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Pope Francis has called for "a bold cultural revolution" that will sweep away consumerism, myths about unlimited economic growth and the desire to constantly maximize profits. Human activities based on those habits and beliefs are destroying the planet, the pope said in his encyclical Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home, dated May 24, Pentecost Sunday, and released at the Vatican June 18.
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Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith will be one of four Canadian delegates to the world Synod of Bishops on the vocation and mission of the family at the Vatican in October. The other three Canadian delegates to the Oct. 4-25 synod will be Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Que., president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB); Bishop Noel Simard of Valleyfield, Que.; and Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto.
An outdoor Mass on the Hill celebrating the 150th anniversary of Catholic education in St. Albert highlighted the "timeless" faith that has remained constant in the midst of dramatic change. Some 6,000 students from across the Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools division sitting on the historic Mission Hill June 11 listened as Archbishop Richard Smith reflected on the various changes – both dramatic and incidental – in society that have taken place in the past 150 years.<
Christian pro-life physicians are facing a major battle to protect their conscience rights in the face of the Supreme Court decision to legalize assisted suicide. "We are in a pitched battle in Canada to protect the conscience rights of Christian physicians to uphold their right to practise medicine based on their values and beliefs without interference," said Larry Worthen, executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society (CMDS).
One might wonder how the women of the Gospel, especially those who stood beneath the Cross of Jesus, might live out that devotion on earth today. Those women at the foot of the cross are the inspiration that drew Madame Marie Madeleine d'Houët, a mother and wife, to establish the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus, founded on Holy Thursday 1820 in France.
People have a growing ecological awareness, but that awareness "has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption," Pope Francis said in the opening chapter of his encyclical Laudato Si', On Care For Our Common Home. Rather than decreasing, those "harmful habits" appear to be all the more on the increase, the pope said.
Consumerism and individualism have seriously eroded traditional cultures and sent society into "ethical and cultural decline," says Pope Francis. An emphasis on economic growth has led to increased standardization through efforts to cut costs and simplify procedures, the pope said in a chapter on Integral Ecology in his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home.
When Pope Francis met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vatican June 10, the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine was the principal topic of their conversation. Putin arrived at the Vatican more than an hour late, beating the 45-minute tardiness he chalked up in November 2013, the last time he visited the pope.
Once again the hills are filled with the sound of music, only this time the music soars from Benedictine monks rather than the Von Trapp Family. In Norcia, Italy, about 110 kms northeast of Rome, an international community of monks operates a craft brewery and spends hours a day chanting the Mass and the Divine Office.
Alberta religious, environmental, industry and Aboriginal leaders hailed Pope Francis encyclical on the environment as a positive contribution to saving the planet. While some called it a guidepost for the energy industry, others greeted it as a call to a new lifestyle reflective of our duties to God, neighbour and nature. In the letter, the pope cites a solid scientific consensus indicating that global warming is real, and will limit drinking water, harm agriculture, lead to some extinctions of plant and animal life, acidify oceans and raise sea levels in a way that could flood some of the world's biggest cities.
EDMONTON – Longtime Catholic activist Dr. Robert McKeon has received dual honours prior to his imminent retirement as social justice coordinator with the Edmonton Archdiocese. McKeon has been named professor emeritus by Newman Theological College where he has taught full and part-time since 1979.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Western Catholic Reporter is being recognized for a 50-year tradition of journalistic excellence with an award from the Association of Roman Catholic Communicators of Canada (ARCCC). ARCCC will present the award in its Media Arts Production category to the WCR at the organization's annual meeting in Buffalo, N.Y., June 26.
CALGARY – A battle to protect physicians' conscience rights must be fought to counter the militant secularism shaping today's society, says Cardinal Thomas Collins. "Don't be misled by government who would allow conscience rights only if you are treating a patient of your own belief. That is not right," Collins told Christian physicians meeting here June 13.
The Catholic Women's League must embrace bold and creative rethinking, national president Barb Dowding told members at this year's provincial CWL convention. Dowding explained the 2015-17 theme One Heart, One Voice, One Mission in her speech to the members of the Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council who attended the two-day convention which kicked off in Yellowknife June 5.
