I recently had the honour of joining a small delegation of American and Canadian Catholic university presidents on a trip to Rome. The purpose of the meeting was largely to introduce the leaders of post-secondary institutions to the many important bodies that support educational initiatives at the Vatican.

The curveball of sexual identity politics

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I went to a baseball game a few weeks ago at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The play on the field was great as the Blue Jays destroyed the Minnesota Twins 12-3. Our starting pitcher, Jose Berrios, who has been inconsistent this year, struck out 13 opposing players. For those who are not aficionados of pitching, that was a work of art.

A working class hero for the lilies of the alley

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It all started with a phone call. When the Daughters of St. Paul arrived in downtown Chicago in 1979, we were in need of a garbage pickup company. Why not continue with the company that had already been servicing our building? When the Sisters called Flood Brothers Disposal, little did they know the lifelong friendship it would kick off. Mike and Joe Flood were fervent Irish Catholics and…practical jokers. They first pretended to be atheists, but eventually came clean (pun intended) and began picking up our trash gratis, along with financially supporting our media mission.

Sifting clutter to discover grace

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Saturday morning in early June. Sunshine streaming through lilac bushes. Birds singing from underneath leaves that seem to have grown overnight. And tables full of things we hope other people will like well enough to take home. There are stories attached to the stuff. The kids keep changing their minds and sneaking things back in the house. The seeing and the sifting happen simultaneously.

Laity loses when Catholic journalism is shuttered

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The decision of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to close the domestic operations of Catholic News Service strikes at the heart of the notion of synodality which Pope Francis is encouraging through the Catholic Church. The current reflections on synodality call the members of Christ’s Body to consider the proper way for authority in the Church to be shared.

Gun freeze reduces threat to common good

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The federal government’s May 30 tabling of legislation that stops handguns from being purchased, sold, imported and traded in Canada is a very welcome move.

The complex calculus of negating racism

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We hear and read a lot about critical race theory (CRT). Most of it is raises serious concerns. The idea of CRT, as I understand it, is to teach young children that white people have always had a privileged place in society and that people of colour have paid the price for that supposed racial supremacy.

A kiss on the cheek to share grief

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It was 15 years to the day that I started the ministry of the Church on the Street, walking late each Thursday night in an area of the city described by a local newspaper as “a patch of inner-city Toronto plagued by crack addicts, drug-dealers and low-rent sex trade workers.”

Sick and tired becomes sick then saved

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“Healing” is a hot topic today. Humanity seems to feel a keen need of healing today, but are we getting to the root cause of our maladies? Are we utilizing the proper remedies? Since human beings are a composite of body and soul, we can’t talk about healing one without healing the other.

Surrendering to the eternal Pentecost

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We care. Human beings care about an enormous range of things. We are swept up with love for our families, both the families that nurtured us through our younger years and the families to whom we have given life and in whom we have invested our hopes for the future. We care about our nation, a much larger clan from which we have drawn our thought patterns, our culture with its hints of the eternal.

Open ears, close lips, to truly listen

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Listening is often referred to as an art. Reams of books have been dedicated to defining “how” to listen, and even define “types” — deep listening, full listening, critical listening, therapeutic listening etc.