Dr. Mary Marrocco is an associate secretary for the Canadian Council of Churches. She is also a teacher, writer and lay pastoral worker. Morrocco explores the lives and writings of the saints, spiritual writers and theologians‚ and how they relate to contemporary life.

Having seen many performances of Shakespeare’s play, I have heard many actors’ interpretations of Hamlet’s response to the seemingly-innocent question: “What do you read, my lord?” With dry irony, or with bitterness, weariness, humour or biting sarcasm, Hamlet replies: “Words, words, words.” Like his author, Hamlet had reason to be fed up with words, and reason to be entranced with them.  So have we all.

Mary Marrocco: ‘Be what you see; receive what you are’


It can be difficult, these days, not to become crabby, bitter and divisive. Every day, we receive so much that frightens or angers us, and seems to threaten our very being. 

Mary Marrocco: Dealing with guilt and shame

By Mary Marrocco

What makes it so difficult to overcome conflicts? Between a couple or family, groups or nations, often we just can’t sort things out and move on.

Mary Marrocco: A story of true joy amid the anguish

By Mary Marrocco

During a shared reflection on a scriptural text one evening, a young man asked about joy. Was something wrong with him because he rarely experienced joy? Was he being punished for his mental suffering? What is joy, and do we even have any right to feel it when there is so much suffering?

Mary Marrocco: Our doubts can move us toward Jesus

By Mary Marrocco

Sometimes I imagine what it might have been like for people at the foot of the cross as Jesus’ body was taken down, wrapped in linens and spices, and taken away to the tomb.

Mary Marrocco: Humanity’s secret name: ‘Cared For’

By Mary Marrocco

Bicycles are a popular means of transportation, with a long history — my grandfather’s bicycle, the only vehicle he ever owned, got him to and from work at the Quaker Oats factory 364 days per year.

Mary Marrocco: We must surrender to the one true power

By Mary Marrocco

A woman I knew became Christian as an adult. Unlike some of us lifelong Christians who can be oblivious of the strangeness of our faith, she was appalled by one of the Beatitudes. 

Mary Marrocco: Christ, the truth, will set us free

By Mary Marrocco

Who could forget the look on Ingrid Bergman’s face, playing Paula in the movie Gaslight, as she apprehends the possibility that she might be slowly going insane?

Mary Marrocco: The farther we go, the more we will find

By Mary Marrocco

Remember the old fairy tales?  They are told, or re-told, by great story-tellers like the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and my favourite, Andrew Lang — who, back in the 19th century, gathered stories from around the world into the Red Fairy Book, Green Fairy Book and plenty of other colours. 

Mary Marrocco: Christian unity urgent for suffering world

By Mary Marrocco

A spiritual director once surprised me by asking: “What does your little voice have to say?” 

Mary Marrocco: A first step into centre of the universe

By Mary Marrocco

How difficult it is to get out of the centre of the universe. And how painful to find our way there.