Jay's Articles

Life's elusive quest for moments of joy

Lasha Morningstar

April 28, 2014

One is almost afraid to say the word out loud for fear of hexing it. Spring. One day, the weather forecaster is forecasting snow and complaining when his news buddies harass him when no flakes flutter down from the sky. A few days later, record highs are being celebrated. Oops. Spoke too soon. The mercury is dropping, and we are back to ice-on-the-puddles again and snow in the forecast.

Health care workers may face mandatory immunizations

Gordon Self

April 28, 2014

Reports of new confirmed cases of measles in Alberta are a sober reminder that the effort to stop the transmission of highly contagious illness is everyone's responsibility. Non-immunized persons are at risk of contracting and spreading measles, and are encouraged to get vaccinated. Health care workers who are not immune and are exposed can put not only themselves at risk, but also vulnerable patients or residents. Thus, they may be excluded from work if exposed. Some schools in Calgary have taken similar precautionary measures to contain the risk of spread by sending non-immunized students home.

Moveable feasts and liberal arts education

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

April 28, 2014

In Ernest Hemingway's most popular posthumous publication, A Moveable Feast (1964), the American writer stated that: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." For Hemingway, the phrase captured the spontaneity, the diversity and the magic of the 1920s Left Bank where the Picassos rubbed shoulders with the Chagalls and the Joyces, and creativity in its many magical forms flourished.

TRC national event defining moment for local churches

Bob McKeon

April 28, 2014

It is now almost a month past the Edmonton national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This was an historic event involving thousands of former students who attended Indian residential schools, members of their families, representatives of the churches who administered the schools, and many other aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians from all across Canada.

Does excommunication send one to hell?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

April 28, 2014

When the Catholic Church excommunicates a member because of his or her different theological conviction, as in the case of a bishop who defied Church authority to ordain a woman to the priesthood, does God deny both the bishop and the woman salvation? Or, is excommunication simply a disciplinary tool of the Catholic Church to exercise her authority over disobedient members?

Being stable on medication is brass ring for mentally ill

April 28, 2014

My disability is invisible. When we see a person in a wheelchair or walking with a Seeing Eye dog, we immediately know they have special needs or challenges. Those of us with mental illnesses or mental disabilities don't carry visible clues to our challenges. With the stigma that mental illnesses carry, I suppose that I should be grateful that my schizophrenia isn't visible. Still, it can be hard for people to understand the kinds of accommodations my disability requires.

TRC made us consumers of grief

April 28, 2014

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event based its procedural style around the idea of speaking one's truth in order to begin a journey of healing such that the survivor is able to arrive at a place of peace and set one's spirit free from emotional pain. In a Catholic understanding, the sacrament of Reconciliation corresponds closely to these speaking acts that occurred at the TRC. We understand the matter and form of Reconciliation as being made up primarily of words, and to this end, part of the process that we encountered at the TRC had some correlation to the speaking, the naming, the words.

Time to overcome the disastrous legacy of residential schools

Lorna Arcand

April 28, 2014

Anyone who goes to Confession regularly knows how hard it is to be honest about your sins. Harder still to say them out loud and apologize. But the conference of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, hosted in Edmonton during the last week of March, was committed to doing both. The TRC is dedicated to honesty about what the Canadian churches and government inflicted on the native population in the residential school system.

Unsettling 'truths' of survivors need to be heard

WCR Logo

April 14, 2014

The first concern that one might have about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is that only one side of the "truth" was heard at its national events. While one heard numerous testimonies from survivors of Indian residential schools, no one spoke for those, mostly Church people, who worked in the schools. Even less was there any voice for the federal government which held ultimate authority for the schools.

Our health depends on giving wealth to the poor

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 14, 2014

We need to give away some of our own possessions in order to be healthy. Wealth that is hoarded always corrupts those who possess it. Any gift that is not shared turns sour. If we are not generous with our gifts we will be bitterly envied and will eventually turn bitter and envious ourselves.