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.

VATICAN CITY - Canadians had a rather prominent role in the first week of the Synod on the Family. Two of the language- based discussion groups elected Canadians as their moderators — Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto for one of the English groups, and Cardinal Gerald Lacroix for one of the French.

African bishops fired up in defense of marriage

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The Synod on the Family begins Oct. 4 and promises to be a rather unpleasant few weeks in the life of the Church.

Philip Neri’s heritage of joy

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WOLFE ISLAND, Ont. - One of the highlights of my summer is “Seminarian Week” on Wolfe Island.

Condemned for the holy truth

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When Pope Paul VI was beatified last October, his feast day was set for Sept. 26, the date of his birth in 1897, rather than the customary date of death, Aug. 6, 1978. Blessed Paul VI died on the feast of the Transfiguration, so another day for his feast had to be found, otherwise it would never be celebrated.

Andrey Sheptytsky and the lions of Lviv

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Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) for 44 tumultuous years, has been decreed by the Vatican to be worthy of sainthood, needing only an approved miracle for him to be beatified.

A blasphemous gift

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KRAKOW, POLAND - Was the “crucifix” given to Pope Francis by Bolivian President Evo Morales — a corpus hanging on the hammer-and-sickle — blasphemous?

Politics, pastor and presidents

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When the massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., took place, I was in the United States. I heard the news from another priest who, clearly devastated by the bloodshed in the house of God, added quickly thereafter a comment about the debate over gun control. I was struck at how even such a great wickedness was seen so quickly through the prism of politics. And indeed, in the days after the massacre, the talk shifted to political debates over gun laws and the confederate flag. The pastor of Mother Emmanuel, Clementa Pickney, murdered in his own church while leading a Bible study, was also a member of the South Carolina state senate, a pastor holding political office.

Man must serve God through His creation

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The Book of Job, one of the great masterpieces of not only biblical literature, but all literature, is rarely read at Sunday Mass. Yet it was there last Sunday, a brief excerpt from the devastating speech of the Lord God to Job, who has dared to question Him: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the universe?

Ours is a religion of culture

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Two recent papal-related events highlighted that Catholicism is meant to be a religion of culture. Every culture, as St. John Paul II taught, answers the fundamental questions of life and different cultures are differentiated by their response to the mystery of God.

What a life the Lord has given us

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It’s ordination season time to praise God for the incomparable blessing of being a Catholic priest. Every so often the calendar brings together various events that remind me that the priestly life is really like no other, offering a privileged witness to the work of God’s grace in the world.

Eucharist is not an entitlement

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On the solemn feast of Corpus Christi a counterintuitive thought occurs: Are too many people receiving Holy Communion too often?