WCR This Week

Jay's WCR This Week Articles

University students get pointers on how to keep their faith

November 3, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

University students value events like the National Catholic Student Leadership Conference, saying it reenergizes them. They say the conference – the latest held at St. Joseph's College of the University of Alberta, Oct. 16-19 – gives them a chance to learn new ideas, to meet leaders from across Canada and to discuss challenges facing Catholic students on campus today. Challenges outlined by the students: Living out their faith, keeping their Catholic identity and upholding Catholic moral standards.

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St. Mary's Parish celebrates 50 years in SE Red Deer

St. Mary's

November 3, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

St. Mary's Parish, which celebrated its 50th anniversary Oct. 4, is a landmark structure in southeast Red Deer. "People come just to look at the unique architecture," said Christine Moore, who chaired the anniversary committee and also chairs the parish council. "The architecture of the church brings people together," said Moore. "It feels that we're all drawn closer to the altar just by the grade. The floor slopes towards the altar."

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Society bludgeons the family on all sides, says Pope Francis

November 3, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – The family is under attack now more than ever because of today's culture of division that wants to break from and be free of all everlasting bonds and forms of solidarity, Pope Francis said. "Talking about problems of the family, for example, bonds are being destroyed, instead of created. Why? Because we are living in a culture of the provisional, of conflict, of the inability to make alliances," he said. What is needed is a Church and Christians who are willing to "waste time" on people, not just principles, and accompany face-to-face those needing to discover the truth in Jesus Christ, he said.

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Build your marriage on God's foundation

Jean MacKenzie

November 3, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Jean MacKenzie believes marriage is like a house. If the house's foundation is weak, the house will eventually crumble. Speaking at the annual conference of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association of Canada (CPAC), MacKenzie said for couples to have a good marriage, the marriage needs a good foundation. "To help people have strong marriages you must help people understand the elements necessary for a strong foundation," MacKenzie told marriage counsellors, psychologists, mental health therapists, nurses and social workers from several parts of Canada.

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Youth Rally: Greens outnumber reds

Colm Leyne

November 3, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Beginning his first talk at the Edmonton archdiocesan youth rally, speaker Colm Leyne told the young people in attendance to vote for or against him. If he said something inspirational or told a story that resonated with them, they were to put a green slip of paper in a box at the back of the room. However, if he could not keep them enthused or change the way they think about God or their faith, they were to vote with a red slip.

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CSS Alpha programs help clients end addictive behaviour

Beth Allard-Clough

November 3, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Chad used to drink a lot. As a result, he neglected his responsibilities to his now nine-year-old daughter. It was his love for his daughter that led him to quit drinking, seek treatment and join Catholic Social Services' Alpha House for Men, a recovery house for men with addictions. "I would drink and I would isolate myself, and I couldn't live life in those terms," Chad, who didn't want his last name to be used, recalled in a recent interview. "I was on a path of destruction. If I wasn't at Alpha House, I would either be in jail or dead."

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Bishops fear terrorism growing out of Canadian soil

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November 3, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – Anti-terrorism experts warn terror attacks involving lone assailants are likely to increase, but faith leaders urge a Christian response to ensure Canada remains an open society. "This is a time of profound national sadness for all Canadians," said Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Gatineau Archbishop Paul-André Durocher Oct. 24 in response to two attacks on Canadian soldiers during the week of Oct. 20. "We worry that the horror of terrorism is taking root in our soil, so long a land of peace, cooperation and inter-cultural collaboration," said Durocher.

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Muslim leaders rebuke ISIS for 'abominable crimes'

Muslims making the Hajj

November 3, 2014
MARK PATTISON
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

More than 100 Muslim leaders – clerics and laypeople alike – have signed on to a letter criticizing the Middle East Muslim military group ISIS, short for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. In the 17-page letter, the leaders quote extensively from the Quran, the Muslim scriptures, to rebuke ISIS' tactics and actions. Since the letter was issued Sept. 19, more than 125 Muslim leaders around the world have signed the letter.

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Giving to charity through one's estate leaves a testament

Carla Smiley

November 17, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As disciples of Jesus, Catholics are stewards, not owners, of what God has entrusted to them. "In fact we are accountable to God for what we receive and how we used it to serve others," explains Carla Smiley, coordinator of planned giving for the Edmonton Archdiocese. At the end of our lives, "we are to give whatever gifts we received back to God with increase." One way to be a good steward is to leave money to charity in your will, says Smiley, noting that Catholic charities rely primarily on Catholics for funding.

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Cemeteries are a place of evangelization

November 17, 2014
BETH GRIFFIN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Beyond their traditional roles as predictably quiet and often-beautiful places, "cemeteries have a huge opportunity to evangelize and a responsibility to stand for what the Church represents," said New Jersey Catholic cemeteries director. People who come to a committal service in a cemetery may be encountering Catholic funeral tradition for the first time, or for the first time in many years, said Andrew Schafer, executive director for Archdiocese of Newark Catholic Cemeteries. A positive experience might encourage them to return when they need to arrange a burial, Schafer said.

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