From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

Theologian razes rapper's viral rant

Fr. Robert Barron

February 20, 2012

Every once in a while, a video unexpectedly becomes an Internet sensation, garnering attention all over the place and spreading like wildfire through the virtual world.

Recently, a phenomenon of this type has emerged in the form of a slickly produced video of a 20-something-year-old man in a leather jacket half rapping, half speaking a poem about Jesus and religion – more specifically how the former came to abolish the latter (Jesus vs religion at

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Communication opens healing paths

Bob McKeon

February 20, 2012

Last March, I spent a week at a retreat centre in Prince George B.C. taking in the second week of Returning to Spirit, a program of face-to-face reconciliation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples.

This program was created in the Northwest Territories by Marc Pizandawatc, an Algonquin from Kitiganzibi First Nation, and Ann Thompson, a Sister of St. Anne from B.C., to assist those living in the legacy of the residential school experience to move towards a personal experience of reconciliation and healing.

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Calgary plays games with city homeless

Bishop Fred Henry

February 20, 2012

This song, same tune as Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, tells the story of several children on a merry-go-round that - in a sadistic twist - collapses because so many children are riding it. The circle game that accompanies it is similar to the one for Ring Around the Rosie.

"The merry-go-round goes 'round and 'round,
The children laughed and laughed and laughed,
So many were going 'round and 'round,
That the merry-go-round collapsed."

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Queen Elizabeth has given 60 years of faithful service to Canada

Fr. Raymond de Souza

February 20, 2012

In one of those happy liturgical coincidences, Feb. 6 brought the following reading from the First Book of Kings at Mass:

"The elders of Israel and all the leaders of the tribes, the princes in the ancestral houses of the children of Israel, came to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord's covenant from the City of David, which is Zion.

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'Consubstantial' denotes the oneness of Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Fr. Ayodele Ayeni CsSP

February 20, 2012

One evening, an Irish Spiritan missionary was explaining the Trinity to his African congregation. He said to them, "God is our Father," and this God has a Son who is Jesus Christ.

He continues, and then, there is the Holy Spirit whom God sent into our hearts. Immediately, an old man asked the priest: "Is the Holy Spirit God's wife, since God has a Son?"

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Do we abstain from meat on Fridays?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

February 20, 2012

Are we required to abstain from meat on Fridays?

I'm not sure of the latest ruling.

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Euthanasia robs one of loving good-byes

Mark Pickup

February 20, 2012

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is an advisory body to the European Union. Based in Strasbourg, France, PACE's pronouncements on human rights issues are highly influential in the European Union.

At the end of January, PACE passed a resolution that made a strong statement against euthanasia. Although PACE has no legislative authority, the resolution may prove to be a strong tool for Europe's pro-life advocates to resist further euthanasia acceptance, such as Holland and Belgium have done.

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Evil of suffering can be transformed into the highest good

WCR Logo

February 13, 2012

The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Feb. 11, was a special day for Blessed John Paul II. In 1992, he expanded the feast into the World Day of the Sick. Eight years earlier, however, he issued his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris (On The Christian Meaning of Human Suffering) on the anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady to St. Bernadette.

Blessed John Paul rode against the tide on many topics, but perhaps none more than that of human suffering. Ours is an age, especially in the West, that views comfort and pleasure as the greatest good and suffering as the worst evil. The rising call for assisted suicide is due in no small part to the prevailing sentiment that esteems a comfortable, content life as the greatest to which one can aspire.

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The dance of life struggles to find an ethical two-step

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 13, 2012

Henri Nouwen used to publish some of his diaries under the title, On Mourning and Dancing. The title was wholly appropriate since those diaries chronicled much of his own struggle to give public expression to what was bubbling up inside of him and, at the same time, respect a highly sensitive self-consciousness and reticence that made him hesitate to publicly express those same feelings.

His writings are a rare expression of both inner freedom and inner fear. His thoughts and feelings are sometimes tortured, but that's what makes them rich. It's not always easy to find that delicate balance between healthy self-expression and unhealthy exhibitionism.

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Paralyzed souls hunger for healing prayer

Maria Kozakiewicz

February 13, 2012
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 19, 2012

Over time, our understanding of biblical scenes changes. The dramatic scene in which four men tear the roof over Jesus' head and use ropes to let down a paralyzed man has attracted me for years.

At first, I focused on the miracle in a literal sense – here is a man unable to move, speak and function, probably twisted and emaciated, and Jesus tells him to get up, take his mat and go.

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