Jay's Articles

Family's struggle a reminder of call to hope

Kathleen Giffin

May 2, 2016
May 8, 2016

These last days I have spent a lot of my time thinking about and praying for a young family in our parish who are in great difficulty and uncertainty. Two weeks ago the father of two young children was in an accident which has resulted in a coma that is expected to continue for some time. While many signs point to a good recovery, there is also uncertainty and suffering, especially for his wife as she stays with him, day after day, praying for his healing.

Assisted suicide bill poses dilemma for conscientious elected officials

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May 2, 2016

The moral landscape for assisted suicide and euthanasia changed dramatically with the February 2015 Supreme Court of Canada decision which mandated Parliament to establish a law legalizing assisted suicide in Canada. Parliament has two basic choices: It can enact a law which establishes a process for assisted suicide or it could ignore the court ruling, thus allowing a free-for-all with no restrictions on assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide rejects God's gift of Life

Lasha Morningstar

May 2, 2016

When my health is in question I go to a doctor. Logical, right? Granted, I do put the appointment off until I have to go. But recently I started to try to be mindful of the gift of health, take care of my being so the medical visits have become once-a-year checkups. As well, every time I go to the grocery store, I buy a basket of berries. My Ontario childhood imbued love of these delicious sun-kissed morsels into my very being. Just writing those words makes me salivate.

Love is the universal language of Pentecost

Brett Fawcett

May 2, 2016
May 15, 2016

Pentecost is an important and special time for me. I was raised in the Pentecostal Church, and my parents are both ordained Pentecostal ministers. On top of that, I received the sacrament of Confirmation on Pentecost Sunday. I remember being fascinated to discover that there were charismatic Catholics - people who prayed and worshipped the way that I was used to Evangelicals praying and worshipping, but who also loved Our Lady and the Eucharist.

No such thing as 'just war' Vatican conference decrees

Douglas Roche

May 2, 2016

'We believe that there is no 'just war.'" This pungent declaration jumped off the page of a statement issued by a three-day Vatican conference that set the stage for a possible intervention by Pope Francis ruling out the justification for war to resolve conflict. The Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace teamed up with Pax Christi International (a vibrant anti-war group) to bring 80 experts engaged in global nonviolent struggles to Rome to develop a new moral framework rejecting ethical justifications for war.

Legends of Knights' initiation left college head squeamish

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

May 2, 2016

Both my father and uncle were Knights of Columbus. Unfortunately, they were also inveterate pranksters, so that when I asked them about becoming a knight the picture they painted for me of the process almost drove me into therapy. "The Knights?" my uncle said, raising his voice alarmingly, and then he melodramatically scanned the surroundings for spies and agitators. "You mean, the . . . Knights?" He looked at my father who inexplicably began to shake his head and mop his brow. Then began what can only be construed as a handshake performed by two men being electrocuted.

Divergent voices offer climate change strategies

Bob McKeon

May 2, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I attended the annual Social Justice Institute (SJI) in Edmonton. The theme was Care for Our Common Home: A Faithful Response to Today's Ecological and Social Crisis. It was an extended ecumenical reflection on Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si'. The main speaker was Jennifer Henry, the executive director of the KAIROS national ecumenical justice coalition.

Church must heal broken families with balm of God's mercy

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April 18, 2016

Christopher Lasch, the American historian who was the first to describe contemporary culture as narcissist, titled his book on the family, Haven in a Heartless World. Sometimes, however, the family is not even that. The human condition being what it is, even the best families introduce dysfunction as well as wholeness into their children's lives. In some instances, one's family can be even more heartless than "the heartless world." It is no small contributor to the despair, lost potential and dis-ease that affect young people. St. John Paul II once said, as the family goes, so goes the society. The pope was correct. Yet, the opposite is also true - as society goes, so goes the family. The family is not a cocoon immune to the hurricane forces blowing through society and, thanks to mass media, right into the home.

Ritual can help us when there's nothing one can do

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 18, 2016

In the movie based upon Jane Austen's classic novel, Sense and Sensibility, there's a poignant scene where one of her young heroines, suffering from acute pneumonia, is lying in bed hovering between life and death. A young man, very much in love with her, paces back and forth, highly agitated and frustrated by his helplessness to do anything of use. Unable to contain his agitation any longer, he goes to the girl's mother and asks what he might do to be helpful.

God will meet us in the present moment

John Connelly

April 18, 2016
Fifth Sunday of Easter
April 24, 2016

The scriptures constantly point us to life's spiritual dimension. This week's Second Reading from Revelation says, "See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more for the first things have passed away. And the one who was seated on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.'"