WCR This Week

Jay's WCR This Week Articles

Teens ignited by the fire of faith

Zac Connelly and Alana Short

September 8, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The fire of faith was ignited in teens who came to a week-long camp near Bonnyville with the desire to grow in their knowledge of Christ and be empowered to share their faith with others Organized by Face to Face Ministries, Ignite 2014 was held Aug. 24-29 at Camp St. Louis, near the entrance to Moose Lake Provincial Park. Its goal was to inspire Catholic youth, Grades 9 to 12, serious about growing in holiness. "Ignite is a conference-style camp that we host for teens who are serious about growing in their faith.

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Program forms Catholics for new evangelization

Michael Dopp

September 8, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Saint Paul University's Summer Institute of New Evangelization inaugurated its first two-week session in August, equipping Catholics to spread the Gospel. The Ottawa-based university had approached Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) about doing an institute on the new evangelization, said Michael Dopp, who directed the program. Thirty-five students took part in the first session in what will be a three-year program. About a third attended the institute for university credit; the rest will receive a certificate in new evangelization. About half of the students joined the two weeks of classroom instruction online, the others in person, Dopp said.

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Church reaches out to the Middle East

September 8, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Catholics in the Edmonton Archdiocese are reaching out to victims of violence in the Middle East with prayer and solidarity. Hundreds of people, including many with roots in the Middle East, attended a special Mass for peace at St. Joseph's Basilica Aug. 27. In addition, Archbishop Richard Smith has authorized a special collection to support the work of Catholic aid agencies working to alleviate the suffering in Iraq, Syria and Gaza. The archbishop is also asking parishes to consider sponsoring refugee families "who need to come to Canada to escape the horror."

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Parishes can be full of life

September 8, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The secret to a flourishing parish? "The people take ownership of it," says Oblate Father Andrzej Stendzina with directness. Stendzina talks enthusiastically about St. Albert Parish where he served for 14 years until recently. Smiles fill his voice as he says, "The theme for our pastoral council was to become an inclusive and welcoming community, that we were a team."

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'Fire' will nourish hungry hearts

September 22, 2014
NISSA LAPOINT
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Parish revitalization requires a Church filled with hearts on fire for Christ and parishioners helpful to fallen-away Catholics navigating their way back to church. "Yes, the Eucharist is enough, but so many people need more to understand that," Patrick Lencioni, an author and leadership consultant, told the recent invitation-only Amazing Parish Conference in Denver. "Those people out there who are former Catholics or Catholics going other places, they're hungry for what you have," Lencioni said.

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CCODP helps Philippines rebuild

September 22, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Every dollar of the $13 million Development and Peace raised last year to help Filipinos left homeless by the most powerful hurricane ever to make landfall has a job to do. Thousands of Filipino families are still living in tents, in the beached hulks of ships Typhoon Haiyan left stranded on the streets of Tacloban City and in elementary schools where Filipino families first found shelter from the storm 10 months ago.

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Sociologist offers new outlook on becoming Catholic today

September 22, 2014

Becoming Catholic: Finding Rome in the American Religious Landscape by David Yamane. Oxford University Press (New York, 2014). 256 pp.

Review by MITCH FINLEY
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

In the introduction to Becoming Catholic, author David Yamane writes words that may take the reader by surprise: "Since 1988, well over two million individuals in the United States have entered the (Catholic) Church. . . . "(O)n average over the past 10 years, 67,298 adults annually have been baptized Catholic and 83,050 baptized Christians annually have been 'received into full communion'" with the Catholic Church in the United States.

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Sarajevo refugee turns his attention to recording sacred music

September 22, 2014
KATE O'GORMAN
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

SASKATOON – Saskatoon musician and composer Zeljko Bilandzic, a convert to Catholicism, recently released a new album entitled Longing for the Bride. The compilation captures Bilandzic's talent as a classical guitarist playing the music of J.S. Bach, Albeniz, Tarrega, Josquin des Pres, Barrios, Villa Lobos as well as his own compositions. Originally from Sarajevo, Bilandzic came to Canada as a survivor of the Bosnian war in 1997.

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Toronto diocese seeks to evangelize youth with music

September 22, 2014
RUANE REMY
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

The Toronto Archdiocese's Office of Catholic Youth hopes to strike the right chord with young people by entering the concert business. Evangelization is about "bringing beauty into the culture," said Father Frank Portelli, and that's exactly what he plans to do with the launch of OCY Concerts. The concert series will showcase popular U.S. and Canadian Christian artists with one or two concerts a year.

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Edmonton-born Benedictine ordained to diaconate in Mission

September 22, 2014
AGNIESZKA KRAWCZYNSKI
THE B. C. CATHOLIC

MISSION, B.C. – An Edmonton man has taken the next step toward the priesthood after seven years of living in a Benedictine monastery. Frater Caesarius Marple was ordained a deacon at Westminster Abbey Aug. 31. "I was completely confident in the mercy of God. There wasn't really any nervousness," said Marple, 27, after his ordination.

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