Columns

A church committed to fighting racism

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March 31, 2014

The Alberta bishops' recent pastoral letter on Indian residential schools did many positive things. Besides again apologizing for Catholic involvement in the schools and inviting the Catholic community to participate in the March 27-30 Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Edmonton, the bishops also said "God is speaking to us today through the gifts of aboriginal culture and spirituality."

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Big Bang points to creation's beauty

Fr. Raymond de Souza

March 31, 2014

The Big Bang has captured the scientific and popular mind as the spectacular beginning of the entire universe. There is even an eponymous sitcom which, to judge from what is available on airplanes, might just be the most popular television program ever made. The Big Bang. At one moment there was nothing and then the next moment – bang! – it was there, an explosive mix of all that would become, slowly but inexorably, all that is.

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Everyone walks their own Way of the Cross

Kathleen Giffin

March 31, 2014
Palm Sunday
April 13, 2014

My preparations for Easter this year have a unique dimension; I am planning the route for a visit to my father's wartime past in Holland, a route that I will begin Easter weekend. I have been looking through old papers and photographs, reading books, talking to people in Holland who are the children of men he knew there, researching the museums and memorials for the ones that hold the most significance.

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My Lenten war on black angel of fear

Lasha Morningstar

March 31, 2014

The question "What did you give up for Lent?" makes its rounds during many conversations right now. The usual answers came fast and furious. "Coffee." "Chocolate." "Butter." "Wine." Some cheer at the amount of weight they will lose during this religious season. Others acknowledge it as a test of their willpower. For many, it's a witness to their faith.

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Dialogue needed to undermine tribalism

Gordon Self

March 31, 2014

This spring marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Triggered the night of April 6, 1994, Hutu extremists retaliated over the assassination of President Habyarimana by killing local Tutsis blamed for the attack. Mounting ethnic tensions between the Hutu majority and Tutsi minority erupted in widespread violence that engulfed the country. For the next 100 days approximately 800,000 Tutsi, Twa and Hutu moderates were killed.

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Is hell a physical place? Are we sent there by God?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

March 31, 2014

Is hell a physical place? Does God send us to hell? Does the resurrection signify physical movement to a place in space with physical dimensions? If so, space exploration must be penetrating that physical place we still call heaven.

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Lent is more than 'giving up'; it also involves reaching out

Bob McKeon

March 31, 2014

On Shrove Tuesday, I was at a church pancake supper. The conversation quickly turned to Lent, which started the next day, and about fasting. Each of us started talking about the specifics of what we were going to give up during Lent. Different foods and activities were named. Every year, there is a Scripture passage (Isaiah 58) that talks about fasting that appears in the Liturgy of the Hours on Ash Wednesday and in the daily Mass readings two days later.

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Ukraine deserves peace, justice and sovereignty

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March 17, 2014

Why did thousands of unprotected Ukrainian protesters remain in Independence Square on Feb. 20 as sniper fire rained down on them from above? Why did they not run for cover as did the foreign journalists who were reporting on the protests? Think first of the Holodomor of 1932-33, the forced starvation of millions of people suffering under Soviet oppression. Think of the attempted annihilation following the Second World War of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, a body most determined to stand for Ukrainian national identity, cultural expression and freedom. Think of the imprisonment and exile of poet Taras Shevchenko and numerous other 19th-century Ukrainian artists who passionately wrote against the repression of Ukrainians by the tsar and in favour of Ukrainian national identity.

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Creative performers make love to the song

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 17, 2014

There are three kinds of performers: The first, while singing a song or doing a dance, are making love to themselves. The second, while performing, are making love to the audience. The third, while on stage, are making love to the song, to the dance, to the drama itself. Of course, it's not difficult to discern who the better performer is. The one making love to the song, of course, best honours the song and draws energy from some deeper place. He or she does this by entering into and channeling the energy of the song rather than by entering into and channeling their own energy or the energy of the audience.

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Jesus wants worship to be in Spirit, Truth

John Connelly

March 17, 2014
Third Sunday of Lent
March 23, 2014

What is God, Our Father, looking for? What ultimately does God want from you and me? Jesus answers these questions in this week's Gospel: God is looking for worshippers. Authentic worshippers who will worship him in Spirit and truth. >Worship is the deepest calling of the Church. It is an act of total surrender and love which allows our inner being to enter fully the loving presence of God.

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