Glen Argan

Glen Argan

Glen Argan, former editor of Western Catholic Reporter, writes from Edmonton. See www.glenargan.com.

My father was a frugal man who categorically rejected going into debt. He warned me against this way of life more than I can recall. When he and my mother bought their modest home in Regina in 1954, they paid cash. Dad bought used cars, again always paying up front. 

In 1972, I joined a group of students who occupied the Dean of Arts’ office at the University of Regina. Our goal was to win parity for students on all departmental committees in the Faculty of Arts. After one night of sleeping on the floor of a crowded room, I had to leave the protest. I became sick and returned home to rest and recuperate.

Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is espousing heresy. His views are heretical because he has enlisted God in a campaign of violence, declaring that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a holy war. 

The issue of a guaranteed basic minimum income (BMI) is again before the public thanks to a bill before the Senate that would implement such a national income support program. It would be too much to say that poverty is a front-burner concern. Reducing poverty is almost never a major issue for most of the population. It seems only those who suffer poverty or have experienced in the past know its debilitating effects.

The Vatican’s April 8 statement Dignitatis Infinita (Infinite Dignity) provides a welcome examination of the concept of human dignity, distinguishing proper understanding of the term from current misconceptions. The statement also addresses a litany of “some specific and grave violations” of human dignity. On the list are poverty, war, migrants, human trafficking, sexual abuse, violence against women, abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia and assisted suicide, marginalization of people with disabilities, gender theory, sex change and “digital violence.”

Fr. Clair Watrin, the Basilian priest from southern Alberta who founded the ecumenical Live-In weekend retreat movement and Catholic Christian Outreach, has died at age 91. Both of those movements brought thousands of people into a deeper relationship with Jesus and His Church.

The first I heard of Fr. Ron Rolheiser was when I was a bushy-tailed editor of the Western Catholic Reporter in Edmonton still in my 20s. An article he had written showed up in the mail one sunny day in 1982 from Belgium where he was studying, and he wanted to know if we would publish it. The subject was revirginization, a possibility that had never previously crossed my mind. Nevertheless, the brilliance of the article astonished me, and I eagerly published it as well as another article he sent.

Alexey Navalny was surely a hero. Perhaps he was also a saint. Little evidence is available to buttress the hope that he might someday be recognized as such. Navalny, the Russian dissident who died/was murdered Feb. 16, spoke little of his conversion from militant atheism to Christian Orthodoxy during his abbreviated life.

In 1949, Abbé Pierre, a young French priest, welcomed Georges Legay, a homeless man who had tried to commit suicide, into his rundown home in Paris. Instead of giving Legay housing, work and money, Abbé Pierre said, “You are totally miserable, and I have nothing to give you. So why not help me help others?”

Ash Wednesday is on the horizon. While Catholics are getting ashes on our foreheads, much of the rest of the Western world will be buying chocolates and flowers. I don’t remember Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s Day previously. Google says the last time was in 1945, a little before my time.