Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza is the pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary parish on Wolfe Island, and chaplain at Newman House at Kingston, Ont.’s Queen’s University.

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.

The Boucher Report, released on Nov. 25 by the Archdiocese of Montreal, makes for distressing reading. The tale told therein also illustrates how failures in Canada may have contributed to the significant reforms made by Pope Francis last year aimed at changing the culture of episcopal governance.

Earlier this year I wrote an appreciation here of the late Fr. Jonathan Robinson, who established the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Montreal in 1975 and transferred it to Toronto in 1979. Last month, I wrote about the 175th anniversary of the conversion of St. John Henry Newman on Oct. 9, 1845, which is now his feast day.

This autumn brings a trifecta of anniversaries for those of us devoted to St. John Henry Newman.

On Sept. 5, 1920, Laura Cardoso left the family home in which she had been born to marry Salustiano Roque de Freitas. Nearly 100 years later, I visited that home, now deserted, in her village in Goa, India.

Our calendar of liturgical seasons is rather bare compared to some of our sister Catholic Churches. That is never more evident than in our long season of “Ordinary Time,” an uninspired translation of a banal original (in Latin, “Sundays of the Year”).

Anniversaries remind us to learn the lessons of history and, for a Christian disciple, to remember the workings of Providence.

The death of Fr. Jonathan Robinson of the Toronto Oratory is a sadness both for those who knew him and those many more who admired him from afar. 

Is the closure of churches and the suspension of the public celebration of Holy Mass a religious liberty issue?

Fr. Alphonse de Valk, a stalwart of the pro-life movement, touched many lives in different spheres, especially in education, the particular charism of the Basilian Fathers. I will remember him as a fellow priest journalist.