It’s that time of year again. The last Sunday of the liturgical year is a great and glorious day. It used to be known simply as “The Feast of Christ the King,” but has now been expanded to “The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.” Yes, please! 

Welcome a smaller Church of intense belief

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The Catholic Church is in decline. That’s the takeaway from a Statistics Canada report released in October. It found that in the past 10 years the number of Catholics in Canada declined by two million souls. It seems straightforward enough, but I’m not sure what it means.  

Christ answers our historic kairos moment

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People in the modern Western world are often shocked when they read Plato’s Republic and see the great philosopher criticizing democracy as one of the lowest forms of governing society. For Plato, democracy and tyranny (the lowest form) are as one with the tyrant merely the most self-centred type of ruler. 

Squeaking into Purgatory means Heaven must wait

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As November is the month of Holy Souls, containing both the feasts of All Saints and All Souls — let’s continuously pray for all our beloved deceased. Why? Because there’s this thing called Purgatory, and you really don’t want to go there. Aim higher. 

Education for plunging into turbulent waters

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If a change is as good as a holiday, then I have been on vacation lately, big time. After deciding to retire as president of a university, I found myself called back to the role in a different city and context. Not as big a change as when I left Australia to return to Canada, but still different.

Starting to feel Francis is including me out

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My inclination is to defend whoever is our pope. I say this for several reasons. For one a pope is Christ’s shadow on Earth. I also believe popes are chosen by men influenced by the Holy Spirit. Lastly, I’m a convert. The idea of criticizing a pope seems presumptuous for someone relatively new to the faith.

The surprising simplicity of meaning the world

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Presence has been swirling around me, chasing me in the fall wind, working its way through my hair. I taste it in time with friends, in singing in a choir, and in the longing to run away from what is hard.

Prudence gives rise to virtuous leadership

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The world today has numerous crises — climate change, pandemic, growing discrepancies of power and wealth, the nuclear threat and war, not only in Ukraine but wars in places that go underreported. Perhaps the greatest crisis is the lack of leadership capable of dealing with these substantive crises.

Expanding the work of Church on the Street

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I have often prayed for others to join the ministry of “The Church on the Street.” However, even though many have come to look and see, none has chosen to follow. My offer of “franchises available” has failed to convince. Unfortunately, the front-page news this week of two murders in the area dampened any enthusiasm there might have been.

Get over ourselves and get with God’s program

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The best sermon I ever heard was delivered by Fr. Philip Merdinger, the founder of the Brotherhood of Hope, a religious community dedicated to campus ministry. Father preached a retreat for us Daughters of St. Paul, and the gist of his sermon was: “You are not the most important thing in the world. God is.”

Division by ‘ism’

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As a child, I was fishing off a wooden dock at the small lake near the town in B.C. where I grew up when a farmer from Saskatchewan and his son appeared  as if out of a dream I didn’t know I was having.