Columns

From the category archives: Bob McKeon

Bob McKeon

We help the needy because we are Catholic

Bob McKeon

March 21, 2011

Last month, the Nothing More Beautiful presenters at the basilica spoke a powerful social justice message. One quote from Lesley-Anne Knight, the secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis, struck a special chord with me.

She said: "I am sometimes asked why, as a Catholic organization, we (Caritas) deliver aid to people of other faiths, Muslims and Buddhists. My answer is always that we help people not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholics."

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Restorative justice heals souls, communities

Bob McKeon

February 21, 2011

Last year, as part of my work with the archdiocesan Office for Social Justice, I was part of a committee organizing a provincial Restorative Justice conference. more . . .

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Indigenous rights equal human rights

Bob McKeon

January 24, 2011

Last Nov. 12 was an important day for human rights in Canada. On that day Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada was endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. more . . .

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Time to end poverty in Alberta is now!

Bob McKeon

December 20, 2010

Last week I was talking with a long-time church volunteer at a food bank in my neighbourhood. She was commenting on the continuing high numbers of people coming week after week requesting a food hamper. What was especially troubling for her was that 40 per cent of those being fed from her food bank were children. more . . .

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Time to raise the bar on oilsands standards

Bob McKeon

October 18, 2010

The public debates around the Athabasca oilsands appear to be entering a new phase. We see new developments in the media almost every day.

Until recently, provincial government and industry leaders insisted that the oilsands plants had no measurable pollution effect on the Athabasca River despite the claims made by environmentalists and independent scientists. When doctors spoke of serious damage to human health in downstream aboriginal communities, government officials bullied them into silence. 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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Church must walk its talk with employees

Bob McKeon

July 26, 2010

Last month, I had the challenging experience of making a presentation to an all-party committee of the Alberta Legislature. The presentation addressed changes to the Alberta government’s minimum wage policy.

My presentation spoke of the need for a living wage based on a respect for the dignity of human work as articulated in Catholic social teaching.

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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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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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