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 exciting aspects of Pope Francis’ pontificate is how he is making fresh the profound teaching of his predecessors. For example, the Holy Father insists that “missionary discipleship” is the Church’s fundamental identity and it forms the heart of his preaching. The Church exists to make disciples who are eager then to share their faith in Jesus with others. If the Church forgets this and turns inward, neglecting her missionary dimension, she becomes less of who she should be. 

WINDSOR, ONT. - Last week I wrote about the impressive evangelical energy of young Chinese Catholics and how encouraging it was to be with them. Not two days later I was confronted with the grim reality of ecclesial life in Canada — the pockets of vitality are just that, pockets. 

ARDEN, ONT. - Acronym wise, it’s a mouthful — ECCCLC. So participants call it “GT” instead, which stands for Ga Tong, which gives you a sense of who is involved. 

August 28, 2014

Just War and Iraq

Should Christians be pleased that the expansion of the “Islamic State” in Iraq has apparently been slowed? Should they be pleased that this was the result of American air strikes? 

Fr. Raymond Gravel died on the feast of St. Clare and was buried on Assumption day with great laudations from Quebec’s political class. The flag at Montreal city hall was lowered to half-mast by order of the mayor, and former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe spoke at the funeral Mass. 

How should malfeasant bishops be held accountable on matters of sexual abuse? Pope Francis, in his meeting with victims of clerical sexual abuse this week, committed the Church to punishing bishops who have been negligent in removing from ministry abusive priests.

Meetings for the federal Liberal nomination in Cardigan, P.E.I., are not usually newsworthy. For more than 25 years, the candidate has been Laurence MacAulay, who has won the riding every election since 1988. Now the longest-serving MP in the history of Prince Edward Island, and the second-longest serving MP in Ottawa, MacAulay’s nominations are rather pro forma affairs. 

The feast of Corpus Christi brings out some of the Church’s most treasured hymns — “Pange lingua,” “Adoro te devote,” “Panis angelicus.” My favourite eucharistic hymn is “Ave verum corpus.” Hymns, like popular songs, can bring back strong memories of the circumstances in which they were heard. The “Ave verum” brings back a beautiful memory for me, suitable to share with readers on Corpus Christi this year. The sacred song links together our new saint and an old scholar, both very influential in my life. 

Last week I wrote about ordination of a friend for the Archdiocese of Kingston. Priestly ordinations are joyful occasions. They are not as common as they should be, but they are not rare. This coming Saturday something truly rare will be celebrated when Msgr. Vincent Foy will celebrate the 75th anniversary of his priestly ordination, which took place on June 3, 1939. 

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau interrupted the first long weekend of the summer to issue a “personal reflection” on his decree, announced on May 7, that pro-life candidates would be barred from contesting Liberal Party nominations.