Jay's Articles

Bishops eager to celebrate with pope, but got a lesson in prayer

Bishop Fred Henry

April 28, 2014

As auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of London, I made my first ad limina visit in 1987. An ad limina visit is made every five years by diocesan bishops. It entails venerating the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, officially visiting the four major basilicas, meeting with various officials of the Secretary of State, the curia and their respective congregations, pontifical councils and tribunals. The unquestionable highlight is, of course, meeting the successor of Peter, the bishop of Rome who, in this case, was Pope John Paul II.

Jesus 'herds' us with his gentle voice

Kathleen Giffin

April 28, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 11, 2014

One of the things I have long appreciated in Roman Catholicism is our valuing of human life in all its dimensions. I'm not referencing "respect for life" but rather the stance that looks out upon all that it is to be human, accepting and embracing and declaring it to be good. We value culture, art, music. We value our bodies, we enjoy the feast with good wine, and we value the simple loaf of bread, fresh baked. Our natural human lives, lived in nature, connected with the seasons and patterns of growth and decay is the context in which we live, and it is a way that God powerfully speaks to us.

Thank God for the gift of evildoers

WCR Logo

April 28, 2014

One of the greatest spiritual challenges Christians face is the evildoer, especially the one who is doing evil to me. It's hard to turn a blind eye to these vipers, hard to ignore their provocations. Yet, if we are to have any peace ourselves and if the world itself is to achieve peace, we at the very least have to pick our battles judiciously. Better still, if we see them within the perspective of eternity, we will realize they are no more than irksome flies, annoying little gnats whose day will soon pass.

Life's elusive quest for moments of joy

Lasha Morningstar

April 28, 2014

One is almost afraid to say the word out loud for fear of hexing it. Spring. One day, the weather forecaster is forecasting snow and complaining when his news buddies harass him when no flakes flutter down from the sky. A few days later, record highs are being celebrated. Oops. Spoke too soon. The mercury is dropping, and we are back to ice-on-the-puddles again and snow in the forecast.

Health care workers may face mandatory immunizations

Gordon Self

April 28, 2014

Reports of new confirmed cases of measles in Alberta are a sober reminder that the effort to stop the transmission of highly contagious illness is everyone's responsibility. Non-immunized persons are at risk of contracting and spreading measles, and are encouraged to get vaccinated. Health care workers who are not immune and are exposed can put not only themselves at risk, but also vulnerable patients or residents. Thus, they may be excluded from work if exposed. Some schools in Calgary have taken similar precautionary measures to contain the risk of spread by sending non-immunized students home.

Moveable feasts and liberal arts education

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

April 28, 2014

In Ernest Hemingway's most popular posthumous publication, A Moveable Feast (1964), the American writer stated that: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." For Hemingway, the phrase captured the spontaneity, the diversity and the magic of the 1920s Left Bank where the Picassos rubbed shoulders with the Chagalls and the Joyces, and creativity in its many magical forms flourished.

TRC national event defining moment for local churches

Bob McKeon

April 28, 2014

It is now almost a month past the Edmonton national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This was an historic event involving thousands of former students who attended Indian residential schools, members of their families, representatives of the churches who administered the schools, and many other aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians from all across Canada.

Does excommunication send one to hell?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

April 28, 2014

When the Catholic Church excommunicates a member because of his or her different theological conviction, as in the case of a bishop who defied Church authority to ordain a woman to the priesthood, does God deny both the bishop and the woman salvation? Or, is excommunication simply a disciplinary tool of the Catholic Church to exercise her authority over disobedient members?

Being stable on medication is brass ring for mentally ill

April 28, 2014

My disability is invisible. When we see a person in a wheelchair or walking with a Seeing Eye dog, we immediately know they have special needs or challenges. Those of us with mental illnesses or mental disabilities don't carry visible clues to our challenges. With the stigma that mental illnesses carry, I suppose that I should be grateful that my schizophrenia isn't visible. Still, it can be hard for people to understand the kinds of accommodations my disability requires.

TRC made us consumers of grief

April 28, 2014

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event based its procedural style around the idea of speaking one's truth in order to begin a journey of healing such that the survivor is able to arrive at a place of peace and set one's spirit free from emotional pain. In a Catholic understanding, the sacrament of Reconciliation corresponds closely to these speaking acts that occurred at the TRC. We understand the matter and form of Reconciliation as being made up primarily of words, and to this end, part of the process that we encountered at the TRC had some correlation to the speaking, the naming, the words.