Jay's Opinions Articles

Celebrate the virtue of each Advent week

Ralph Himsl

November 28, 2011
Second Sunday in Advent
December 4,2011

Some traditions assign particular, how shall I say – virtues to each Sunday in Advent: hope, peace, joy, love for each of the first to the fourth respectively.

Memory tells me that we mark the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, quite in line with the tradition. As Catholics, we have a leaning toward historical roots that prefer Latin for an idea when we wish to assign it a special elegance. So we refer to the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, always with the explanation, "Gaudete means rejoice".

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Priest shortage leads students to plan retreat

April 11, 2011

Lloydminster – It was a warm summer day when my family and I pulled up to a small, welcoming church near a lake in southeast Saskatchewan. As we found a pew and took our seats, I wondered who the priest would be.

Three minutes later, as the procession made its way up the aisle, I did not see the priest.

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God steers a sad mind to the RCIA harbour

April 4, 2011

Kenna McKinnon was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1978. She became ill three years earlier than that, unmedicated but counselled by people whom she only recently has grown to appreciate for their patience and care.

"I searched for God and he was the masthead on my battered vessel. He was the compass, but it would be many years before I found my salvation, searching in many various guises for the "perfect" Church.

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Seek out moments of joy to ease the pain

Lisa Persche

December 20, 2010

Many people are filled with joyful anticipation and festive good cheer at this time of the year. But some are filled with anxiety and dread, and wish to get the holidays over with as quickly and uneventfully as possible. more . . .

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Take time to reflect on our life of work

Bob McKeon

September 20, 2010

Labour Day means different things to different people in Alberta. For many of us, Labour Day is a much-treasured long weekend marking the end of summer. For students and teachers, it signals the time for going back to school. For CFL football fans, it is the occasion for the annual Edmonton Eskimo-Calgary Stampeder football classic. For the Edmonton District Labour Council, Labour Day is a day for a special barbecue in a local city centre park for the unemployed and underemployed. Last year more than 5,000 people participated in the barbecue.

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Activists can thrive in parish community

Bob McKeon

June 28, 2010

Last week, I was part of a meeting of representatives from Edmonton area parishes and Catholic organizations concerned about the issues of homelessness and affordable housing. Everyone attending the meeting came with a strong personal commitment. I spoke with a couple of people from parishes in one corner of the city. They said that for years they had been regular participants in an ecumenical network in their area committed to do more about poverty and homelessness in their community.

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God's spirit is active at inner city Way of the Cross

Bob McKeon

April 19, 2010

On Good Friday, I was part of the 30th annual Outdoor Way of the Cross in inner city Edmonton. Several hundred people of all ages and backgrounds participated in this annual ecumenical event. People make the connection between Jesus' unjust arrest, torture and execution on the first Good Friday, and the different ways people today experience pain and suffering and early death in the face of injustices in our time. Jesus' death on Good Friday was not the final word. It led to the resurrection event of Easter Sunday where life conquers death, good conquers evil and hope conquers despair.

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Our conflicted souls yearn for both purity and promiscuity

I was born into this world with a tortured complexity. For a long time I have puzzled over the causes of my psychological anguish.

Ruth Burrows, the renowned Carmelite writer, begins her autobiography with those words.

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Medical Mission Sisters initiated Boyle McCauley Health Centre

Bob McKeon

March 22, 2010

Last week I was invited to an interesting meeting in my inner city neighbourhood of Boyle McCauley in Edmonton. The meeting was called to plan for the upcoming celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Boyle McCauley Health Centre. I have a personal interest in this because I was part of the initial organizing committee and a member of the first board of directors 30 years ago. The meeting was an opportunity to talk about the early history of the health centre, and particularly about the role of the Medical Mission Sisters in the organizing, and visioning during the early years of this unique community health centre.


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Minimum wage means minimum dignity

Bob McKeon

February 22, 2010

Thomas Lukaszuk, the newly appointed provincial minister of employment and immigration, announced this month that he was freezing Alberta's minimum wage. This is a major change in the policy enacted in June 2007 that linked the minimum wage to Alberta's weekly earnings. Since this policy was introduced, the minimum wage in Alberta rose from $8.00 to $8.80 per hour. If this policy had continued, this year, the minimum wage would have risen modestly by 12 cents per hour to match the 1.4 per cent increase in average weekly earnings for Alberta workers over the past twelve months.

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