Christians have a responsibility to respect nature and the Creator, a duty that is an essential part of the Christian faith, says Pope Francis. While nature is a system that can be studied and controlled, creation "can only be understood as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all," the pope wrote in the second chapter of his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home.
Humanity is engulfed in "a spiral of self-destruction" which can only be halted through dialogue at the international, national and local levels, Pope Francis said in his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home. In his fifth chapter of the encyclical, Lines of Approach and Action, the pope shows greater faith in the ability of public pressure to bring about positive change affecting the natural environment than he does in current political and economic processes.
VATICAN CITY – Religious freedom, the conflict in Ukraine and the environment were on the table as Pope Francis met briefly June 11 with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The prime minister's office said their discussions also included reference to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which detailed the treatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools supported by the Canadian government but administered by religious organizations, including the Catholic Church.
While many men spend time in their man cave, drinking beer and watching sports, Todd Stahl would rather pass his time in male solitude with devotions and self-reflection. Stahl is calling all Christian men to 40 days of devotions in their comfort zones and has detailed how in his first book, 40 Days in the Man Cave.
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home is a call for global action as well as an appeal for deep inner conversion. The pope points to numerous ways world organizations, nations and communities must move forward and the way individuals – believers and people of good will – should see, think, feel and act. Here are some of the pope's suggestions, with references in parentheses to their paragraphs in the encyclical:
RED DEER – The executive board of the Alberta Knights of Columbus will spend Canada Day choosing a new leader for the organization following the death of Grant Mann, the Knights' state deputy-elect. Mann, elected state deputy at the April 17-19 convention, died April 29, just two months before his installation as leader of the 18,000 Knights in Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
For the 2013-14 school year, principal Lucy Moore and I sat down to discuss how we could get our students at Fort McMurray's Holy Trinity High School to experience the Mass together. Our intentions were good but logistics kept getting in the way of our plans. Getting to and from the church, busing, sch
With the decision to close one of its largest and most important churches, the Archdiocese of Quebec is sending a clear message: The future of even the most majestic churches cannot be guaranteed anymore. On May 24, one last Mass was celebrated in renowned St. John the Baptist Church. Dedicated to the patron saint of French Canadians, the church stands among the high-profile churches of both the archdiocese and the province of Quebec.
YELLOWKNIFE – Being chosen to lead the provincial Catholic Women's League during the time of Pope Francis is a significant coincidence for new president Cathy Bouchard. Bouchard, of Red Deer, is a secular Franciscan. She was named president at the Alberta Mackenzie provincial council convention held here June 5-6. "It's kind of a nice synchronicity for me as a Franciscan," she said. "All of us are very happy that this pope reflects St. Francis of Assisi."
The growth of technology has led to an "ironclad logic" that diminishes human freedom and the human capacity for making decisions, Pope Francis wrote in the third chapter of his new encyclical Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home. New policies, ways of education, lifestyles and even spirituality are needed to resist the "technological paradigm" for societal decision-making that has become so dominant that it has become "inconceivable" to consider alternatives, the pope says.
Lives lived with "small gestures of mutual care" and rooted in a spirituality that discovers God in all things can bring forth the goodness in others that will lead to better stewardship of our common earthly home, says Pope Francis. In the final chapter of his encyclical Laudato Si', Care for Our Common Home, the pope says better laws alone will not change people's conduct, even when those laws are effectively enforced.
In proclaiming the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis has invited us to stop, pray, reflect, encourage and support. Before I share my reflections, I invite you to pause and think of all the persons, groups and life experiences that you associate with the term consecrated life.
Although society may change the shape of the family, "children have the same exact needs you had when you were children," said the founder of a program designed to help young children learn how to empathize with others. The first relationship, that of a mother with an infant affects the rest of the child's life, said Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy.
Father Joseph Tsang says a life without God can never be a life of fulfillment. Only when Tsang decided to follow Jesus did he achieve peace and spiritual liberation. Tsang, the pastor of Edmonton's Mary Help of Christians Chinese Parish, was the guest speaker at the charismatic prayer breakfast at Chateau Louis Conference Centre June 13.