Children are the latest hot marketing tool, used not just to sell sugar-coated cereal to Mom, but also to pry open wallets by appeals to the heart from a wide assortment of public lobby groups.
When someone you know has been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may want to reach out to him or her but feel unsure of what to say or do. This uncertainty can keep you away at the time when your help is needed most. The following are some ways to show you care.
My oldest son, Harry Jr., recently decided it was time to leave home. Last June he had graduated from high school and had chosen to take a year off before starting postsecondary education. The months since have been somewhat tumultuous, but nothing too extreme.
Maybe it’s a trifle unCanadian, but let’s give a cheer of national pride on May 2 when Charles Taylor arrives at Buckingham Palace to attend a private ceremony with the Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince Consort will formally bestow the 2007 Templeton Prize for Progress or Discoveries in Spiritual Realties on Professor Taylor.
Almost exactly seven years ago, in April 2000, I was sent by the newspaper I worked for to Columbine, Colorado, to report on the first anniversary of the high-school shooting rampage that left 12 students and a teacher dead and 23 people injured. It was a harrowing assignment. I found the citizens of this affluent Denver suburb of high earners and hard workers still in shock, battering themselves and each other with the inevitable question: Why?
The horrendous violence at Virginia Tech did not end with the 33 fatalities and other wounded. It did not end with the gaping holes left in the lives of the mothers, fathers, siblings, relatives and friends of the victims. It did not even end with the shattering of peace and security at this American university.
In challenging the prevailing winds on euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, the Catholic bishops of Ontario have done the entire country a service. So-called “mercy killing” is a human rights issue, true enough, but it is about the right to live, not the “right” to die.
Do you know what it’s like not to be able to breathe effortlessly? Do you have a loved one who has respiratory problems? Polluted air contributes to these serious problems. We can live without food and water for a period of time but we cannot live without air.

It must seem to most Christians as if attacks on the integrity of their faith — as opposed to bona fide studies, queries and investigations — have become de rigeur. After all, just a cursory glance at the weekly bestseller lists will confirm the suspicions of the besieged that it is an open field when it comes to excoriating religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular.

New books bent on discrediting religious belief and practice are never in short supply. But in the last couple of years we have witnessed a mini-boom in anti-religious publishing of the classic, interesting sort — ferociously opinionated, high-minded, inclined to view Christianity as something very dangerous. The basic arguments may be rather shop-worn, but they are stated in compelling and sometimes surprising new ways.

The summer before my last year of theology studies, I spent seven weeks in East Africa involved in various ministries related to HIV/AIDS outreach. One of the outreaches consisted in accompanying social workers from a Catholic hospital in Kampala on home visits to check on patients who had begun anti-retroviral drug regimens (ARVs). This is how I came to know Katana Stella.