Columns

Depression can spur suicide or renewal of life's priorities

Mark Pickup
November 23, 2015

The headline blazed up on my computer screen: "Suicide rates are highest for men in their 50s and we're not sure why." The news story by a CBC reporter quoted Minnesota-based psychologist Dr. Dan Reidenberg who posed an important question: "What is causing the coping skills to fall apart and not work the way they did before?" What indeed? The rate of suicide among this age group of men is increasing.

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Our acts of charity, once born, never die or fade away

Dr. Gerry Turcotte
November 23, 2015

The month of November witnesses a number of important observances, from All Saints' and All Souls' Day which begin the month, to Remembrance Day in the middle, to Advent that closes out the month. All of these mark an engagement with birth, death and resurrection in some complex sense.

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Bishops ask parishes to welcome strangers into Canada now

Joe Gunn
November 23, 2015

It seems impossible to read a Canadian newspaper these days without weeping over coverage of the unprecedented refugee crisis worldwide. Unexpectedly, even the Canadian election campaign was momentarily caught up in the Syrian refugee dilemma, after the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach. And, in early October, Canada's Catholic bishops released a pastoral letter on welcoming refugees.

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Political intrigues threaten Pope Francis’ work

WCR Logo
November 9, 2015

Pope Francis is affectionately called the People’s Pope by both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Stories abound of how, as a parish priest, he lived an austere life. This is a shepherd who guides his flock while walking in the shoes of Every Man, Every Woman, Every Child. He walks into the villa miseria, Argentina’s notorious slums, to see his lost sheep. Francis went there because that is where his people are. Yet the danger is so great with hardened criminals and drug lords living there, even the police give the threatening shanties a pass.

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Look through the lens of love and altruism

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
November 9, 2015

There is no such a thing as pure objectivity, a view that is free of all bias. Yet that’s the claim often made by non-religious, secular thinkers in debates about values and public policy. They argue that their views, unlike those who admit that their views are grounded in religious principles, are objective and free from bias. Their underlying assumption is that a purely rational argument, a view – in effect from nowhere – is objective in a way that religious arguments, based upon someone’s faith and religious perspective, can never be.

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Archangel Michael protects at the end times

Brett Fawcett
November 9, 2015
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 15, 2015

November is the end of the liturgical year, and thus the time when our lectionary leads us to reflect on the end of the world. We don’t much like to talk about the end of the world nowadays. Perhaps it seems too negative, perhaps even too fanatical and Gnostic for us. But we must ask ourselves: Why do we find the idea this world will end so unpleasantly? Are we so comfortable within this world we don’t want to see it go?

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Dialogue – a route to human reconciliation

Douglas Roche
November 9, 2015

When the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian group known as National Dialogue Quartet for “its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy,” the news landed on the back pages. The New York Times put the story on page 6, The Globe and Mail page 22, the National Post page 14, the Edmonton Journal page 9 of the second section. Not front-page news, to be sure.

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Advent gives space to prepare for the blessed birth

Lasha Morningstar
November 9, 2015

Advent always startles me. That time already? It forces me to realize another year is almost over. It also asks me, “So what did you accomplish this year?” Gulp. Not as much as I wanted. Not as much as I planned. Truth be told, this was a year when those rose-coloured glasses I wear were ripped off my face. Reality hit me like a bucket of ice water. Loss demands one grieve. Grief is hard. A quote turns up just at the right time. “God knows who belongs in your life and who doesn’t. Trust and let go. Whoever is meant to be there, will still be there.”

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Christ the King will come to judge the earth

Maria Kozakiewicz
November 9, 2015
Christ the King
November 9, 2015

Where will I be when Christ the King will come in glory? Shall I be alive or long dead, come from the bottom of purgatory? Shall I be fair and full of joy – or weeping and “gnashing my teeth?” Will our misguided humanity be utterly lost and confused by that time or will it have regained its moral compass and faith? Will my small cross that hangs above my desk be a hidden and forbidden object, the Church hidden underground and words of Mass whispered in the light of one candle? All these questions have no answers.

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TRC follow up: Taking the Call to Action seriously

Bob McKeon
November 9, 2015

Last month, I attended an Edmonton conference called the Call to Action Summit. It was organized to mobilize local community support for the 94 Calls to Action contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report presented in Ottawa last June. The Summit was organized by a group of indigenous and non-indigenous agencies working together with support from the city and the provincial governments.

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