WCR This Week

Jay's WCR This Week Articles

Vocations need to be encouraged

Fr. James DeBeer

July 7, 2014
JAMES BUCHOK
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

Men who consider joining the priesthood were likely encouraged to do so by a priest, yet many priests are reluctant to talk to youth about religious vocations, says Father James DeBeer, director of vocations for the Winnipeg Archdiocese. "The most successful invitations come from pastors and parish priests," says DeBeer, adding, "A great majority of priests do not encourage the young to join them."

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Pipeline concerns range from theology to the 'rule of law'

July 7, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

When the Harper Conservative government approved the Northern Gateway pipeline June 17, it launched a debate likely to figure prominently in the 2015 election. The debate will involve environmental concerns, aboriginal rights and the health of Canada's resource-based economy. The government decision marked the acceptance of the National Energy Board's (NEB) conditional approval of the pipeline that would bring bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to the British Columbia coast so it can be shipped to world markets.

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Think tank debunks common tax myths on income splitting

Andrea Mrozek

July 7, 2014
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – Income splitting is not a tax break for the rich, but a "policy to correct an inequity in the current tax system that treats households with similar income differently," says the head of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC). "Critics don't like it because it means less tax income for government and more income for families," Andrea Mrozek writes in an IMFC report debunking myths about income splitting as a method of tax relief.

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Pope happy students asked him to visit

July 7, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Pope Francis likely won't be visiting Edmonton's St. Francis School but he is pleased the students invited him. The pope's response came via a letter from Archbishop Angelo Becciu of the Vatican's Secretariat of State to Archbishop Richard Smith. In the June 9 letter, Becciu thanks the students for a video presentation they sent to the pope earlier this year and says, "He appreciates your thoughtful gesture."

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Violent upsurge in Iraq has pope, bishops call for peace

July 7, 2014
DAVID GAVLAC
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Thousands of Iraqi Christians fled shelling by extremist militants and were seeking refuge in the neighbouring autonomous Kurdistan region, said Catholic leaders in northern Iraq, who expressed grave concern for the people's fate. "It's going from bad to worse," Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Matte Warda of Irbil told Catholic News Service by telephone June 28. "Over 40,000 Christians have left the villages of Qaraqosh and Karamlish over the past three days. They are really, really afraid."

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Cursillo takes Jesus into workplaces, homes, universities

Diane Coates

July 7, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Allan Forsberg said sharing his faith with people in the Church is simple because they share his ideas and ideals. It's those not active in the Church with whom it is difficult to discuss God's love. "I have trouble talking to people, including my own family, who are not church people," said Forsberg. "Partly it's fear of being misunderstood, fear of being judged a weird religious nut, rather than someone who's just trying to help other people realize how much God loves them."

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Sponsored Syrian refugees have yet to reach Canada's shores

A Syrian toddler

July 7, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO – Despite committing Canada's churches and volunteers, unasked, to welcoming 1,100 Syrian refugees before the end of this year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has so far received just 145 applications to sponsor Syrian refugees. None of them have reached Canadian soil. The Sponsorship Agreement Holders' Association, consisting mainly of Church-based organizations that have been sponsoring refugees since Canada brought 60,000 Vietnamese boat people into the country in 1980, reports its members were able to submit 62 applications for sponsorship in 2013.

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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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