Columns

Unfinished encyclical already coming under attack

Douglas Roche

January 26, 2015

A sure sign that Pope Francis' forthcoming encyclical on climate change will capture world attention is that it is being attacked even before publication. The pope's new encyclical will be published in time to influence the UN's major meetings next fall on reducing global warming and launching a new round of sustainable development goals. The pope also intends to convene a meeting of leaders of the major religions to call for political action to save the planet from the crippling effects of carbon emissions. And also the pope himself will make a major address at the UN General Assembly in September.

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At Cana in Galilee, Mary is mother of the new creation

Visits with Mary Logo – Small

January 26, 2015

In setting the scene for the beautiful story of the wedding feast at Cana (John 2.1-11), the evangelist writes first that the mother of Jesus was at the wedding, only then adding that Jesus and his disciples were also present. This would lead one to believe that the story is to be about the mother of Jesus – in John's Gospel, she is never called Mary – with Jesus playing a secondary role. In one sense, this is true. It is the mother of Jesus who first takes note of the fact that the wine has run out, and it is she who informs her son of this fact. In doing so, she receives what can only be interpreted as a stiff rebuke.

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Church teaching on domestic violence too often forgotten

Bob McKeon

January 26, 2015

In the last days of 2015, Edmontonians were shocked by news of mass murder in their community. Phu Lam killed his wife, Thuy Tien Truong, five other relatives by marriage and two other adults before killing himself. Police investigators describe these murders as a case of domestic violence. Two years earlier, Lam was arrested for punching and attempting to strangle Truong. At that time, Lam threatened to kill all the members of his wife's family. Shortly afterwards Truong withdrew her testimony about the violence and threats, and charges against Lam were dropped. Lam and Truong were reconciled for a time, and had another child together. Last month the violence escalated to murder.

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Sort out needs from wants to unload burden of debt

Austin Mardon

January 26, 2015

The New Year brings all sorts of traditions. My wife has to eat black eyed peas because that is the tradition from her Southern roots. We make New Year's resolutions. Those usually involve adding a good habit, or getting rid of a bad one. Most of us have trouble maintaining them for long though. It can take six weeks to six months to add a new habit or break an old habit. Our fast-paced society isn't geared to anything that takes so long to master. January brings lots of unpleasant things that don't include blizzards. It's time to start thinking about tax receipts and government forms. Many of us have yearly payments for things like insurance or memberships that come due in January.

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Pope's address to curia can help us find our own failings

WCR Logo

January 12, 2015

Pope Francis' Dec. 22 address to the Roman curia drew considerable media attention for its alleged implied criticisms of Vatican bureaucrats. The pope listed 15 "curial diseases" which weaken people's service to the Lord, sins such as thinking one is indispensable, excessive busy-ness, the "terrorism of gossip" and "the disease of a lugubrious face." Reports on the pope's address in media were headlined in ways such as the following: "Merry Christmas, you greedy gossipers" and "Francis gives Roman curia officials coal for Christmas."

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The best books that I read in 2014

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 12, 2015

The pressures of work and ministry, unfortunately, limit the time I have available to read as widely as I would like. Still, addicted as I am to books and knowing that without the insight and stimulation that I draw from them I would forever stagnate spiritually and creatively, I scrupulously carve out some time most days to read. As well, given my ministry and personality, I like to read various genres of books: novels, biography, critical essays, and, not least, books on Scripture, theology and spirituality.

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God's voice is heard through pure joy

Lydia Cristini

January 12, 2015
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 18, 2015

Called by God. What does that even mean? Our Catholic faith tells us each human being has a universal call: the vocation to holiness or, in other words, the vocation to love. But each of us also has a unique call, a unique purpose, based on the specificity of who God created us to be. So, the question is: How do I hear God's specific call for my life? That's where it gets tricky. Samuel heard an audible voice saying his name. That hasn't happened to me yet.

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It'll take a 'life jacket' to get through 2015

Lasha Morningstar

MJanuary 12, 2015

December 31, 2015. Where will you be on that day? What will you have done that year? I know what you are thinking. You think I am going to ask you if you have made resolutions? Then you will probably say – just like the rest of us – "Nope. Don't make resolutions. I just end up breaking them." What I am really saying is, God be willing, we are all going to go through this year and reach that date. What will we have achieved?

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Family will struggle to adapt as son faces life in a wheelchair

Mark Pickup

January 12, 2015

It was a freakish accident that had catastrophic results. A few days after moving to my community, 13-year-old Lincoln Grayson fell off his bicycle and broke his neck. He was rushed to the Stollery Children's Hospital where doctors worked frantically to initially save his life and then stabilize his condition. They induced a coma to completely immobilize him and performed a number of surgeries. Lincoln is now quadriplegic.

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Small gestures can fulfill yearning for love

Kathleen Giffin

January 12, 2014
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 25, 2015

Gordon Neufeld tells a story of meeting a young man who had extraordinary success in overcoming an early childhood of abuse and neglect. When asked what had sustained him to continue to choose life and goodness instead of the despair and self-destruction so typical of those who suffered as he had, he told this story: Someone had taken him to church once when he was young. He was sitting by the aisle when, at the end of Mass, the priest walked by in the closing procession.

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