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The Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris were a "barbarity," leading us to ask ourselves "how the human heart can plan and carry out such horrible events," Pope Francis said Nov. 15. "The path of violence and hatred cannot resolve the problems of humanity, and using the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy," the pope said after reciting the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square.
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Looking back on her school days in Wainwright, Sister Anne Rajotte remembers hearing the Sisters of St. Joseph, laughing - while she was practising piano. She remembers thinking how happy they were. However, it was not the continued joyous spirit of the sisters that eventually drew Rajotte to enter the religious congregation, but a persistent call from God.
The Black Nazarene, a large statue of Jesus beloved by Filipino Catholics, is now part of the religious scene in Edmonton. A replica of the original crafted in the Philippines arrived in Edmonton in the summer and has since been blessed and is ready to be venerated. It's a dark wooden statue of Jesus kneeling on one knee carrying a large wooden cross. It has been venerated in the Philippines for more than 400 years.
My wife Nora and I walked the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) from Lourdes, France, to Santiago de Compostella, Spain, from Sept. 28 to Nov. 5, following a route to the alleged tomb of St. James the Greater that is more than 1,000 years old. Over 39 days, we walked about 850 kilometres and took buses and trains for about another 100 kms. The pilgrimage is physically demanding - Nora, who is younger and in better shape than me, kept walking with shin splints.
Running a popular Edmonton diner, Kim Franklin sees a lot of faces and knows a lot of people in the city. But community to Franklin stretches well beyond the city limits. "I think of the community as more than just the people that I can see with my own eyes," she said. That's why, eight months ago, news footage of a group of Syrians stuck on the side of a mountain after being driven away from their own homes, caught her attention.
The congregation was speckled with poppies as it celebrated the priestly ordination of Father Caesarius Marple. The Edmonton-born monk prostrated before the altar at Westminster Abbey in Mission, B.C., Nov. 11. "To give glory to God, to be a man fully alive, to be a saint: this is my goal, and for that I am excited," said Marple. "I see my ordination to the priesthood as a step along the way, a step I am unworthy to make, but a step which God is asking of me."
Muslims and Christians should walk together, instead of stepping around each other, participants heard at a recent Christian-Muslim Interfaith Dialogue. "The first concept of our faith teaches us to [have] love for all and hatred for none," said Khalida Khawaja, a member of Edmonton's Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Greg Pennoyer calls it "living in a culture of amnesia." Canadians may know bits and pieces of their history - the date of Confederation, where Henry Hudson froze to death, how General Wolfe defeated the Marquis de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham. But we've lost the thread of the whole story. You can't understand how Canada came to be the country it is today without understanding its religious foundations and history, Pennoyer insists. Pennoyer works for the Cardus Foundation, a Hamilton, Ont.-based think tank started by Dutch Reformed Christians but which now has considerable input from Catholics.
OTTAWA - Canada's Catholic bishops and the Canadian Council of Churches sent congratulations and a wish list to Prime Minister Trudeau Nov. 4, highlighting climate change and poverty. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) also reiterated its call to Parliament to invoke the notwithstanding clause to suspend the Supreme Court assisted suicide decision that will come into effect in three months.
It was standing room only at the Archdiocese of Edmonton's recent Life and Death seminar on euthanasia and assisted suicide. More than 150 people attended the Nov. 4 event at Providence Renewal Centre. The evening featured talks from two of Canada's foremost Catholic speakers on euthanasia and assisted suicide: Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and Dr. Moira McQueen of the Catholic Bioethics Institute.
MONTREAL - For two major Canadian Catholic agencies, the Liberal government's decision to stop airstrikes against Islamic State positions in the Middle East begs the question: How must Canada act in that region? Shortly after his Oct. 19 election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his intention to pull out of the U.S.-led airstrikes campaign against Islamic State positions in Iraq and Syria.
Discerning God's will when one choice is clearly immoral is easy, but discerning among good options can be helped by advice from St. Ignatius, Father Timothy Gallagher told a retreat in Ottawa Nov. 4. Discerning whether God is calling you to marriage, to the priesthood or to consecrated life is an example, said Gallagher, a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary (OVM).