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.”

Friendship as the path to sainthood

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Have you watched the series The Chosen? If yes, then you like me have been treated to a well-produced and Biblically-faithful, yet embellished account of Our Lord’s earthly ministry. The manner in which Jonathan Roumie portrays Jesus Christ is very human and relatable without diminishing His divine nature, thereby being faithful to the Gospel. Our Lord is shown to delight in beauty. He is joyful, laughs and enjoys a good meal. And He heals and demonstrates the divine insight into people’s lives that only He has.

Words to say after Grandpa crosses the last threshold

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Since the end of January when I turned 65, I have had a part-time job serving as a sacristan at St. Joseph’s Chapel, at Holy Cross Cemetery, in Toronto.  When I first heard the word “sacristan,” I wasn’t sure what it meant.  I was told it is the person who sets up and serves during Mass. Oh, I said, like an altar boy, something I had done 55 years ago at St. Andrews Parish in Etobicoke. 

Science and faith let there be light

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It was a moment suspended in time. Shortly after 3 p.m. on April 8, complete darkness covered the land. Birdsong ceased abruptly as a cool night breeze blanketed the eerie silence.

Science told us the darkness would disperse in three to four minutes with the return of the mid-afternoon sun’s light. But some of us felt uneasy as we waited and wondered: will the light really return?

Priest lived, taught holy acceptance

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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.

Feminists must see motherhood as a gift

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On International Women’s Day, The Globe and Mail published a lengthy article about the difficulties millennial mothers face. An article released later in March also discusses “the motherhood penalty and its impact on Canadian women in the workplace.” Both are effectively summarized by this quote: “The world isn’t set up to support young mothers at work.”

Life of the spirit is habitual change

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I am about to do a new thing.

Isaiah 43: 19

When I accepted the position of President of St. Mary’s University in Calgary, I had to convince my family that it was exciting to give up our life on the beach and move to a glorious mountainous winter wonderland. I must have been convincing because they immediately agreed. But when we left Sydney, Australia, at 40 degrees, and landed in Calgary at -40 degrees, my daughter looked at me sternly: “This is child abuse!”

Leaving time for the miraculous to emerge

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More than a week has passed since Easter and there is still chocolate sitting in the Easter baskets. We are gradually learning that joy can be spread over many days in small doses, rather than trying to consume it all at once. Though the Easter baskets appear on Sunday morning, the resurrection in my life rarely arrives overnight. New life is emerging more than arriving suddenly.

Authenticity comes alive in the body of Christ

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Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Calgary recently hosted a Theology of the Body Conference at which I spoke. My assigned topic? “Authentic Femininity.” Collectively, we were going to talk more about gender ideology, but Antifa, yes Antifa, was threatening for weeks to shut the whole conference down. Inside a Catholic church. These are the times we’re living in. However, this opposition got us thinking: Why not turn away from addressing the woes of gender confusion and toward positively outlining what authentic masculinity and femininity are? To boot, we got a free police detail who put the protesters on notice that if they went into a house of worship and disrupted the goings on, they would be arrested for hate crimes.

Combining the Social Doctrine of life-giving love

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We who celebrate Easter are those who have died and risen with our Lord.

The reality of life-giving sacrificial love is at the core of our 2,000-plus year existence as the community of believers. How we are called to live this existence together has been a matter of reflection from the very beginning. The first fruits of this reflection are famously captured in Acts of the Apostles, “Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned they held in common” (4:32).

Finding the truth by seeing God’s beauty

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As we journey through our life as Christians, seeking to grow in faith and wisdom, we discover we are hard-wired as human beings that bear God’s image and likeness to seek truth, beauty and goodness. These are properties of being, of God. He reveals this to Moses in Exodus chapter 3 when Moses asks God what His name is. God tells him, “I AM WHO I AM.”