As 2020 closed, it was regrettable that the public observations of the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom (Dec. 29, 1170) of St. Thomas Becket did not take place due to pandemic restrictions.

Follow science

While most churches, synagogues and temples have followed the COVID-19 guidelines of Dr. Bonnie Henry there have been several faith communities in B.C. (and the U.S, including Trump with his rallies) who have repudiated these directives, maintaining their God-given and constitutional right to meet face to face. 

In his own way, Pope Francis is developing a different kind of vaccine to battle the effects of COVID-19. This is not a vaccine developed in a scientific lab, but it may well be a much-needed antidote to some of the unseen but crippling injuries that have accompanied the pandemic.

The first haiku I ever wrote was about home. I was in sixth grade French class staring out the window as usual (zut alors!), and it came to me wholly formed, in a flash of insight.

In the midst of the Christmas season, Dan Cere sees signs of Easter in the Archdiocese of Montreal.

Longing is a place I visit frequently, passing through on the way to somewhere else. The floor is worn at the entrance way and in front of the window, where walking gently back and forth has left its mark. The chair is comfortable in its familiarity, having moulded itself to my body’s curves. Since I expect to be moving on to somewhere more important, this little cabin doesn’t get the attention it deserves. But I’ve spent a lot of time in this longing this year. And the longing is wearing its place in me, too.

This is about a single newspaper photograph. The Canadian Press took it on Dec. 10 on the day the House of Commons passed Bill C-7, which expands euthanasia to include more victims.

No evidence

Re: Mass is essential to our Catholic life (Dec. 9):

Charles Lewis rightly says that the “Mass is essential” to Catholics but that the Ontario government doesn’t understand this. The government recently demonstrated this when it tried to stop COVID spread by forcing Toronto churches to close. No evidence was offered to justify the action. Ironically, just a few weeks prior Premier Doug Ford said that churches had done a “great job” of preventing infection.

There is always something a little magical that happens as the calendar turns to Jan. 1. It’s like a giant eraser appears and wipes our slate clean, throwing off the dust of all that marred the previous 12 months. It’s a new year, a fresh start, a new dawn, another shot, a blank sheet.

In a famous fifth-century sermon, St. Leo the Great preached that Christmas is a time for rejoicing. “Sadness should have no place in the birthday of life.”

At breakfast recently my daughter noted that my cardigan made me look like an academic. As a professor I wasn’t sure how to take the comment. But I admitted that the first thing I did when I began teaching in a university was to rush out and buy a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows.