Stories for the Left Column of the Columns Page
Following the celebration of Pentecost, the Church moves abruptly into Ordinary Time. Prior to Vatican II, this lengthy season was referred to as the Sundays after Pentecost, and the continuity was clear. There were as many as 27 such Sundays, followed by the Last Sunday after Pentecost, which is now the feast of Christ the King. Today, we often call Pentecost the birthday of the Church, which on one level is accurate. On another level, it can be seen as trivializing this great feast by surrounding it with an aura of birthday cakes, party hats and streamers.
Read the rest of entry »
The word "hero" is rarely used in everyday jargon. But with the dramatic events surrounding the Fort McMurray fire, the word "hero" comes easily to one's lips. Open the dictionary, and you find hero means someone who "does great and brave things." I think, however, a hero is someone who steps outside of their comfort zone to do good, to right a wrong. The element of bravery is implied.
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.