Columns

Next pope just might have a local connection

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February 6, 2012

On Feb. 18, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins will become the first former archbishop of Edmonton to be installed as a cardinal. Collins is no longer "our man," nor is he the "man" of the St. Paul Diocese where his episcopal career began. Nevertheless, we feel some stake in the man and are glad to experience a little of the reflected glory of his appointment.

A little known fact, however, is that Collins will not be the first priest from this archdiocese to wear the red hat. That honour belongs to Cardinal James Charles MacGuigan, archbishop of Toronto from 1934 to 1971, who in 1946 became the first-ever English-speaking Canadian cardinal.

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A haunting equation: suffering balanced with joy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 6, 2012

In her novel, Final Payments, Mary Gordon articulates an equation that has long influenced Christian spirituality.

Her heroine, Isabel, is a young woman within whom a strong Catholic background, an overly-strict father and a natural depth of soul conspire together to leave her overly-reticent and overly-reflective, looking at life from the outside, too self-aware and too reflective in general to enter spontaneously into a dance or trust any kind of gaiety.

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Confession opens the path to forgiveness

Ralph Himsl

February 6, 2012
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 12, 2011

Sunday worshippers listening closely to the readings in the Liturgy of the Word for this day, will delight in the contrast between the thunder of the narrative from Leviticus in the First Reading and the compassion in the passage from Mark's Gospel, dealing as they do with a like subject.

Of the First Reading, I might want to say, as scholars do when they start to simplify, "It is clear that . . ." or, as politicians say, "Clearly, it means that . . .".

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Unbridled joy invites others to the Lord

Fr. Robert Barron

February 6, 2012

One of the great icons in the Catholic Church today is Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York making his way up the aisle to commence Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

While the congregation belts out the opening hymn, the good archbishop thumps his episcopal crozier on the ground, beams at all and sundry, kisses babies, embraces young and old, calls out the names of friends he recognizes and, generally speaking, spreads good cheer in every direction.

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Which team does God want to win the Super Bowl?

Fr. Raymond de Souza

February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday marks the end of the football season, and a look back at the year that was. On the field it was the year of the quarterback, with Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers all putting up eye-popping numbers.

Off the field, the chatter was about one quarterback, Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos. His improbable story was captivating enough, coming off the bench in mid-season to lead his team to a playoff victory, with one last-minute victory after another.

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Don`t let atheists call all the shots

Lasha Morningstar

February 6, 2012

Fear cripples. Most of us have that miserable black shadow lurking in our lives. And most of us deny it, citing all sorts of rational and irrational reasons as to why we do or do not do something.

Not Louise Penny though. The author of a masterful mystery series set in Quebec's Eastern Townships, Penny responded to Proust's Questionnaire on CBC's The Next Chapter with disarming and, at times, startling honesty.

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Have we forgot the gift of blessing?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

February 6, 2012

I heard a television evangelist say that blessings were hijacked and so Christians have neglected and forgotten the gift of blessings. Is that true?

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Take the fascinating – and surprising – Catholic house tour

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January 30, 2012

One obligation Catholics have is to become catholic. The four marks of the true Church, as we learned in catechism class, are to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic. However, these are not badges to be worn with pride; they are obligations for living.

The Church is sometimes accused of being a relic of mediaeval times; in fact, it is a Church of all times. For G.K. Chesterton, the famous 20th century apologist and convert to the Catholic Church, Catholicism "is not an old religion; it is a religion that refuses to grow old." It is not old, but eternal.

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The mosquito bites of life can cause us to forget grace

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

January 30, 2012

When grace enters, there is no choice – humans must dance.

W.H. Auden wrote those words and, beautiful as they sound, I wish they were true. When grace enters a room we should begin to dance but, sadly, more often than not, we let some little thing, some minor mosquito bite, blind us to grace's presence.

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Prayer lets us meet God, know his love

John Connelly

January 30, 2012
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 5, 2012

Prayer has always held a deep fascination for me. It is a subject that is limitless. What an amazing thing to actually be in contact with God. The God who created and sustains all things. The God who knows us, loves us and calls us by name.

What would happen if we all dedicated our lives to really learning to pray? What would happen if we created authentic schools of prayer for our young people, families and churches?

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