WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Blessed John Paul brought moral courage to world stage

Blessed John Paul II

April 14, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Blessed John Paul II, who will be canonized April 27, was one of the most forceful moral leaders of the modern age. He brought a philosopher's intellect, a pilgrim's spiritual intensity and an actor's flair to his role as head of the universal Church for more than 26 years. The Polish pope was a tireless evangelizer and forceful communicator, speaking to millions in their own languages. But toward the end of his life, his powers of speech faltered with his worsening illness, which left him often unable to even murmur a blessing.

Palliative care relieves suffering, makes dying a normal process

April 14, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – When someone goes in for cancer treatment, others have a fairly good idea of what that entails. The same cannot be said for palliative care, an area of health care that continues to be misunderstood. Dr. Ann Syme, a registered nurse with Covenant Health, said palliative care embraces the notion of helping people die in a humane, dignified way. Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to chronic illness. It can be used at any stage of illness, not just the advanced stages.

John XXIII chafed under the bit of papal protocol

Blessed John XXIII

April 14, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Blessed John XXIII struggled to shake off many formalities that came with the papacy and often conspired with his valet to sneak out of the Vatican. One covert road trip in the Alban Hills outside of Rome got Guido Gusso, the pope's valet, in trouble with the Italian police responsible for the pope's safety. But the security breach just made the pope chuckle – happy with their unauthorized escapade, Gusso told journalists during a news conference at Vatican Radio April 1.

Pope John's short pontificate had huge impact on the Church

April 14, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Although he served as pope for less than five years, Blessed John XXIII left one of the most lasting legacies in the Catholic Church's history by convening the Second Vatican Council. A plump, elderly, smiling Italian of peasant origins, the future pope had an illustrious career as a papal diplomat in Bulgaria, Turkey and postwar France. He became pope amid the dismantling of colonialism, the rise of the Cold War and on the cusp of a technological transformation unlike anything seen since the Industrial Revolution.

Beaverlodge parish bounces back from devastating fire

CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Parishioners in Beaverlodge, 43 km west of Grande Prairie, have been attending Mass in St. Mary's Catholic School since a Jan. 2 fire seriously damaged their church. "We have not missed any services. We were able to get into the school after the fire," said Father Arul Jothi Arockiasamy, pastor of St. Mary's Parish. "The following Sunday, we had Mass in the school gym. We are looking towards good things happening with the reconstruction," he said.

Jasper pastor says his priestly journey has been a miracle

Fr. Clifford Sherwin

April 14, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Wigburg Clifford Sherwin's journey to the priesthood has been packed with miracles, the latest of which is his appointment as a pastor in Jasper 19 months ago. "I love serving here," he says. "It's a blessing to be in Jasper. I thank God for giving me a beautiful station to serve him." Father Sherwin, a native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, came to Canada in 2009. He served in High Level before being appointed to Jasper in August 2012.

Mutual respect is key to reconciliation, says chief commissioner

April 14, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Reconciliation between aboriginal and non-indigenous people in Canada will take place "if we can just stop people from being so disrespectful to each other," said the chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Judge Murray Sinclair opened the national TRC event in Edmonton March 27 calling for the fostering of mutual respect among Canadians. "What we need to do now is to teach our children and grandchildren and future generations how to be respectful towards each other," he said.

Church opposes scattering ashes of the deceased

April 14, 2014
THE B.C. CATHOLIC

VANCOUVER – Scattering the cremated remains of a loved one on a mountain, lake or park might seem poetic, but the Church discourages the practice. "The Church, for reasons of respect and dignity of the body, requires that Catholics inter the full body or cremated remains in sacred ground," said Peter Nobes, director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Vancouver Archdiocese. Cremation has been allowed for Catholics since 1963.

Voices of the survivors

April 14, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Ethel Lamothe of Fort Simpson still remembers being taken away in a boat with other children to the residential school at Fort Providence, N.W.T., when she was five years old. "All of us children, we all started crying. Our people, way over there, were getting smaller and smaller, and were crying. It was really, really difficult." During her first 10 months at the school, Ethel only saw one adult family member – her father – once.

Catholics feel the pain of school survivors

April 14, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Catholics who attended the Truth and Reconciliation Commission national event in Edmonton say they were horrified by the stories of abuse they heard from survivors of Church-run residential schools. "I am horrified by the stories, especially of abuse and violence by the staff who ran the schools," said Archbishop Gerard Pettipas of Grouard-McLennan.