up my balloon!" I know, after a great deal of practice, the toughest part of filling the balloon with air is the initial push. This is similar to filling our culture with the truth of the Gospel. The initial push takes great self-sacrifice and suffering.
Who can judge my quality of life? Here I am; aging, relatively healthy but having faced the fragility of my life through illness. What is to become of me if the lines of communication with society are severed? Who has a right to judge? If I lose my sight, hearing and ability to speak, I am still me. If I then lose my ability to taste, smell and feel, I am still me. I am still here.
I refer to the article "Ukrainian men's choir exudes paschal joy" (WCR, April 4). The third paragraph refers to the "Ukrainian Eastern Orthodox Church." This is misleading in two respects.
Members of Parliament should vote against Bill C-14. Clearly, this bill is morally wrong. As well, similar euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide legislation enacted in other countries has proven over time to decrease an individual's end-of-life choices and to give doctors more autonomy in these matters.
Re: "Music festival throws open doors of the basilica" (WCR, April 18). With regard to the above article, all is manageable until we come to the passage: "Edmonton, teeming with professional and amateur choirs . . . is a very choral city, . . . but that is not reflected in its Catholic churches. People think music in churches tends to just be the best that some volunteers can offer."
On behalf of the Calgary Catholic Medical Association and St. Luke's Catholic Physicians' Guild of Edmonton, we would like to extend this letter in support of the Catholic Bishops of Alberta and their strong stand against euthanasia and assisted suicide. Catholic physicians affirm with them that killing is not part of medicine. Catholic physicians affirm with them that killing is not part of medicine.