WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Jayawardhana will receive CSS' Msgr. Bill Irwin Award

Fr. Brian Jayawardhana

May 12, 2014
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Catholic Social Services will honour Oblate Father Brian Jayawardhana with its Msgr. Bill Irwin Award of Excellence at the agency's annual meeting in June. Jayawardhana, 76, has served with CSS since arriving in Canada from his native Sri Lanka in 1976. The organization will honour him with its top award because of his academic contributions to the study of people with developmental disabilities and for his exceptional service to CSS and the community as a whole.

Prague's unforgettable picnics

May 12, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Kevin Midbo has vivid memories of the legendary Prague Picnics held in the Prague District southwest of Viking. "The crowds of people, lines of cars, tables of food and celebratory atmosphere are easily recalled," he writes. Midbo started attending in the 1960s with his parents Ken and Marion Midbo and his sisters Kathy and Tracy. However, he was an outsider at the picnics. "I didn't live in the Prague District and we were Lutherans, not Catholic. But we were welcomed, along with hundreds of others, into the picnic fold."

B.C. aborted babies burned to generate electricity in U.S.

May 12, 2014
STEVE WEATHERBE
SPECIAL TO THE B.C. CATHOLIC

The remains of British Columbia's aborted and miscarried children are ending up in an Oregon waste-to-power plant, likely mixed with everyday trash, incinerated to provide electricity to the people of Marion County. So admits the B.C. Health Ministry. Though no ministry official was willing to put his or her name to the following statement, the communications branch emailed The B.C. Catholic that "biomedical waste," including "human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and fetal tissue," is "disposed of through appropriate contracted providers."

God empowers you to do great things

Barbara Elliot

May 12, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Human beings are "built to give love and to receive love," says an American author who has worked with European refugees and the inner city poor. "This is a broken world and we are sent to be ambassadors of love to each other," says Barbara Elliot, the keynote speaker to the Women of Dignity Conference at Edmonton Hotel and Conference Centre May 3. Elliott, a Catholic who teaches at Baptist University in Houston, said it's countercultural to be Catholic in today's society. Yet, Christ is the head of it all and he empowers us to be his agents.

Journalist-liturgist Gasslein receives national honour

Bernadette Gasslein

May 12, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Edmonton's Bernadette Gasslein is the winner of this year's prestigious Association of Roman Catholic Communicators of Canada (ARCCC) award. But that is not surprising, since over the years, the Catholic journalist has racked up 59 awards for her writing. "It's a pretty good track record," she admits. ARCCC is the national organization of Catholic "communicators," meaning those working in a variety of communications ministries ranging from the public relations offices of various Church organizations to Church-based media.

Alta. Knights quash casino fundraising . . . again

Bill Smith

May 12, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

With the flashing lights, the free-flowing alcoholic drinks and generally intoxicating atmosphere, casinos provide gambling options that are likely to lead to bad decisions and ruinous losses for patrons. Therefore, at their annual convention, the Alberta/Northwest Territories Knights of Columbus state council have once again agreed to support the Catholic bishops of Alberta in speaking out against the spread of casino gambling. The bishops have expressed concern over the spread of legalized gambling province-wide for the purpose of generating revenue.

Palliative Care doctors urge Que. Premier to reject euthanasia

May 12, 2014
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – Dr. Balfour Mount, considered the "father of palliative care in North America" has written an open letter to Quebec's new premier urging him not to re-introduce the euthanasia bill. In a letter jointly-signed by Dr. Serge Daneault, the doctors congratulated Quebec Liberal Leader Dr. Philippe Couillard, a brain surgeon, for his April 7 victory. They expressed "deep disappointment" on behalf of many fellow physicians and Quebec citizens at Couillard's announcement the day after he was elected that he intended to re-introduce euthanasia Bill 52, including its provisions on medical aid in dying, a euphemism for euthanasia.

Pastoral care providers seek to foster human thriving

Dr. Suzette Brémault-Phillips

May 12, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Each of us is a pilgrim on a journey. Sometimes on our individual journeys, we share a path with others, other times we walk alone and sometimes our paths veer off. The basic human gift is the right to choose which path to take. "But what do we do when faced with life transitions, challenges, choice and illness? Those are crucible moments, and sometimes they are also moments that are pivotal," said Dr. Suzette Brémault-Phillips, an occupational therapist and assistant professor at the University of Alberta.

Papal saints had courage, mercy

May 12, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Canonizing two recent popes in the presence of his immediate predecessor, Pope Francis praised the new Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II as men of courage and mercy. The papal saints responded to challenges of their time by modernizing the Catholic Church in fidelity to its ancient traditions, Pope Francis said April 27, in his homily during Mass in St. Peter's Square. "They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century," the pope said. "They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful."

Director of Catholic Rights League dies

May 12, 2014
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO – A voice committed to faith and fairness has been silenced. Joanne McGarry, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, succumbed to pancreatic cancer April 28. She was 60. McGarry's career spanned journalism, business, public relations and advocacy. She was passionate about defending the Church and its teachings. Her first career was in Catholic journalism, where she served as managing editor of The Catholic Register.