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.

It is a bit silly for fortysomethings to be speaking about a “bucket list” but that’s what I heard leaving Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall after an Aretha Franklin concert. A man my age, who should be busy about living rather than thinking about dying, commented that seeing Aretha Franklin in concert was on his bucket list. That’s rather a nice compliment to Aretha, who has made all sorts of lists in her life, including some years back taking the No. 1 position in Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100 singers of all time.

How exactly one measures the top 100 singers is not clear, but to finish first in such a manner of list-making is be acknowledged as a rare talent. Aretha is still that, 50 years after she got her start.

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He spent a life chronicling show business, so why not a show at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago for the funeral of Roger Ebert? Chicago’s great clerical showmen were on hand for the premiere. Jesse Jackson sent a message that Ebert “sought to explain America to itself,” which may well be apt if you consider America to be a vast, leisured people busy about entertaining themselves.

“Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin, of evil! Love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious! The mercy of God always triumphs!”

VATICAN CITY - As Pope Francis leads the Church through his first Holy Week, there is great interest in what he does, how he does it and what the new Pope has to say. The communications apparatus of the Holy See is essential to addressing that interest.

March 22, 2013

A pontificate begins

VATICAN CITY - Perhaps St. Francis — who wrote poetically of Brother Sun praising God — provided the weather for Pope Francis on the day of his inaugural Mass. After two weeks in Rome where the weather was wet, overcast and dreary, the sun shone brightly on St. Peter’s Square as the Holy Father began his Petrine ministry on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, patron and protector of the universal Church.

The great mission’s name is Jesus

Before we receive a new pope, it is worthwhile to consider the impact of the pontificate itself.

Last week, we looked here at the complete novelty of Pope Benedict’s abdication, clarifying that such a thing has never been done in the entire history of the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI’s renunciation of the See of Peter has occasioned much commentary about how rare a papal resignation is. Many have said that it has been 600 years or 700 years, depending on how one counts. It is more radical than that. What the Holy Father did has never been done in the history of the Church. Ever.

Prudence and wisdom from a disciplined, virtuous man

JERUSALEM - Perhaps the greatest mind to sit on the throne of Peter has judged that his body is no longer capable of doing so. Pope Benedict XVI will resign as successor of Peter on Feb. 28.