Columns

From the category archives: Mark Pickup

Mark Pickup

Public rallies for MS mother threatened with losing children

Mark Pickup

April 9, 2012

There was a television news story recently that told of a young single mother they called Marie (not her real name) who has a severe case of multiple sclerosis. Her condition has degenerated so quickly that she needs a nanny to care for her two small children.

Read the rest of entry »

Anointing of Sick brings union with Jesus, inner healing

Mark Pickup

March 26, 2012

There is a short passage about Jesus in the Book of Hebrews that I love: "In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him" (Hebrews 5.7-9).

Read the rest of entry »

Slaughtering newborn babies is still murder

Mark Pickup

March 12, 2012

In a recent column, I addressed the idea of Christian perinatal hospice (WCR, Feb. 27). It is a concept whereby parents facing a pregnancy involving a terminally ill unborn child are supported to carry their baby to term and prepare for their child's death.

Read the rest of entry »

Edmonton Archdiocese needs a Catholic perinatal hospice

Mark Pickup

February 27, 2012

I do not know what it's like to lose a child and I hope I never do. All my children, and now grandchildren, are healthy and strong. My family is truly blessed and I try not to forget that fact.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

Battle with MS led us to follow Christ with complete abandon

Mark Pickup

January 30, 2012

My wife, LaRee, and I were in Saskatchewan to speak at a retreat of Christian students in medical school. The retreat dealt with the subject of suffering.

We spoke to the students about our sorrows and grief that have accompanied our 28 years living with chronic, degenerative multiple sclerosis. We shared insights about suffering from our Christian perspectives. I spoke about the terror of having an aggressive version of MS.

Read the rest of entry »

Change your heart, forgive your sin, let God transform you

Mark Pickup

January 16, 2012

Things designed for good can be used for bad purposes. Art in its proper context captures images of beauty in the world or perverted to promote evil such as pornography. Books can teach and enlighten while others promote falsehoods or hatred.

Sometimes that which is life affirming in one context can be life denying if misused in another context. A drug originally intended to try to save life can also be used to kill.

Read the rest of entry »

Christ came to bring Good News to all

Mark Pickup

December 19, 2011

A tiny heart beat steadily within the baby boy's mother. The blood circulating through that tiny heart would save us and change millions of human hearts across the centuries; hearts of stone and violence would melt into hearts of flesh and peace and joy.

The infant's birth was like no other birth. It had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier. The prophet Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7.14) and of the Davidic line (11.1-2). Micah identified Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born (5.1). People like Simeon and Anna waited expectantly for him.

Read the rest of entry »

God bless us everyone, says Tiny Tim

Mark Pickup

December 5, 2011

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love everything about it including the smallest details and traditions commonly associated with the season.

Throughout the last half of November my wife resisted my requests to put up the Christmas tree. She reminded me that it takes up too much space in the living room for my electric wheelchair to manoeuvre easily. She was right. The Christmas tree stayed in the basement until Dec. 1.

Read the rest of entry »

Parents must nurture children's vocations

Mark Pickup

November 21, 2011

Archbishop Richard Smith's recent pastoral letter, Pastoral Priorities of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, identified vocation promotion as one of the three priorities along with evangelization and faith formation. My previous columns have addressed the latter two. Now I want to look at the promotion of vocations.

God calls us all to lives of faith, obedience and service. We who have welcomed Christ into our lives are called to "come follow me." We are called to make known the Gospel message throughout a hurting world. This can happen in various ways.

Read the rest of entry »