Columns

Life of learning may undermine our child-like dependence

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 18, 2011

I've lived and worked in academic circles for most of my adult life, studying in various universities, teaching in university circles and having university professors as close friends and colleagues. What's that world like? What kind of folks inhabit academic circles?

Perhaps my experience is atypical because most of the scholars under whom I studied and most of the theologians and other scholars who have been my colleagues became professors and university lecturers in function of ministry, as a vocation, rather than as a career.

Read the rest of entry »

Surrender and God's life moves through us

Kathleen Giffin

July 18, 2011
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time — July 24, 2011

Thirty years ago, having recently returned to my faith and the Church, my mother asked me to choose a favourite Scripture passage for her to stitch on a wall hanging for me. I don't remember the process I went through in choosing the reading, but the end result still hangs on my wall, "God makes all things work for good for those who love him."

That Scripture, over the intervening years, has anchored me in hope, courage and trust in a way that no other passage has done. I think I am not alone in my esteem for those words and that truth, for it is a Scripture that nourishes the faith of many people.

Read the rest of entry »

Grieving parents: Your hope is not futile

Mark Pickup

July 18, 2011

Recently I was at a park with some of my grandchildren. A woman arrived with a couple of her grandchildren. We started talking. At one point, she revealed that she lost a grandson to heart disease when he was only seven. Needless to say, I was stunned.

As we talked further I discovered that she turned her grief into positive action through starting a charity to raise funds for research, education and to offer support to families of children with heart disease or who have lost children to it. This is a wonderful example of turning a negative into a positive — a terrible tragedy into something good.

Read the rest of entry »

Sponsoring a child honours Mother Teresa

Lisa Persche

July 18, 2011

Recently our mail included the annual status report on the child our family supports through Chalice, formerly Christian Child Care International. She lives in Haiti, the poorest and most densely populated country in the Western Hemisphere.

Our family learned about Chalice, a Canadian Catholic organization, several years ago when a visiting priest spoke at Mass about its projects. Chalice's mission is to "support local initiatives in developing countries, primarily through the sponsorship of children and elderly in need." In doing so, it gives witness to Christ's love and provides hope for the future.

Read the rest of entry »

Trekking a volunteer path leads on to a lifetime of service

Bob McKeon

July 18, 2011

A few weeks ago, I was invited to talk with a group of summer interns at Mustard Seed in inner city Edmonton. For the past several years, Mustard Seed has provided a summer employment opportunity for several young adults seeking an experience of Christian outreach and service with inner city men, women and children.

The summer workers get to work in the different programs of the agency including emergency food and clothing, community development projects and public education and advocacy initiatives.

Read the rest of entry »

Balthasar's theology inspires today's papal candidates

WCR Logo

July 11, 2011

The appointment of Cardinal Angela Scola, patriarch of Venice for the past nine years, as the archbishop of Milan, Europe's largest diocese, has entrenched his name as the top Italian candidate when a new pope is chosen. Many observers see Scola as worthy in his own right. But the fact that three 20th century popes had previously served as patriarch of Venice and two as archbishop of Milan only heightens the likelihood that Scola will be seen as a serious candidate.

Read the rest of entry »

Faithful prayer key to winning battle of light vs. darkness

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 11, 2011

Two contraries cannot co-exist inside the same subject. Aristotle wrote that and it seems to say the obvious; something can't be light and dark at the same time.

However, in terms of what's happening inside our souls it seems that contraries can indeed co-exist inside the same subject.

Read the rest of entry »

Keep praying . . . even when God seems silent

 Lasha Morningstar

July 11, 2011
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 17,2011

Prayer comforts — sometimes. It can be an entreaty, murmured in despair, sometimes riddled with tears. Or a memorized string of words, said in monotone rote. Or a whispered "Thank you" to God. So many variations, the variety intoned according to the mood or occasion of the moment.

Often, prayer is not valued, thought to be the refuge of the weak. One cleric, describing a problem, laughed at a reception, asking, "Are we so desperate we've turned to prayer?"

Read the rest of entry »

Benedict knows God's will shapes his life

Fr. Raymond de Souza

July 11, 2011

The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29, is kept with suitable solemnity in Rome, with the pope offering Mass at St. Peter's on the patronal feast of his diocese.

Ten years ago, in 2001, Blessed John Paul asked Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to celebrate the Mass in his stead. It was the 50th anniversary of Ratzinger's priestly ordination, June 29, 1951, and the honour of offering the patronal Mass in the pope's presence was thought both a tribute to Ratzinger's long service, and, perhaps, a prelude to a farewell earnestly sought by Ratzinger himself.

Read the rest of entry »

What do special Offices, Masses mean?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

July 11, 2011

In your previous column on Our Lady of Good Counsel, you mention that a pope "granted an office" or "approved a new Mass" for Our Lady. Can you tell me what the significance of "an office" is in this context.

Read the rest of entry »