WCR This Week

They consecrated themselves to Mary

December 19, 2011
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

After two years of intensive and prayerful studies, 15 parishioners of Edmonton's St. Theresa Parish consecrated themselves to Mary in front of their pastor and peers.

Father Jim Corrigan presided at the consecration ceremony and Mass Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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Prayer keeps him from the abyss

Joe Cristini

December 19, 2011
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Sidetracked by chronic depression, the death of his wife and a dysfunctional family life, Joe Cristini's faith journey took many twists and turns before he finally discovered God's presence.

Cristini grew up in central Italy, in a small town later destroyed in the deadly earthquake of April 2009.

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Smith leads Canadians on Haiti solidarity mission

December 19, 2011
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – As the second anniversary of Haiti's catastrophic 2010 earthquake approaches, a delegation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is visiting the country on a solidarity mission.

The Dec. 14-21 visit by Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, the CCCB president, who was accompanied by vice president Gatineau Archbishop Paul-André Durocher and the conference's assistant general secretary Bede Hubbard, is intended to celebrate and deepen the relationship between the bishops of Canada and Haiti.

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After turmoil in Iraq, family eager for quiet Christmas

Kristel Matti

December 19, 2011
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Due to the persecution of Christians in Iraq, Ziyad Matti and his wife Dalia Hikmat haven't had a proper Christmas in years.

Now they are looking forward to their first peaceful Christmas since 1993, when the persecution and killing of Christians in Iraq began full scale. For them, Christmas is about the birthday of Jesus and a time to show love and forgiveness to others.

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L'Arche pageant offers unexpected turns in oft-told tale

December 19, 2011
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

There are no rehearsals for the actors, no flashy pyrotechnics during the performance and no cost for admission. Yet for many people, the L'Arche Association of Edmonton hosts the city's best Christmas pageant.

"Often people will say this is their favourite Advent event," said Sister Pat Desnoyers, community leader for L'Arche Edmonton.

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Irish priests feel tarred by minority's sins

Archbishop-designate Charles Brown

December 19, 2011
SARAH MACDONALD
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

DUBLIN – Father Damien McGroarty, 29, is one of the youngest diocesan priests in Ireland. Ordained just over a year ago, he should still be at the honeymoon stage of his vocation.

Instead, an independent audit of clerical sexual abuse in his Raphoe Diocese left him soul-searching about the public's perception of the priesthood.

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Nativity scenes evolve, enchant

December 19, 2011
THERESA HANLEY
THE NEW FREEMAN

Nativity scenes are one of the most recognizable and loved Christmas customs today and the words crèche and manger have come to describe the depiction of Christ's birth.

The word crèche is the French word for nativity scene which translates into crib in English. That and other translations are derived from the Latin word cripia, meaning manger.

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Ornament tells vets they are never alone

December 19, 2011
SHEILA DABU NONATO
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO – Christmas ornaments featuring a kneeling soldier and the words "Never Alone/Jamais Seul" are being sold in a campaign to raise awareness of Canada's new war veterans.

The campaign is run by Jane Twohey, a Military Christian Fellowship of Canada volunteer from Port Perry, Ont., northeast of Toronto.

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Local pastor backs efforts to track down Attawapiskat cash

December 19, 2011
VANESSA SANTILLI
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

It's a good thing the federal government wants to know where millions of dollars given to the Attawapiskat community has gone, says the pastor on the northern Ontario reserve.

"All of us want to check where all of our tax money is going," said Oblate Father Rodrigue Vézina, pastor of Attawapiskat's St. Francis Xavier Parish, which receives support from Catholic Missions In Canada.

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Nativity scene mish-mash defies Scripture

December 19, 2011
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

A glance at the mantle this time of year can give the average Catholic entirely the wrong idea about the Bible.

"You see crèche scenes – they cram everything from both Gospels (Matthew and Luke) in there, not realizing that if you line both those Nativity stories up there are inconsistencies and contradictions," said Jesuit New Testament scholar Father Scott Lewis.

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