Columns

Jay's Articles

Suffering is a sign that God is still at work

Kathleen Giffin

May 26, 2014
Pentecost
June 8, 2014

The feast of Pentecost used to carry different significance for me than it does now. Pentecost was the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that expressed the excitement and hope I experienced in my life of faith. The Holy Spirit was the one who came in power, who transformed from uncertainty and bondage to freedom and mission. Life was easy, evidence of God's love abounded as the Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the ways of the Father. Pentecost reminds me of that time in my life, a time which I know many others have also experienced.

Synod of Bishops again under the microscope

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May 26, 2014

The authority of the world Synod of Bishops is again coming under the microscope now that a relatively new pope has called not one, but two, synods for the next two years to discuss issues affecting the family. In the background is the issue of whether the synod could allow those who are divorced and remarried without an annulment of the first marriage to receive Communion. The straight answer is that, no, the synod cannot do this. Nor could the synod ever be given the authority to make such a change.

Catholic health care provides counter-witness to the push for euthanasia

Gordon Self

May 26, 2014

It's been months since my friend's daughter died. Siobhán Rock-Zych passed away Jan. 12 at the age of 42 in Ottawa. She was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS) in 2011. Her father, Michael, spoke of his daughter's courageous witness in the WCR following a press conference at Covenant Health announcing the release of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care report, in which we contributed substantive input ("Society must face up to human mortality," WCR, Nov. 28, 2011 by Lasha Morningstar.)

Commitment to defend life is far-reaching

Bob McKeon

May 26, 2014

On May 8, I was asked to speak at the March for Life. The day started with the Alberta bishops leading a well-attended Pro-Life Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica. Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Mackenzie Diocese gave the homily, spoke of the new life of the Easter season, and the strong family and community values of the aboriginal peoples of his diocese. After Mass, people gathered at the Legislature for prayers and some talks. Then everyone started walking together through downtown streets to Churchill Square by City Hall. At Churchill Square, we stopped again for prayers and some more talks. I was one of the speakers at Churchill Square.

Some lost sheep remain long ignored, but never forgotten

Lasha Morningstar

May 26, 2014

Missing. It's a word that strikes terror in the heart. Certainly there are the minor gulps in the throat – missing car keys, missing wallet, a missing library book (and when you do find it, the dog has chewed the corner of it). Then there is the muttered prayer to St. Anthony, "Tony, Tony, listen, listen, hurry, hurry. Something is missing." But the missing that stops the heart is when a person or pet disappears.

The unforgiveable sin of Trinity Western University

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May 12, 2014

The decision of the Law Society of Upper Canada to bar graduates of a planned law school at B.C.'s evangelical Trinity Western University from practising law in Ontario should be abhorrent not only to all religious believers, but to all concerned about protecting the human dignity of Canadians. It is difficult to see this decision as anything but an attempt to narrow the range of public discourse in such a way that would exclude explicitly Christian universities from training and forming members of the legal profession.

Truth comes dressed in many different cloaks

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 12, 2014

When I was a student in the seminary, I had two kinds of teachers. One kind, precisely because they were fiercely loyal to all that is Christian and Catholic, would have us read great secular thinkers but always with the intent of helping to show where these thinkers were wrong. Our intellectual task as Catholic seminarians, they would tell us, is to defend Catholicism against the kinds of criticisms found in the writings of these secular, sometimes anti-Christian, thinkers and to keep our faith and teaching free of their influence.

The Lord's promise: 'I make all things new'

John Connelly

May 12, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 18, 2014

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus says, "Behold, I make all things new" (21.5). We should all take comfort in these life-giving words. Jesus takes the old and, through his divine and saving power, makes it new. Yesterday, I was present in the hospital as my father Pat Connelly passed away. It was a dramatic reminder of the need for the saving power and presence of God. As I reflect on Dad's death, I am amazed by how short this life really is.

Environmentally-sensitive drilling at the headwaters of the Amazon. Really?

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May 12, 2014

A Calgary-based oil company is now waiting to get the environmental permits it needs to begin drilling in an ecologically-sensitive area at the headwaters of the Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru. Gran Tierra Energy says, "Our mission is to create value for all our stakeholders through oil & gas exploration and production, capitalizing on the global operating experience of our team to build a record of success in South America; in a transparent, safe, environmentally and socially responsible manner."

Fear and trembling on the perilous daily drive to work

Lasha Morningstar

May 12, 2014

Give me a brake. Here it is – 6 in the morning and I am driving along 111th Avenue. Out of the corner of my eye I see several dark figures on the street. If I keep going at my proper (legal) speed, I'll have several bodies as hood ornaments. So I slow down and lean on the horn. They are crossing against the light on their way to their jobs at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. They don't pick up their pace, just keep on sashaying along, some turning to look at me with blank faces.