WCR This Week

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News

Encounter offers opportunity for unity amidst diversity

Filipe Drumond

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well invites us to try water from a different well and also to offer a little water of our own. That's the idea behind the biblical verse "Give me a drink," which is the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Jesus said those words to a Samaritan woman as he sat at a well owned by Samaritans, a tribe despised by the Jews of the time. Bishops, leaders and lay people of many different Christian churches and organizations took part in the opening service of the Week of Prayer at Braemar Baptist Church Jan. 18.

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Catholic observers retain hope in the power of ecumenism

January 26, 2015
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – In the 50 years since the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism, observers see hopeful signs for ecumenism and interfaith dialogue under Pope Francis. "Pope Francis uses language very frequently on how important it is to walk together with other Christians," said Saint Paul University professor Catherine Clifford, noting theological dialogues are being complemented "with initiatives of common witness." "It's an invitation to do everything we possibly can together, not to wait for all 'i's to be dotted and 't's crossed and all the texts approved, but that we kind of live into the experience of mutual communion by beginning to act together today," she said.

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Pallottines foster lay involvement

Fr. Francis Mariappa

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Gottfried Seifert joined the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, better known as the Pallottine Fathers, in Germany in the early 1950s. "There was no divine intervention or any great revelation," he says of his priestly vocation. The young lad had to decide what to do with his life and since he felt called to a life of service, the priesthood seemed like a good option. Seifert chose the Pallottines because he knew the order and was familiar with its charism. He was ordained in 1958 and was sent to Canada the following year.

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Local couples prove marriage is meant to last

January 26, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Seventy. Seventy years of living with the same person, raising a family, and sharing the twilight years of life seems almost impossible in today's society. Two Catholic couples living in Edmonton's downtown Rivera community know it's possible because they are still doing it. Edith and Ken Nixon display the easy companionship one might expect after 70 years of marriage. Sitting in their comfortable apartment, they correct each other or add a fact or two the other might have forgotten with the warmth of two lifelong friends. It is much the same with Lionel and Pauline Lemieux. Their marital journey was different, but the ingredients of faith and commitment were there too. The Montreal setting and Lionel's travelling gave a different tenor to the early part of their relationship.

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Resolve First Nations issues to curtail crime

Clive Weighill

January 26, 2015
BLAKE SITTLER
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

The main factor in producing crime is "the huge marginalization of the First Nations community," says Saskatoon's police chief. Clive Weighill told a recent gathering at St. Anne's Church in Saskatoon the stereotypical story of a boy who grew up in a tough neighbourhood, who was poor and bullied. "He goes to school with no breakfast. He fails a test," Weighill went on. "He's an outsider who is finally invited in by a gang. This friendship escalates quickly to criminal activity."

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World without mothers would be inhumane – pope

January 26, 2015
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Mothers are indispensable to society and the Church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, Pope Francis said. Mothers respect life and display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, the pope said at his Jan. 7 general audience. Even though mothers are often "exalted" with praise and poetry, they often get very little concrete help and appreciation, he said. In his talk, the pope looked specifically at Mary's role in the Gospel accounts of Christmas. "She gives us Jesus, she shows us Jesus, she lets us see Jesus," he said.

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Charlie Hebdo journalism adds to society of disrespect

January 26, 2015
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

While nothing can ever justify cold-blooded murder, the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris are no surprise, said Canada's most famous Catholic philosopher. Charles Taylor spoke to The Register the day after brothers Said and Chérif Kouachi invaded the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo with AK47 assault rifles, killed 12 people and injured 11 others. One of the brothers is reported to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) and at another point in French, "The Prophet has been avenged."

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'Despiritualized' culture saps ability to face death

Fr. Kevin Belgrave

January 26, 2015
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Priests need to preach the Church's teachings on end-of-life issues more frequently to better spiritually prepare parishioners for the inevitable, Father Kevin Belgrave believes. "The solution to the vast majority of problems and challenges that arise at the end of life begins long before the moment of death arises," said Belgrave, an assistant professor of moral theology at Toronto's St. Augustine's Seminary. "If you attempt to deal with end-of-life issues only at the moment when death is on our door you have a person who has in no way been prepared for that moment."

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Scripture melded into melody; music ministry was born

Steve Bell

January 26, 2015
RUANE REMY
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Steve Bell was ready to face the music: his decade-long career as a nightclub musician was over. A little over age 30, he played in bars six nights a week, not making enough money to support his young family. He says he slipped into a deep depression and realized that, other than music, he had no employable skills. Then one night, as he lay in bed, he felt a presence, a presence he now acknowledges to be God, which provided him with a sense that he was meant to do something else. "So I quit playing, thinking that I was going to hang up my guitar and my career was over. But literally when I quit is when all of this new music came out of me," said Bell.

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Bishop tells of personal effects of 'racial divide' in the U.S.

Bishop Edward Braxton

January 26, 2015
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

In a 19-page reflection on the "racial divide" in the United States, Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., who is African-American, said he twice has been the victim of what he considered to be unjust police attitudes. The episodes "made me very conscious of the fact that simply by being me, I could be the cause of suspicion and concern without doing anything wrong," Braxton wrote in a reflection issued Jan. 1. In the first episode, when Braxton was a priest, "I was simply walking down a street in an apparently all-white neighbourhood. A police car drove up beside me and the officer asked, 'What are you doing in this area? Do you live around here? Where is your car? You should not be wandering about neighbourhoods where you do not live.'

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