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Two years ago Crystal Dean was pregnant with her sixth child. She thought her pregnancy was going well until her doctor told her there were serious complications. Her unborn baby, she was told, had a heart defect as well as a lymphatic malformation of her neck. The doctor recommended the pregnancy be terminated. "I remember feeling like my whole world was turned upside down," recalled Dean. "My doctor was a Christian so I was surprised that he would say that to me."
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The following appointments of priests in the Edmonton Archdiocese will take effect Aug. 12, unless otherwise indicated.
A Pentecost weekend Festival of Praise led by popular Christian vocalist Janelle Reinhart was standing room only at St. Joseph's Basilica in Edmonton. The concert, which preceded a Pentecost Vigil Mass with Archbishop Richard Smith, was part of the May 22-24 New Evangelization and Healing Conference organized by Catholic Renewal Services. "I think it's a sign," said guitarist Jason Reinhart, marvelling at the size of the crowd, estimated at nearly 700. "People were hungry for the Holy Spirit. They just were coming in and coming in and coming in and it was just great to see. There were people of all ages here."
He was only seven years old. But little Peter Nemcek was scared witless to make his first Confession. He hadn't committed any grave sin, yet he was petrified. The priest in his hometown parish of St. Nicolas in Trnava, a city in western Slovakia, was known to be strict. "I had never been to Confession so when my friend confessed and said the priest is kind of strict, I thought, 'Oh, that's scary,'" Nemcek recalled. "I was probably sweating, I was pretty scared."
The sweat lodge ceremonies of aboriginal spirituality until now practised only on surrounding reserves will soon have a place within Edmonton's city limits. The ground-breaking sweats of Kihciy Askiy, set to open this summer, will be a culturally safe environment for aboriginal people to heal, learn to pray and learn about creation story teachings from aboriginal elders. It will also be a place to learn about and develop their aboriginal identity.
Some parishes in the Edmonton Archdiocese see Catholic schools within their boundaries as an important evangelization ground. Consequently, their ministry in the schools is a priority. "If we want to spread the Good News, as we are called to do, the schools are the vineyard," declares Father Jim Corrigan, pastor of St. Theresa Parish in the Millwoods area of Edmonton. "They are a priority because that's where the young adults of tomorrow are. Give them a good experience and who knows what the Holy Spirit is going to be able to do with that."
In the previous article in this series on Pope Francis' encyclical The Light of Faith, I considered the role of mediation in faith. Faith always arises through a mediator - the Church, the wider society, one's family, a loved one. The problem is that when one's chief mediator loses faith or mistreats us, our faith is apt to crumble. In this article, I will look at Pope Francis' reflection on idolatry. Mediation is something outside oneself, but idolatry is a failing on the part of the person who could have faith.