Feed the world

Jason Brown was making millions of dollars playing in the NFL when he suddenly quit last winter to answer a call to feed the poor. 

Merciful Father is always present

One of the highlights of the year just ending was the canonization of the greatest pope and dominant religious figure of our times, John Paul II. Over the years I had attended many such events as a reporter or broadcaster in the media section, but I thought that this time I would take it in as a pilgrim. That meant arriving in St. Peter’s Square some four hours or so before the Mass began. How to spend those hours in a suitably pious and productive way? After all, the breviary and rosary don’t take that long, even at a leisurely pace. 

Speaking of sex

Ontario’s Ministry of Education has launched an online survey regarding the sex-ed component of a new health and physical education curriculum for elementary schools. According to an information package, the ministry is seeking input from 4,000 selected parents — one from every elementary school in the province — as it finalizes a new curriculum for implementation next September. 

Justice will only be served in forgiveness and healing

The problem with earthly justice is that sometimes it seems to take its good old time and other times it just doesn’t seem to exist at all. 

Pick better battles

Four months after its health care policy for refugee claimants was ruled unconstitutional, Ottawa has grudgingly relented to a judge’s order and returned many — but not all — benefits to the needy people it had previously abandoned. We say grudgingly because the immigration minister remains determined to continue a court battle in defence of a policy that a federal court has already — and quite rightly — denounced as “cruel and unusual.” 

Non-celebrity is worth celebrating

So often we hear and read about the lives of the rich, powerful and famous. Celebrity seems to rule our culture. 

But reflection on the lives of the ordinary, the everyday, the taken-for-granted, is often far more illuminating. If we look beyond the glitz we can see the real stars, the real world, and answers to some of the real questions. 

Our shared obligation to ensure everyone has a home

Imagine for a moment that you have no home. 

What would you do for meals today? Where would you shower? Where would you sleep? If you have children, how would you provide for them? 

Doctrine sprouts and grows

The controversies surrounding the recent extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family have often put me in mind of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the greatest Catholic churchman of the 19th century. Newman wrote eloquently on an extraordinary range of topics, but the arguments around the Synod compel us to look at Newman’s work regarding the evolution of doctrine. 

Have mercy

There is nothing novel in a Pope rejecting the death penalty, but in typical style Pope Francis went a step further recently by also denouncing life sentences. 

It’s time for a new apostolic exhortation

“Argh,” I said to my husband. “Just thinking about the Synod on the family is making my stomach hurt again.” 

Tread carefully

After the attack on Parliament by a lone gunman the instinctive temptation is to respond aggressively. First, to respond politically by supporting new laws that empower police and security officers at the expense of some civil liberties. Second, to respond socially by waffling on Canadian principles that uphold tolerance and respect for all citizens of all backgrounds. 

Risky business

Pope Francis sought a “sincere and open” discussion among Church leaders attending the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Well, he got it. And then some.

Never too late to listen to Pope Benedict XVI

One of the world’s wisest voices was not heard during the synod fortnight in Rome. His time to speak publicly is definitively past, but it behooves the Church to listen now to what he said then.