WCR This Week

Jay's WCR This Week Articles

Basilian theologian strives to build peace

Fr. Maurice Restivo

September 22, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The newest addition to St. Joseph's College at the University of Alberta is a liberation theologian who works for peace and justice in the Middle East. Basilian Father Maurice Restivo, who spends part of his time in Hebron keeping the peace between Palestinians and Israelis, began teaching theology at St. Joseph's in January. "I hesitate to call myself a peacemaker because I know I still have so much violence in my own heart," he says.

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Local Catholics appointed to Royal Society of Canada

Royal Society of Canada-logo

September 22, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Two academics with close ties to the local Catholic community have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada. The appointments of local mental health advocate Austin Mardon and Sister Eileen Schuller, a renowned expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls who teaches at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., were announced Sept. 9. Schuller was appointed to the society's division of the humanities while Mardon was chosen as "a specially elected fellow" because of his advocacy on behalf of the mentally ill.

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'Alarming portrait' of Canadian Church will be erased by Holy Spirit

Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi

September 22, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

BEAUPRÉ, QUEBEC – The Canadian Church is in the midst of a precipitous drop in the numbers of priests, sisters and brothers, and the weakening of the faith of the laity, Canada's new apostolic nuncio told the country's bishops Sept. 15. A statistical overview of the Church in Canada, following decades of secularization, paints an "alarming portrait," said Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, who arrived in Canada seven months ago.

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Aboriginal violence could rock the nation

Archbishop James Weisgerber

September 22, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Canada faces potential violence from aboriginal people unless the country can find a just solution to their plight, says Archbishop-emeritus James Weisgerber. In Ottawa Sept. 12, the day after Gov. Gen. David Johnston invested him as an officer of the Order of Canada for his work as a "champion of social change and justice," Weisgerber said he saw many signs of hope, despite the problems that have arisen in recent years.

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Liberation theology re-enters agenda of Canadian bishops

Cardinal Jaime Ortega

September 22, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Cuba's Cardinal Jaime Ortega is about to welcome Canada's bishops to the rough and tumble world of Latin American theology. When Canada's bishops gather Sept. 15-19 in the nation's oldest parish in Quebec City to celebrate 350 years of North American prayer, struggle and faith, they will meet the other half of what Pope Francis calls the continent of hope. Ortega will attend the bishops plenary in Quebec City to lead Canada's bishops through a consideration of the Aparecida document.

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Benedict XV's failed efforts to end WWI bore long-term fruit

Pope Benedict XV

September 22, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Among the various First World War-related anniversaries of this centennial year, the election of Pope Benedict XV, 100 years ago Sept. 3, is apt to be one of the less widely observed. Pope Benedict XV is the most obscure of the nine men who have led the Catholic Church over the last century – the title of his biography by historian John Pollard is The Unknown Pope – and in some ways, this negative distinction seems justified. His seven-and-a-half-year pontificate was relatively short and, with respect to his most prominent undertaking, spectacularly unsuccessful.

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Jesuit finds organic is sensible farming in Zambian Mission

Br. Paul Desmarais

September 22, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Nineteenth-century missionaries arrived in Africa with a Bible in one hand and a plough in the other. Jesuit Brother Paul Desmarais still has a Bible, but he's given up on the plough. For 40 years Desmarais has run the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre in Zambia. But over the last 20 years Desmarais has rethought almost every aspect of conventional Western agriculture and how it's applied in Africa.

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Oxford House thanks churches for offering a helping hand

No Room at the Inn Logo

September 22, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Thanks to the No Room in the Inn fundraising drive, a sober-living environment in Edmonton is much more liveable. The Oxford House Foundation in Edmonton has a house for five women recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. However, until recently the house had minimal cupboard space, a decrepit deck and two old trees in the backyard ready to topple over. The electrical breaker panel was misplaced, set up directly above a downstairs toilet. In one bathroom, whenever someone took a shower, water leaked into the walls, causing unhealthy black mold.

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ISIS conflict more focused on money than religion, says cardinal

September 22, 2014
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON – The conflict in which Islamic State fighters are driving out Christians and other minorities must not be seen as a war between Islam and Christianity, said the head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches. "I do not share this position and I ask, on the contrary, that it never prevail," Cardinal Leonardo Sandri told participants in the inaugural In Defense of Christians summit Sept. 9."

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Sr. Victoria keeps active into her 2nd century

Sr. Victoria Mazur

September 22, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Sister Victoria Mazur, when she was much younger, met a man who claimed that God talked to him. The man told her that she was going to live to be an old woman. His prediction was correct. Mazur, a Sister of Our Lady of the Cross (Notre Dame de la Croix), celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 28. "Despite her age, she's as with it as anybody. She remembers people, and she remembers names. She still goes to Mass every day," said Janet MacLellan, a longtime friend.

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