With the sudden death of my Basilian confrère Fr. Ulysse (Bud) Paré on March 25, many tributes and accolades will rightly be heaped upon him for his academic accomplishments, first at the University of Toronto, then at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute and at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. His many former students at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon, the University of Toronto, Assumption University in Windsor and most recently at St. Peter’s Seminary in London will fondly recall his clear, dynamic presentations on exegetical methods and hermeneutical interpretation of the Bible.
For Catholics, the practice of fasting has by and large fallen off the screen, due in large measure to the minimalistic interpretation of what Church members are told “fasting” means: “Take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.”
In a report on the eve of the 2012 Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., gave a brief but stinging assessment of the impact of secularism in our time. He noted a dramatic reduction in the practise of faith among the baptized from so called First-World countries. In addition, he said entire generations have become disconnected from such “foundational concepts” as marriage, family, common good and right and wrong. Secularism, he said, has created Catholics who are unable to recite the Church’s foundational prayers, who see no value in Mass attendance and who ignore the sacrament of Penance.
As by now everyone knows, Pope Francis offered a lengthy and wide-ranging interview to the editor of La Civilta Cattolica, which was subsequently published last month in 16 Jesuit-sponsored journals. As we’ve come to expect practically any time this Pope speaks, the interview has provoked a media frenzy.
Summer is under way and it’s time for road trips. Whether it is a short trip from a small town to a big city for the weekend, a coast-to-coast marathon to see Canada in an over-packed car or a backpacking Euro-rail adventure, a road trip is often an adventure — and maybe even a first step in finding our own unique life path.
The German philosopher Nietzsche once described Christianity as a religion of the weak. He argued that religion, especially Christianity, denied the human person free will because it removed the freedom to make choices by relying on a God who, he argued, does not exist.