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.

One of the joys of the Easter season, just concluded, is the ample readings from the Gospel of John. Indeed in the final days of the Easter season, as Pentecost approaches, the Church gives us at Holy Mass the last verses of John, culminating with the summary of the Christian life given to Peter by Jesus: “Follow me!”

It was Palestinian Week in Rome. The Holy See recognized the “State of Palestine.” The Holy Father called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace.” Two Palestinian saints were canonized. Or so it appeared in the world’s press. Not for the first time under Pope Francis, what was reported was not exactly what happened.

Pope Francis has declared a special jubilee to help the world encounter the awesome, awful and awe-filled mercy of God. The world prefers cheap grace, and thinks it can get it from the Holy Father. The world — represented recently by Raul Castro and Al Gore — will be disappointed.

WINDSOR, ONT. - Between the feast days of Canada’s newest saints, the archbishop of Quebec City argued for an authentically Canadian approach to the evangelization of native peoples that offers a model for the evangelization of culture today.

April 30, 2015

The heroes of Dachau

Seventy years ago, on April 29, 1945, the largest monastery in the world was closed by the U.S. armed forces.

Cardinal Francis George, recently retired archbishop of Chicago, died in his bed at home, as he said he would. In his latter years, the intellectual leader of the Catholic Church in the United States was famous for his bleak view of the future of religious liberty in America.

This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the election of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, a treasure for the Church in his long theological service as a scholar, his more than 20 years at the side of St. John Paul II as the chief lieutenant of the signal pontificate of our era, his eight years as perhaps the clearest and most profound papal preacher and writer of our time, and finally for the courage and humility of his abdication.

Every year during Holy Week, when the Church’s liturgy gives us an enormous amount of Scripture — two readings of the passion, good chunks of John’s Gospel for Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday, and the history of creation and salvation at the Easter Vigil — there is usually one verse or two that strikes me anew, as if I had never heard it before, or least, never in quite that way.

The drama of Holy Week is a story about a king. The crowd that welcomes Jesus on Sunday, waving their palm branches, acclaims Him: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,
the king of Israel!”

Twenty years ago, on the Feast of the Annunciation 1995, St. John Paul II published one of his signature encyclicals, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). It’s important to return to the richness of that teaching, as many who oppose the Church’s pro-life witness having been making mischief with Pope Francis’ remark that Catholics should not be obsessed with abortion.