It’s been several weeks since we turned back the clocks, ending daylight savings time, but I’m still adjusting. It feels particularly strange to drive home from work in the dark. I much prefer being out and about during daylightot hours; I have more energy and I feel safer, too.

{mosimage}Advent invites us to cast aside our pessimism about the present age, and boldly imagine the great new beginnings that God has promised to His people.

{mosimage}With the release of his second encyclical, Spe Salvi (on Christian hope), Pope Benedict XVI offers less a dogmatic pronouncement than a university lecture, rewarding the careful reader with profound insights into why Christians have hope in the face of a world that appears to be hopeless.

xmasManger.jpgOn Christmas afternoon, Hope, my five-year-old, will carefully deliver baby Jesus to grandma’s Christmas manger. Mom and dad have had their manger for as long as I can remember. It appears every year in early December and takes up its position of prominence on the end table in the living room.

antonyFlew.jpgJournalism is not really about objectivity or neutrality. There are biases in the choice of story, biases in perspective, biases in the way we do stories, especially the language we use.

{mosimage}Cardinal Marc Ouellet appears to be taking a page from Calgary Bishop Fred Henry’s book when it comes to media coverage. The archbishop of Quebec has found himself on the front pages of daily newspapers well outside his province talking about — wait for it — religion.

remembrance2002.jpgOTTAWA - On Nov. 11, I attended Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. More accurately, I tried to attend. As it happened, I did not get close enough to see the prime minister and the Governor General and the other dignitaries, or to see the wreaths being laid.

AIDS_africa.jpgHealing is tougher than handing out pills. The spectacular results of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment have many thinking such drugs are the solution to the pandemic. They can make a huge difference. Where available, they prolong life, improve its quality and thereby reduce stigma. Making them as available throughout Africa as they are in Canada is an urgent issue of international justice.

{mosimage} In Canada, all too often, the debate over “health care” focuses on dollars and cents. It is about technical fixes, efficiencies and accountability. All important things, surely. However, rarely is it ever about the second word in that phrase --— care.

Meeting in Baltimore last month, the U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a new guide intended to inform Catholic political opinion. The circumstances surrounding this document are urgent: “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility From the Catholic Bishops of the United States” is directed at American Catholics trying to live out their faith in the contentious presidential campaigns now under way and who are looking for ways to express themselves responsibly in next year’s presidential and congressional elections.

HurricaneNoel.jpgExperiencing the power and fury of a hurricane is unforgettable. On Oct. 30 the Dominican Republic tasted the wrath of hurricane Noel whose powerful winds and rains swept up from the Caribbean, striking a devastating blow to that country’s central region.