WCR This Week

Blessings and healings overflow as couples strive to be faithful

Judith Vasquez

July 21, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Joy Vasquez and his wife Judith have received a multitude of blessings during their 17 years of marriage. Judith was healed of a life-threatening illness and, despite the urgings of doctors to abort three of their pregnancies, all three babies avoided serious disabling conditions. "When we got married in 1996, we pictured ourselves having a big family. We wanted to have seven children. But the doctors told us that Judith could not conceive. It would be impossible for her," said Joy Vasquez. But one Easter evening, the couple got down on their knees and prayed. They asked the Virgin Mary to intercede for them, and bless them with a child.

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St. Mary's receives official Alta. Gov't designation as a university

July 21, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

CALGARY – St. Mary's University College has received provincial government approval to change its name to St. Mary's University. "The name change has been long-awaited and is very welcome," said Dr. Gerry Turcotte, St. Mary's president. "St. Mary's is not a college in any respect," Turcotte said. "It is fully accredited to deliver undergraduate university degrees and a bachelor of education after-degree."

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Keeler appointed head of Canon Law Society

Fr. Roger Keeler

July 21, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Roger Keeler, a former pastor in the Edmonton Archdiocese, has been appointed executive director of the Canon Law Society of America. Ordained in 1984, Keeler has served at several parishes in the archdiocese, worked at the Alberta Regional Tribunal and taught at St. Joseph's College of the University of Alberta. He left Edmonton two years ago to accept Father Ron Rolheiser's invitation to teach at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.

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Famous Church St. throws a party

July 21, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Friends of Church Street seeks to promote the historical significance of 96th Street in Edmonton's McCauley neighbourhood, commonly referred to as Church Street. Church Street has numerous houses of worship across a five-block stretch, from 106th to 110th Avenue. The inaugural Church Street Fair on July 12 gave people an opportunity to tour the churches and learn their histories. "We have a diverse, exciting and wonderful community that is inclusive and welcoming. Our diversity is in our spirit, our culture, our nationality, and in our religion," said Colleen Chapman, the president and founder of Friends of Church Street.

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Solstice shines light of Christ in cathedral

July 21, 2014
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

MCLENNAN – Thanks to a parishioner whose hunch, based on observations and calculations, proved true, several members and friends of the Cathedral Parish of St. John the Baptist in McLennan witnessed an occurrence they will never forget. The McLennan cathedral has been constructed in a manner which takes full advantage of the morning sunrise at the annual summer solstice. A huge vaulted window is in the wall above the entrance to the cathedral, and in the centre of this window is a large glass cross, running from top to bottom and from side to side.

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Virgin Mary kept Fr. Ray faithful to the priesthood

Fr. Ray Guimond

July 21, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, seminarians, priests and religious left their ministries in droves. "It wasn't easy for anybody," recalls Father Ray Guimond. Five of his classmates at the seminary simply left. Guimond, however, stayed the course and has lived a productive and rewarding life as a priest for 50 years. He thanks the Virgin Mary for helping him to stay focused. "I never let go of Our Lady; I never let go of the rosary," he says. "I really never stopped praying because that's deadly."

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Benedict opened a door; will Francis walk through?

July 21, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Sympathizing with all the unknowns facing young people today, Pope Francis – half joking – said it is easier for a pope because he knows where his earthly life will end. "I think the pope's definitive path is more certain. Where will the pope end up? There, in that tomb," in St. Peter's Basilica where most popes are buried, he said June 28 to a group of young men involved in a vocational discernment process run by the Diocese of Rome. But that is not the way things turned out for St. Celestine V, who until 2013 was known as the last pope to voluntarily resign. When he renounced the papacy in December 1294, after only five months in office, his successor had him imprisoned.

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Youth unemployment is a defeat for humanity – pope

July 21, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

CASTELPETROSO, ITALY – Youth unemployment is a defeat for humanity, Pope Francis said during a visit to the southern Italian region of Molise July 5. "We cannot resign ourselves to losing a whole generation of young people who don't have the strong dignity of work," Pope Francis said during a meeting with the region's young people in the town of Castelpetroso. "A generation without work is a future defeat for the country and for humanity," the pope told the young people.

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Sexual abuse victims get pope's listening ear

July 21, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

More than a meeting and homily, Pope Francis laid out a clear road map for the Church when he celebrated Mass and welcomed abuse survivors to the Vatican. The morning he dedicated to six men and women who had been abused by clergy was a powerful combination of upholding the importance of the letter of the law and displaying the proper spirit behind it. Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a German psychologist and psychotherapist who accompanied two abuse survivors July 7, said: "This is not only about the letter of the law. This has to come from the heart if this is to really take fruit" and make real, lasting change.

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Francis blasts 'despicable actions' of clerical abusers

July 21, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Asking for forgiveness, Pope Francis told abuse survivors that "despicable actions" caused by clergy have been hidden for too long and had been "camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained." "There is no place in the Church's ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not," and to hold all bishops accountable for protecting young people, the pope said during an early morning Mass for six survivors of abuse by clergy. The Mass and private meetings held later with each individual took place in the Domus Sanctae Marthae – the pope's residence.

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