WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Prisoners seek to live out God's call by feeding the hungry

September 12, 2016
SHAYLYN MCMAHON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

INNISFAIL - Three years ago, when a group of inmates at Bowden Institution were asked by their prison chaplain how they could live out God's call to help those in need, they needed some time to think. It wasn't easy. For the inmates, figuring out how men inside a prison could reach beyond the walls was a challenge. It also required them to change the way they thought about themselves. "Incarcerated men are typically the objects of charity, and not in a position to be purveyors of it," said Rick, an inmate at the institution.

Benedict retired due to rigours of papal travel

September 12, 2016
JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Retired Pope Benedict XVI said in an interview that he felt a "duty" to resign from the papacy because of his declining health and the rigorous demands of papal travel. While his heart was set on completing the Year of Faith, the retired pope told Italian journalist Elio Guerriero that after his visit to Mexico and Cuba in March 2012, he felt he was "incapable of fulfilling" the demands of another international trip, with World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil looming on the horizon.

New K-9 school imbued with spirit of Pope John XXIII

St. John XXIII School

September 12, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Although Mike Kovacs' father had been the director of the food program at Edmonton's St. Joseph's High School, young Mike didn't feel drawn to follow in dad's footsteps. He earned a science degree in university, but was unsure of his next step. "I went into education. Once I taught my first lesson, I loved it. I said, 'OK! I've found my calling.'"

Pope leads 11,000 pilgrims in praying rosary for quake victims

September 12, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

After a strong earthquake struck central Italy, Pope Francis turned his weekly general audience Aug. 24 into a prayer service. The pope and some 11,000 pilgrims and tourists recited the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary in St. Peter's Square, hours after the magnitude 6.2 quake struck close to Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict and home to a monastery of Benedictine monks. When Pope Francis arrived in St. Peter's Square for his general audience just six hours after the main quake, he set aside his prepared audience talk.

Priest psychologist offers counsel on handling trauma

September 12, 2016
RHINA GUIDOS
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

When tragedy arrives in a city, town or parish, Church members, staff, priests, and religious sisters and brothers can do several things to help, but there are other things they shouldn't do, said Msgr. Stephen Rossetti. "When a disaster hits, you don't want to have to say 'Oh, my gosh, what do I do now?' That feeling of being unprepared, it feeds into that helplessness, that feeling of victimization," Rossetti said. "That's the last thing we want because it makes it worse.

Caring for the Earth is connected to caring for people

September 12, 2016
RANDOLPH HALUZA-DELAY
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

When we think of the "seasons" of the Church calendar, Easter, Lent and Advent come to mind. The Seasons of Creation is an ecumenical initiative co-sponsored by the Vatican and a wide variety of other Christian denominations. It began Sept. 1 – the World Day of Prayer for Care for Creation – and continues until Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Francis bemoans effects of overly secularized culture

August 29, 2016
JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis warned Poland's Catholic bishops that an increasingly secularized and de-Christianized culture leaves people orphaned, being vaguely spiritual without Christ or his Church. Speaking July 27 with the 117-member bishops' conference in the Krakow cathedral, the pope also said that behind the exploitation of people and creation "ideological colonization" is at work.

Our Lady of Victory Camp brings faith of youth to life

August 29, 2016
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Our Lady of Victory Camp offers campers and counsellors alike a week-long infusion of faith. The program at the camp on the west side of Gull Lake is based on youth catechism with daily Mass, Reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration and the rosary. That's a full load of Catholicism, especially compared with secular summer camps that emphasize horseback riding, sports and swimming.

After-school Satan clubs turn up the heat in U.S.

August 29, 2016
CAROL ZIMMERMANN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - Parents, schools and school districts in the United States are paying closer attention to after-school activities since a group called the Satanic Temple announced its plans to introduce after-school Satan clubs at some public elementary schools this year. Yet the Satan clubs' planned activities - focusing on reason and science, according to the website - also are not nearly as eerie as the group's name implies.

Mary's blessings descend on Skaro

August 29, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Ominous-looking clouds gathered in the direction of the Skaro Pilgrimage site as my wife Nora and I headed out from Edmonton for the annual Marian pilgrimage late in the afternoon of Aug. 14. A couple of showers rained down as we approached the site. However, at Skaro itself, all was dry . . . and stayed dry throughout the evening of prayer and liturgy as the usual crowd of several thousand came to celebrate the vigil of the feast of Mary's Assumption.