Jay's Articles

Spirituality, novels, suicide: Books that moved me in 2015

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 25, 2016

Taste, as St. Augustine said some 1,700 years ago, is subjective. That should be acknowledged upfront whenever someone recommends a reading list. In my case, I need to state too that I'm not a full-time critic. It's not like I've read 200 books this past year and these rose to the top. I read when I can, follow book reviews, live with academic colleagues who tip each other off on good books, and I have friends who will occasionally tell me that a certain book "has to be read."

Love less popular than one might think

Brett Fawcett

January 25, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 31, 2016

Love isn't as popular as we want to think. This may not ring true at first. After all, doesn't our culture celebrate love? The Beatles' All You Need is Love is one of the most popular songs in history; Romeo and Juliet is probably Shakespeare's most popular play; and more and more people are supporting same-sex unions on the grounds that true love should conquer all. Indeed, today's Second Reading - "love is patient, love is kind" - is one of the most widely quoted passages of Scripture.

Gov't wants compromise of our beliefs

WCR Logo

January 25, 2016

More and more, relations between the sexes in Western society are being thought of as arbitrary. One's biological makeup does not matter; a person can even choose, based on their inner yearnings combined with advances in medical technology, whether to be a man or a woman. That one's biological makeup should determine whether one is a man or a woman is now thought to be archaic thinking. The forcing of people into biologically-determined social roles is considered an unwarranted form of social control.

Totalitarianism in Alberta

Bishop Fred Henry

January 15, 2016

Prior to becoming pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio on May 25, 2012 gave a Te Deum homily commemorating the establishment of Argentina's first national government following the revolution of 1810. The major thrust of his homily was that only the commandment of love, in all of its simplicity - steady, unassuming, but firm in conviction and in commitment to others - can save us. We need to re-root ourselves in a sovereign love that is simple and deep, to love God above all else and our neighbour as ourselves.

God's call comes when least expected

Maria Kozakiewicz

January 25, 2016
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 7, 2016

Today's Gospel recounts Simon hearing the words "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." The message is cryptic and unexpected. Simon was not even part of the crowd listening to Jesus. Jesus entered his boat uninvited when Simon was preparing to go home, frustrated after a night of futile fishing. His life changed forever the moment Jesus stepped into his boat. He became a disciple, a priest and, eventually, the first pope.

Rotten justification for rotten arms deal

WCR Logo

January 25, 2016

Canada has had a change of government, but no change of mind on selling light armoured vehicles to the government of Saudi Arabia. Not only has Saudi Arabia one of the worst human rights records in the world, but Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion had the audacity to announce the $15-billion arms deal will proceed days after the Saudis' mass execution of 47 people.

Starvation of Syrians demands that the world swing into action

Lasha Morningstar

January 25, 2016

Journalists, seasoned reporters, are horrified by what they are seeing in Madaya, Syria. Children are so decimated by malnutrition they are walking skeletons. Doctors Without Borders says 23 patients have died of starvation at its Madaya health centre since December. Television reports show valiant physicians, weary and hungry themselves, pleading with the powers-that-be for food, water, medical supplies, blankets and other humanitarian needs.

Alta., Sask. must clean up our acts so planet can breathe

Joe Gunn

January 25, 2016

Pope Francis recently highlighted "efforts to bring world leaders together at COP21 in the search for new ways to confront climate change" as optimistic signs of a bright new future for humankind. The pope's World Day of Peace message on Jan. 1, entitled Overcome Indifference and Win Peace, cites different reasons for a hopeful future. But Canadian efforts to lower our carbon emissions are vastly more complicated depending on the province in which you live.

Canada takes a wrong turn on road of life

Mark Pickup

January 25, 2016

The Life Issues Office for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., asked me to speak to the Adult and Family Rally and Mass just prior to the 2016 U.S. national March for Life on Jan. 22. I will speak at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. It is a privilege to be invited to speak again in the U.S. capital. It marks a highlight in my pro-life advocacy that has spanned more than 30 years.

Worn-out piano symbolizes new year's transition

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

January 25, 2016

Several years ago, when my daughter decided she wanted to learn to play the piano, a good friend tracked down a used upright for us on Kijiji. Even though it was on its last legs, Sophie was able to spend almost two years learning her basic skills until a better instrument was needed. When we discovered that the soundboard on the first piano was irreparably damaged, it became a large, useless, dust-collecting sculpture in the dining room.