We may be powerless to save Egyptian Christians from terrorist bombings, Syrian civilians from poison-gas attacks or to silence the guns in Africa’s many war zones, but Easter reminds us to never despair from walking as disciples of hope and peace.

As civilian deaths mount in Mosul and as Pope Francis appeals to combatants to spare innocent lives in the “beloved Iraqi nation,” a small ray of hope has emerged not 85 km away in the city of Irbil.

Heading into church last month for the noon-hour service on Ash Wednesday, I walked along the sidewalk behind two middle-aged couples decked out in office-type apparel. I overheard that one of the couples was heading out for a bite of lunch and the other was skipping lunch to attend the service that marks the beginning of Lenten fasting, penance and prayer that is now entering its final days before we reach the glory of Easter Sunday.

The pledge was buried deep within the federal budget and delivered almost as an afterthought. Still, it is encouraging to see the Liberals keeping a 2015 election promise on palliative care.

At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church wiped its hands of its “long century” of defensive reaction to the modern world and climbed into what it hoped would be a new era of dialogue. However, it takes (at least) two to dialogue and over the last 50 years the Church’s willingness to talk about important issues has not often been reciprocated by the secular world.

Almost six years ago The Catholic Register reported that the world’s 193rd nation came into being as a That was South Sudan in 2011 facing an uncertain future.

It was bad enough when the federal Liberals reversed Conservative policy and began using taxpayer money to fund overseas abortions. But a much bolder edict that will now see Canada help bankroll efforts by some foreign groups to overturn anti-abortion laws in Africa and other developing nations is a step way too far.

One unanticipated consequence of the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States has been the rediscovery of a seminal novel first published in 1949. According to The New York Times, George Orwell’s 1984 is being reprinted around the world and is at the top of bestseller lists.

Pope Francis has been commended frequently as a forceful advocate for reform regarding the Church’s response to clerical sex abuse. But the resignation of a female member of the commission he established to steer those reforms has cast a shadow over his good intentions.

As Canadians debate how we should respond to a surge in asylum seekers crossing southern borders, Catholics should reflect on recent words from Pope Francis about what he calls the scandal of hypocrisy.

A stately old Nova Scotia landmark was home to its fair share of contemporary drama over the past couple of weeks. The landmark is Province House in downtown Halifax, the place where the Nova Scotia legislature has met since 1819. The three-storey Province House edifice is the longest serving legislative building in Canada.