Columns

Jay's Articles

Self-identification of gender expands, as dose row of initials.

Bishop Fred Henry

May 30, 2016

On May 14, in Edmonton and Calgary, Parents for Choice in Education rallies were held to protest against Bill 10 and Education Minister David Eggen's Gender Diversity: Guidelines for Best Practices. There were also much smaller LGBT counter-protests. Despite the differing signage, ranging from "Flush Bill 10" to "Everyone Can Pee," the issues are not just about bathrooms, plumbing and urination, parental rights, safety of children, how people feel, GSAs and an imperfect Bill 10. What is at stake is the very order of creation.

Those forgiven much can love the deepest

Kathleen Giffin

May 30, 2016
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 12, 2016

Years ago I became friends with a man who had a deep faith. Early in our friendship, he told me how his life had changed from a self-indulgent way of living to a life with the vibrant faith that was now so evident. He had been raised a Christian, but like many of his generation had left his church as a young teenager to follow the ways of his culture and generation. As a young adult, he experienced a spiritual hunger and found himself exploring many spiritual paths, none of which brought any conviction or peace.

Flame of compassion will rebuild Fort

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

May 30, 2016

The fire of Fort McMurray has drawn the attention of the world, and has proven again how large the hearts of Albertans are at all times, especially in moments of crisis. Over the coming months, commentators will speculate on what could have been done better and on how to prevent future catastrophes. They will inevitably draw comparisons to other fires: the Great Fire of London, 1666, where 70,000 out of the city's 80,000 residents were left homeless; or the 2011 Great Slave Lake Fire in Alberta where the entire community of 7,000 residents were evacuated.

Obama's Hiroshima visit an effort to move public opinion

Douglas Roche

May 30, 2016

I hope U.S. President Barack Obama's May 27 visit to Hiroshima gives him the same gut-wrenching experience I had when I first visited the site of the first atomic bomb used in warfare. Then he will leave no stone unturned to rid the world of nuclear weapons, which have rightly been called the ultimate evil. As I toured the Hiroshima museum in the mid-1970s and saw the artifacts left over from indescribable suffering and talked to the hibakusha, the survivors, who pleaded that no one anywhere ever suffer as they did, my life changed.

Churches played key role in Gainers' strike

Bob McKeon

May 30, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event at the Alberta Provincial Archives commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Edmonton Gainers' Strike. This bitter strike, which went on for more than six months and put more than 1,000 employees on a picket line, is still remembered by those involved, including many in Edmonton area churches. The strike began June 1, 1986. This was a time of economic recession in Alberta with high unemployment and reduced government social supports.

Assisted suicide only latest stop on a slippery slope

WCR Logo

May 16, 2016

Forty years ago this fall, I was seeking a topic for my master's thesis in philosophy. My advisor, a renowned Catholic ethicist, said to me, "You should write something on euthanasia. It will come down the pipe in a few years." His logic was brief, but impeccable: The inviolable value of human life had been violated with the legalization of abortion. Once human life has been made a relative value, it would be attacked on other fronts, euthanasia being the next.

Berrigan affected minds and hearts of a generation

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 16, 2016

'Before you get serious about Jesus, first consider how good you're going to look on wood!" Daniel Berrigan wrote those words and they express a lot about who he was and what he believed in. He died May 1 at age 94. No short tribute can do justice to Dan Berrigan. He defies quick definition and facile description. He was, at once, the single-minded, obsessed activist, even as he was one of the most complex spiritual figures of our generation. He exhibited both the fierceness of John the Baptist and the gentleness of Jesus.

In death, Cecilia showed belief in Trinity

Maria Kozakiewicz

May 16, 2016
Trinity Sunday
May 22, 2016

In an ancient, fifth-century Roman church in Trastevere lies the body of a young woman named Cecilia. Cecilia, a well-born, wealthy woman died because she would not renounce Christ. Her Roman persecutors tried to kill her discreetly, by suffocating her in her bath at home. The young woman survived and, while bearing the torture, sang. Finally, a soldier used his sword to cut her neck, but failed to kill her instantly. Her body was initially buried in the catacombs of St. Calixtus. After a few centuries, she was to be moved to the church in Trastevere.

Pope Francis: Open hearts will lead the brokenhearted to fullness of life

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May 16, 2016

Right from the word "go," Pope Francis has stirred a variety of emotions among both the faithful and the wider society. When he asked the crowd assembled in St. Peter's Square to bless him on the night he was elected pope, we had every reason to believe we were in for something different. So it is with his long-awaited exhortation on marriage and family life, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). Many are parsing the supposed key sentences in the document to determine whether the pope changed or watered down Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

Gardening is my secret for turning winter into spring

Lasha Morningstar

May 16, 2016

Springtime and the living is busy. Of course, the usual dusty duties demand to be dealt with. The secret to keeping this season of rebirth joyful is to turn winter-weary eyes to the garden. That place of growth can be anything from the front flower and vegetable beds to a plot of land borrowed from a friend or a neighbour's flower pot on the window sill. Flowers and herbs are beautiful. They fragrantly nourish the soul with their beauty and, in the case of herbs and some flowers, their taste.