WCR This Week

From the category archives: News

News

Students become Santas Anonymous

December 29, 2014
CHARLES WECKEND
FORT MCMURRAY

FORT MCMURRAY – Perhaps the best proclamation of the Gospel in a Catholic school is the love that permeates it. Perhaps, as Hans Urs von Balthasar claimed, only love is credible. And when that love has persisted for 30 years, then it has indeed permeated a school's culture. Such is the case for Father Mercredi High School in Fort McMurray. For 30 years, some 200 lead students, collaborating with the rest of the school, have worked throughout the year to share Christmas joy with those in need. They call their student-driven activity Santa's Anonymous, and they reach approximately 600 families.

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Local writer offers even-toned overview of residential schools

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The story of Canada's Indian residential schools could be told and often is told with moral outrage. Lord knows that it was a system that was warped in just about every conceivable way. Larry Loyie, a former student at the St. Bernard School in Grouard now living in Edmonton, however, has chosen to provide an overview of the schools in a matter-of-fact way without invective or sensationalism. Loyie, in his Residential Schools: With the Words and Images of Survivors (Indigenous Education Press), written in conjunction with Wayne Spear and Constance Brissenden, has told the story of the schools in a way accessible to the average reader.

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CWL brings seniors joy

December 29, 2014
CECILE GANNON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Every December since 1993, a group of ladies from the Good Shepherd Catholic Women's League in Edmonton brings Christmas joy to the seniors at Jasper Place Central Park Lodge. We come wearing bright red Santa hats, with happy hearts, warm smiles, a few jingle bells and musical props, accompanied by a guitarist or a pianist to sing Christmas carols. That is not all. It is not unusual to see some members break from the group during some songs and dance a few steps when Frosty the Snowman came to life one day or the "ladies dancing" appear in the 12 Days of Christmas.

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Sisters heartened by conciliatory tone, content of report

December 29, 2014
DENNIS SADOWSKI
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - U.S. women religious welcomed the conciliatory tone of a Vatican report on religious life and appreciated acknowledgement of the important ministry that they practice day in and day out in the life of the Church. They also said the report, released Dec. 16, opens a new beginning for women religious, who have continued their work despite the questions about the status of religious life in the U.S. that were raised by the apostolic visitation process that ran from 2009 to 2012. "The positive tone and the clear affirmation found in the document gives us new energy to move on in our critical role for the sake of the mission of the Church in the United States," said Sister Mary Johnson, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

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Vatican report absolves U.S. women religious

December 29, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

A massive Vatican-ordered investigation of U.S. communities of women religious ended with a simple call to the women themselves to continue discerning how best to live the Gospel in fidelity to their orders' founding ideals. Although initially seen by many religious and lay Catholics as a punitive measure, the apostolic visitation concluded with the publication Dec. 16 of a 5,000-word final report summarizing the problems and challenges the women themselves see in their communities. It also thanked them for their service to the Church and to society, especially the poor.

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Calgary Bishop Fredrick Henry's letter on Bill 10

December 29, 2014
My Dear Brothers and Sisters

The Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock said: "A half truth, like half a brick, is always more forcible as an argument than a whole one. It carries further." During the past week, we have witnessed considerable misinformation and misrepresentation of the views of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association, the Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta and the Alberta bishops in the public forum as individuals and groups reacted to Premier Prentice's decision to "pause" before the third reading of Bill 10. In my opinion, Bill 10 was a win-win for everyone.

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Archbishop Richard Smith's letter on Bill 10

December 29, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the past number of days we have witnessed significant media commentary pertaining to Bill 10, a recent legislative attempt to promote safe, caring and inclusive communities in schools. Students experiencing same-sex attraction were singled out in the bill for special attention, and much of the debate has centred on whether the government should mandate what are called Gay-Straight Alliances to help these children feel safe and cared for. A serious attempt was made in the proposed legislation to reconcile the right of students to be safe with the rights of parents and schools pertaining to the education and formation of children.

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Sisters from N.B. endured hard times to serve Albertans

December 29, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

A simple cabin in Radway. That was the introduction of the Sisters of Charity of Immaculate Conception to health care in Alberta in 1926. Named St. Joseph's Hospital, it served both as a hospital and home for the sisters. Water was drawn from a well for surgeries, and bedding was washed and hung out to dry even in the brutal winter. Cost per bed was 50 cents to $2 a day. Two years later, a 20-bed hospital opened. The religious congregation first came to Alberta two years earlier to assume operation of a school in Edmonton. Education and health care were its main ministries during those early days in the province, apostolates that expanded into numerous other areas over the past 90 years.

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Ont. pro-life doctors may be forced from family medicine

December 29, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

TORONTO – Catholic doctors who won't perform abortions or provide abortion referrals should leave family medicine, says an official of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. "It may well be that you would have to think about whether you can practise family medicine as it is defined in Canada and in most of the Western countries," said Dr. Marc Gabel, chair of the college's policy working group. The Ontario doctor's organization released a draft policy Dec. 11 that would require all doctors to provide referrals for abortions, morning-after pills and contraception. The revised policy is in response to evolving obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, Gabel said.

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Canada's long-shattered innocence can be restored

Archbishop Paul-André Durocher

December 29, 2014

As I write this Christmas message, barely a week has gone by since Remembrance Day, a day marked by the still fresh memory of the recent assassinations of two members of the Canadian Armed Forces. This year, Christmas in Canada will take on a different shading, muted and sombre, because of these events which have saddened our hearts and our spirits. Many voices proclaimed that Canada "lost its innocence" in October 2014. I understand and sympathize with that feeling. However, we should remember that our country's history has been scarred by many episodes of sporadic violence: the kidnapping of Chief Donnacona by Jacques Cartier, the assassination of member of Parliament Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the violent death of demonstrators during the Winnipeg General Strike, the assault on the Quebec National Assembly, the Montreal massacre at the École Polytechnique.

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