WCR This Week

More than 6M Filipinos celebrate Mass with pope

January 26, 2015
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis urged a crowd estimated at six million gathered in a Manila park to protect the family "against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture." The pope's homily at the Jan. 18 Mass also reprised several other themes he had sounded during the four-day visit, including environmental problems, poverty and corruption. Despite continuous rain, the congregation in Rizal Park began to assemble the night before the afternoon celebration. The crowd was so dense in spots that people passed hosts to fellow worshippers unable to reach priests distributing Communion.

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United appeal for Church charities achieves success

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Catholics responded well to the first consolidated charitable appeal in the Edmonton Archdiocese. More than 80 parishes took part in the Together We Serve appeal, raising $1.721 million. That's $121,000 more than the original goal of $1.6 million. "It went really well," says director of development Connie Lunde. "We are very, very pleased because, of course, a first year can be a little bit scary. It's hard for people to change something that they are very used to." Together We Serve replaced nine special collections previously taken in all parishes at various times throughout the year. The appeal began at Easter and ran until the end of December.

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Catholic Cemeteries provides safe home for human remains

Deacon Paul Croteau

January 26, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

People who have buried or cremated relatives and loved ones in Edmonton's Catholic Cemeteries need not worry. Fires at Hainstock's Funeral Home and Crematorium in south Edmonton on Jan. 9 and 10 prompted families to express concerns about the safety of the remains of their loved ones. Deacon Paul Croteau, director of Catholic Cemeteries, would not comment on the Hainstock fires. But families, he said, should not worry about the safety of their loved ones' remains at Edmonton Catholic Cemeteries.

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CSS enjoys another successful Sign of Hope campaign

Beth Allard-Clough

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – The Sign of Hope campaign has again surpassed its campaign goal in support of Catholic Social Services. From October to December the campaign raised $3.4 million – $300,000 more than its goal of $3.1 million. "I'm thrilled and proud," said campaign chair Beth Allard-Clough. "I'm incredibly grateful for the amazing support of our community." What brought the campaign over the top was "lots of hard work as a team," Allard-Clough explained. "I really believe in this agency and I am passionate about the cause, and when you believe in something you make it happen."

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Encounter offers opportunity for unity amidst diversity

Filipe Drumond

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well invites us to try water from a different well and also to offer a little water of our own. That's the idea behind the biblical verse "Give me a drink," which is the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Jesus said those words to a Samaritan woman as he sat at a well owned by Samaritans, a tribe despised by the Jews of the time. Bishops, leaders and lay people of many different Christian churches and organizations took part in the opening service of the Week of Prayer at Braemar Baptist Church Jan. 18.

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Catholic observers retain hope in the power of ecumenism

January 26, 2015
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – In the 50 years since the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism, observers see hopeful signs for ecumenism and interfaith dialogue under Pope Francis. "Pope Francis uses language very frequently on how important it is to walk together with other Christians," said Saint Paul University professor Catherine Clifford, noting theological dialogues are being complemented "with initiatives of common witness." "It's an invitation to do everything we possibly can together, not to wait for all 'i's to be dotted and 't's crossed and all the texts approved, but that we kind of live into the experience of mutual communion by beginning to act together today," she said.

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Pallottines foster lay involvement

Fr. Francis Mariappa

January 26, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Gottfried Seifert joined the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, better known as the Pallottine Fathers, in Germany in the early 1950s. "There was no divine intervention or any great revelation," he says of his priestly vocation. The young lad had to decide what to do with his life and since he felt called to a life of service, the priesthood seemed like a good option. Seifert chose the Pallottines because he knew the order and was familiar with its charism. He was ordained in 1958 and was sent to Canada the following year.

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Local couples prove marriage is meant to last

January 26, 2015
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Seventy. Seventy years of living with the same person, raising a family, and sharing the twilight years of life seems almost impossible in today's society. Two Catholic couples living in Edmonton's downtown Rivera community know it's possible because they are still doing it. Edith and Ken Nixon display the easy companionship one might expect after 70 years of marriage. Sitting in their comfortable apartment, they correct each other or add a fact or two the other might have forgotten with the warmth of two lifelong friends. It is much the same with Lionel and Pauline Lemieux. Their marital journey was different, but the ingredients of faith and commitment were there too. The Montreal setting and Lionel's travelling gave a different tenor to the early part of their relationship.

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Resolve First Nations issues to curtail crime

Clive Weighill

January 26, 2015
BLAKE SITTLER
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

The main factor in producing crime is "the huge marginalization of the First Nations community," says Saskatoon's police chief. Clive Weighill told a recent gathering at St. Anne's Church in Saskatoon the stereotypical story of a boy who grew up in a tough neighbourhood, who was poor and bullied. "He goes to school with no breakfast. He fails a test," Weighill went on. "He's an outsider who is finally invited in by a gang. This friendship escalates quickly to criminal activity."

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World without mothers would be inhumane – pope

January 26, 2015
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Mothers are indispensable to society and the Church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, Pope Francis said. Mothers respect life and display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, the pope said at his Jan. 7 general audience. Even though mothers are often "exalted" with praise and poetry, they often get very little concrete help and appreciation, he said. In his talk, the pope looked specifically at Mary's role in the Gospel accounts of Christmas. "She gives us Jesus, she shows us Jesus, she lets us see Jesus," he said.

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