WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

College worried about impact of physician-assisted death

April 18, 2016
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Through its student life and campus ministry teams, as well as some members of the academic faculty, St. Joseph's College dedicates significant resources to suicide intervention and prevention. These resources are made available to all staff and students who require them and not just those who reside or take courses at the college. Although most University of Alberta students might not meet the Supreme Court of Canada test, namely, "a competent adult person who 1) clearly consents to the termination of life and 2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition," our concern is that legislation permitting physician-assisted death (hereafter PAD) may have the unintended social-psychological effect of "normalizing" suicide.

Church-sponsored conference seeks end to human trafficking

Holy See Mission to the UN Logo

April 18, 2016
BETH GRIFFIN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Human trafficking is a $150-billion annual business that affects every country on earth, speakers at an April 7 United Nations conference said. Human trafficking encompasses slavery and includes recruitment and transportation of vulnerable people using force, deception or coercion for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour or service, servitude or the removal of organs. The Holy See mission to the United Nations and the Santa Marta Group co-sponsored the forum on Ending Human Trafficking by 2030.

The three-fold suffering of the cross

April 4, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Majed Mardini cut a striking figure walking the Outdoor Way of the Cross in Edmonton this Good Friday. A Syrian refugee, walking the streets of the city's deep inner city, carrying the heavy cross of Jesus Christ: A trifecta of suffering. "Unwilling to defend the innocent, Pilate condemns Jesus to death, beginning the savior's terrible journey towards Calvary," said Mardini, reflecting on a passage from the Gospel of Luke with Father Glenn McDonald, chaplain at St. Joseph's College of the U of A.

St. Vincent de Paul looks north

April 4, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

On a winter day in Tuktoyaktuk, everyone is gathered around a wood stove inside a Society of St. Vincent de Paul community food and clothing distribution centre. Redemptorist Father Jon Hansen, new to the Arctic community, cannot help but smile when he sees one little boy with his brand new plush stuffed toy, holding it like his new best friend. "Those little moments kind of make you smile, like you're making a difference," he said.

Sr. Toner honoured for humanitarian works

Sr. Ada Toner

April 4, 2016
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Sister Ada Toner has received the 2016 Humanitarian Diamond Award from the Fort Saskatchewan International Women's Day committee just days before her 98th birthday. The Sister of Charity of the Immaculate Conception continues to live in the city 25 km northeast of Edmonton after ministering for 22 years at Our Lady of the Angels Parish there.

Gospel offers alternative to 'shifting sands of change'

April 4, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The permanence and stability of the Gospel are signs of hope amidst "the shifting sands" of change which are producing "useless anxiety" among the people of our time, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. Just as Jesus bore faithful witness to the unchanging, permanent love of the Father, so too we must live "as faithful witnesses to the identity and mission entrusted to us," Smith said in his homily during the annual Chrism Mass. "Hope is found when we encounter the unchanging and steadfast love of God revealed in Jesus Christ."

Archbishop reflects on message of Easter

April 4, 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

At Easter, we celebrate the reason for hope real hope. Hope is something we need at all times, of course, and I find that these days we need it with particular urgency. I meet many people, including students in our schools, who talk quite openly about the stress they feel, even bordering sometimes on depression, which comes from the normal pressures of school, perhaps from difficulties at home, or for many other reasons.

Bishops deplore closure of religious freedom office

CCCB logo

April 4, 2016
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked the federal government to reconsider its decision to close the Office of Religious Freedom. "Religious freedom and freedom of conscience have a pivotal status among human rights," said a statement from the bishops' conference. "Religious freedom is more than the right of an individual to believe and pray. It equally involves a faith community's identity as well as its interactions with society."

Time is right for Christian unity dialogue

Rev. Ingrid Dorschel

April 4, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The lack of Christian unity is one of the strongest motives for people abandoning their faith altogether, says a local Lutheran minister. "People outside don't understand why we are separated and why we don't work together," said the Rev. Ingrid Dorschel, senior pastor of Edmonton's Trinity Lutheran Church. "What happened in the past cannot be changed, but what is remembered of the past and how it is remembered can, with the passage of time, indeed change," Dorschel said at the last in a series of five Lenten dialogue sessions between Lutherans and Roman Catholics.

Aboriginals, churches build relationships on new ground

Diana Steinhauer

April 4, 2016
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Christian churches have wrought great wrongs upon Aboriginal people, but can work with them to provide a brighter future, says Bob McKeon. Colonizers brought disease, poverty and enslavement, took away the land of Aboriginal people and even took some of them back to Europe, McKeon said March 19 in a session at Star of the North Retreat Centre in St. Albert on the Doctrine of Discovery. However, McKeon urged the 50 people at the session to look to a future of working together and learning to trust each other.