WCR This Week

Jay's WCR This Week Articles

Smith appeals again to parishes to sponsor refugees

Paulette Johnson

July 7, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Parishes have been slow to answer the archdiocese's call to sponsor refugees despite a recent plea from Archbishop Richard Smith. But Paulette Johnson, refugee sponsorship coordinator at Catholic Social Services, thinks it is simply bad timing. After all, it is summer and parishioners may be away on holidays. "I've had a couple of people who asked questions from a parish but I haven't had any parish (express interest in sponsoring a refugee yet)," Johnson said in an interview late last month.

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Many left behind as Alta. Economy expands, says archbishop

Archbishop Richard Smith

July 7, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – The archbishop of Edmonton is calling for a "mobilization of compassion" to help Albertans left behind by the province's prosperity. Speaking at the annual meeting of Catholic Social Services June 26, Archbishop Richard Smith noted Alberta is undergoing an enormous mobilization of resources aimed at building up and expanding the economy.

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CSS honours outstanding volunteers

July 7, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Volunteers with Catholic Social Services who help the agency's clients by performing humble tasks with dedication and perseverance were honoured June 26. There was a woman who helps immigrants adjust to life in Canada, another who prepares meals for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, a man who helps immigrant refugee youth with their homework and a woman who has befriended an emotionally and behaviourally disturbed child.

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Priests enter bond of love

July 7, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In a joyous celebration at St. Joseph Basilica, Archbishop Richard Smith ordained Kristopher Schmidt and Joachim Ostermann to the ministerial priesthood June 27. The standing-room-only congregation erupted in applause as Smith concluded the ordination ritual and welcomed the pair into the priestly fold. One by one, dozens of priests from across the archdiocese embraced the two new priests in a gesture of welcome and solidarity.

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Theologians ask why faithful don't accept some teachings

July 21, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

When a significant portion of the Catholic faithful ignore or reject a Church teaching, it is often a sign that social and cultural pressures are weakening their faith, said members of the International Theological Commission. Or, that lack of belief may reveal that Church leaders simply have not found a way to explain the teaching, the commission said in a new document. The commission published the document 'Sensus Fidei' in the Life of the Church on the Vatican website in late June with the approval of Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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Chaldean patriarch appeals for prayers to heal country's rift

July 21, 2014
DALE GAVLAK
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

AMMAN, JORDAN – The patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad called the current situation in his country "perhaps the darkest and most difficult period in (the Church's) recent history." In a telephone interview with Catholic News Service July 7, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako said the city of Mosul "is almost empty of Christians." "There are only about 200 (Christian) individuals that may be left there," he said. "The churches are closed. There was no Mass on Sunday. There are no priests."

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Quebec expects to draw 300,000 to holy door

July 21, 2014
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

QUEBEC CITY – More than 100,000 pilgrims have already passed through the holy door in Quebec's Cathedral of Notre Dame and another 200,000 are expected before year end. The holy door was constructed to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of the first Catholic parish in North America's first Catholic diocese. It is one of only seven in the world. The Church in North America was launched from the Quebec Diocese, said Msgr. Denis Belanger, cathedral rector.

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Christians targeted in Iraqi civil war

July 21, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has put out an urgent plea to help Iraqi Christians targeted in a "brutal civil war." "Everybody's affected, but Christians in particular because as a minority they are more vulnerable," said CNEWA Canada general secretary Carl Hutu in an interview from Jerusalem. Hutu attended the annual gathering in Rome June 23-26 of agencies working with the Eastern Church that was organized by the Congregation of Eastern Churches.

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Gangs chase fleeing Central American migrants, children

July 21, 2014
DAVID AGREN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Giovani Melendez, 31, fled San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, with his family, setting out suddenly on a search for safety in the United States after gangs demanded growing extortion payments he was unable afford. The family – Melendez, his wife, and children, ages five and 12 – only made it to the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where officials stopped them and sent them back to El Salvador.

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Marian Centre needs help serving the homeless

July 21, 2014
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – With temperatures hitting a blazing 30c , the hot sun may be welcomed by sun bathers and children alike. But for the homeless people there is no respite from its tortuous heat. Sunstoke is a cruel reality for those who cannot find shade. Many end up in city emergency wards.

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