Columns

God's storm is the pangs of a new birth

Brett Fawcett
June 15, 2015
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 14, 2015

Today's Gospel reading tells the familiar story of Jesus, asleep in the boat in the midst of a storm, awakened by his agitated apostles to calm the wind and the waves. Mark presumably recorded this story as a consolation to the persecuted Church, but what consolation are believers supposed to derive from it? Are we supposed to assume that Jesus will calm all the turbulent problems of our lives?

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Gov't leadership required to move to reconciliation with First Nations

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June 15, 2015

The truth has been told; reconciliation is yet to come. Reconciliation with Canada's Aboriginal people – over the residential school morass, yes, but also over the whole range of issues afflicting indigenous people – will require political will. During the nine years of the current federal government, there has been no hint of a political will to put relations between Canada's original peoples and the dominant settler culture on a more equitable footing. The Harper government began its term in office by walking away from the Kelowna Accord, a landmark agreement that would have gone a long way toward dealing with some of the pressing issues facing Aboriginal communities.

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Reconciliation is not one-stop shopping

Douglas Roche
June 15, 2015

The recent photo of Britain's Prince Charles shaking hands with Gerry Adams, the leader of the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army that killed Charles' uncle, Earl Louis Mountbatten, 36 years ago, stirred me deeply. It is flashing through my mind now as I watch the reports of the devastating findings of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Prince Charles and Adams appear to be reconciled, well, somewhat. The treatment of thousands of aboriginal people in residential schools across Canada is now labeled "cultural genocide." What a powerful term!

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Devil's linking God to death destroys faith

Maria Kozakiewicz
June 15, 2015
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 28, 2015

God did not make death nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. The devil is a persuasive liar. One of his greatest victories takes place when he persuades us that God is the source of death, that he sends death upon us. If accepted as an article of faith, the belief that "God made death" becomes a huge wrecking ball. I know many people who, having lost a parent or a beloved sibling, especially at an early age, turned their backs upon God permanently.

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Police officers deserve a nation's gratitude

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June 15, 2015

The murder of Edmonton police Constable Daniel Woodall is but the latest example of the tremendous danger faced by men and women in blue during the course of the daily work. This killing follows on the heels of the murder of RCMP Constable David Wynn in St. Albert in January. We extend our sympathy to the wives and children of both officers who will bear the brunt of these heinous acts for the rest of their lives.

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Romero's life raises issue of how to be voice of the voiceless

Bob McKeon
June 15, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a group who had gathered at Providence Centre to celebrate the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero. We were able to watch a live broadcast of the beatification liturgy from San Salvador on a large screen TV. Many in the group had immigrated to Edmonton from El Salvador, fleeing from the persecution and the violence of a harsh military dictatorship.

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Why are no babies baptized in Lent, Advent?

Sr. Louise Zdunich
June 15, 2015

Our baby was born during Advent. When we asked to have her baptized shortly after, we were told that we couldn't. When we asked why not, we were told it was because the rule is that no Baptisms are allowed during Lent or Advent. However, we were not given a reason. Can you explain why no Baptisms are allowed during these specific periods?

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Canada's arms sale to Saudis creates jobs drenched in blood

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June 1, 2015

Does creating jobs for Canadians rate higher than respecting human lives and human rights in Saudi Arabia? The Canadian government would seem not to care. Federal government approval of a $15-billion arms deal with the Saudis last year was given without performing a required assessment of the country's human rights record. The government proudly announced the sale of light armoured vehicles (LAVs), known colloquially as tanks. But when researcher Ken Rubin dug into the sale, the department of foreign affairs gave no evidence that it is monitoring human rights in the oil-rich country and said it has not assessed the human rights situation there for the past two years.

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Light of the World is brighter than torches, lanterns

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
June 1, 2015

What's the use of an old-fashioned, hand-held lantern? Well, its light can be quite useful when it's pitch dark, but it becomes superfluous and unnoticeable in the noonday sun. Still, this doesn't mean its light is bad, only that it's weak. If we hold that image in our minds, we will see both a huge irony and a profound lesson in the Gospels when they describe the arrest of Jesus. The Gospel of John, for example, describes his arrest this way: "Judas brought the cohort to this place together with guards sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, all carrying lanterns and torches."

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Eucharistic presence transforms hearts

Lydia Cristini
June 1, 2015
Corpus Christi
June 7, 2015

Theoretically, the Eucharist is one of my favourite topics. Ever since I attended a Youth 2000 retreat the summer before my Grade 12 year, the Eucharist has been a central, if not the central, focus of my faith life. Until then, no one had told me the meaning of the wafer and wine I took at Mass, at least not in a way I really understood. At 17, when the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal told us about the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it changed my life.

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