Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Mark Pickup

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.

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Christmas fulfills promise to Adam and Eve

Mark Pickup
December 21, 2015

St. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch overseeing first century Syrian Christians and was a disciple of the Apostle John. He wrote a letter to the Christians at Ephesus as he was being transported to Rome to face wild beasts in the arena. Ignatius wrote, "For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God's plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit."

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Depression can spur suicide or renewal of life's priorities

Mark Pickup
November 23, 2015

The headline blazed up on my computer screen: "Suicide rates are highest for men in their 50s and we're not sure why." The news story by a CBC reporter quoted Minnesota-based psychologist Dr. Dan Reidenberg who posed an important question: "What is causing the coping skills to fall apart and not work the way they did before?" What indeed? The rate of suicide among this age group of men is increasing.

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The Eucharist offers us eternal salvation

Mark Pickup
October 26, 2015

During the Great Depression my grandfather was, among other things, a travelling Presbyterian preacher throughout southern Alberta. I have stacks of his meticulous sermon notes, some handwritten on cardboard, most typed with his ancient Corona typewriter on scraps of paper yellowed with age now after so many decades. I got a hint of the poverty of the 1930s by noticing he had to make his own binder out of a discarded advertising board for Hersey chocolate. (He made do with materials he could find.)

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Feeling unloved? Fear not. Christ loves you and always will

Mark Pickup
September 28, 2015

English writer and broadcaster Claire Rayner (1931-2010) said: "Only the unloved and unloving escape grief." That is not entirely true. I reserve comment about the unloving, other than to say if they do not know grief in this world, they will certainly know it in the next. The unloved live in grief of the forsaken or the forgotten. There is nothing more tragic than being unloved.

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Idolatry of self allows culture of death to invade Canada

Mark Pickup
August 31,2015

Every abortion in Canada is paid for with tax dollars. As morally outrageous as abortion acceptance is, what adds obscene insult to moral injury is the paying for abortions with our tax dollars (without our consent). Then in late July 2015, the abortion pill RU-486 was quietly approved by Health Canada. Although women will need a prescription to obtain it, a whole new phase of early abortion is about to begin in 2016. It will be a secret killing, under the radar so to speak.

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Teach a Haitian orphan to sew and you can clothe him or her for life

Mark Pickup
June 29, 2015

There is an old proverb that says "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Indeed, the best form of charity is to show people how to be self-reliant. It's not the only form of charity; often immediate measures are crucial to save people affected by disaster. But the best long-term results come from helping people to be self-reliant.

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Dutch village offers humane treatment for dementia patients

Mark Pickup
May 18, 2015

A recent news story told about a village in Holland called Hogeway. At first glance Hogeway seems like any normal small community. It has houses, a grocery store, a restaurant, a theatre, a barber shop, as so forth. People happily stroll through the shops, squares, courtyards and local park. Hogeway is a clean, orderly community with 152 residents. They all have one thing in common: Severe dementia.

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How could evil arise in a family-oriented community?

Mark Pickup

April 6, 2015

The town was shocked! A young man was arrested in my community of Beaumont on terrorism-related charges. The story has been widely reported. According to one news source, the 17-year-old youth was charged with "attempting to leave Canada with the intention of joining the terrorist group ISIS to commit murder." Townsfolk could not believe that something like this could possibly touch our quiet family-oriented community. What were we to make of it?

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In midst of gloom, new life brings hope

Mark Pickup
March 9, 2015

February 2015 was a hard month for the pro-life cause. Canada's Supreme Court struck down the laws prohibiting assisted suicide. The high court stooped low to endorse the murder of Canada's suicidal sick and disabled and even those suffering from "psychological pain." When I learned that 80 per cent of Canadians support assisted suicide, I was horrified and thought "What has to my nation come to?!' I do not know this kind of Canada. I felt like a stranger in the country of my birth.

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