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.

Palm Sunday this year began with the fundamental question being asked in Matthew 21: “And when He entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, ‘Who is this?’ ”

Pope’s ministers of mercy

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I was a little nervous about Pope Francis’ meeting with the clergy of Rome last week. As a seminarian and a new priest, I always looked forward to Blessed John Paul’s annual Holy Thursday letter to priests. To my disappointment, Pope Benedict XVI did not continue that tradition, but replaced it with an annual encounter with the clergy of Rome in the first days of Lent. Pope Francis opted this year to continue Benedict’s practice, and so met with the parish priests of Rome last week.

Israel’s outlook must be seen through a biblical lens

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JERUSALEM - I have been to Israel more than a dozen times — as a pilgrim, leading pilgrimages, with my family, on a private retreat, for Christmas, for Holy Week, for board meetings, for the papal visit of 2009 — but never for something quite like this. I was invited to be part of the official delegation accompanying Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his visit this week to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (West Bank).

The world was present for Christ’s birth

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KINGSTON, ONT. - Local Catholic Tony Vella had an effective evangelizing idea. How to remind local schoolchildren about the birth of Jesus amid the commercial clutter of the season? The St. Paul the Apostle parishioner thought that the best way to remind children about Jesus was to show them, well, Jesus.

Sexual revolution on New York streets

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NEW YORK - Fifth Avenue is the world’s main street, a gentle stroll taking you from the Empire State Building at 34th Street to the New York public library at 42nd Street, or from FAO Schwartz, the toy store for all ages, at 59th Street, to the magnificent Frick Gallery at 71st Street. Then there is the Queen of Fifth Avenue, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which Cardinal Timothy Dolan likes to call “America’s parish church.”

Msgr. Thomas Raby, RIP

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Thomas Joseph Raby — T.J. to his closest friends, always Mgsr. Raby to me — died a few weeks shy of his 95th birthday. Msgr. Raby was born on Oct. 1, and it pleased him that his birthday was the feast of the Little Flower. It is a measure of the length of his years that when Msgr. Raby was born in 1918, St. Therese did not yet have a feast day. She was not beatified until 1923, nor canonized until 1925. Indeed, Msgr. Raby was born during the First World War.

A cathedral, California-style

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GARDEN GROVE, CALIF. - On the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the parish of St. Callistus will have a procession, but not any ordinary procession. This being California, it will be a motorcade. And the congregation won’t be coming back.

Quick action the best route

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Last week Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned as archbishop of Edinburgh just before the recent conclave upon revelations of “lewd behaviour” and “drunken fumblings,” spoke for the first time since press reports led him to absent himself from the conclave. The accusations were made by Scottish priests who reported O’Brien had made advances after excessive drinking in years past. The accusations did not involve minors.

Let the communication begin

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VATICAN CITY - As Pope Francis leads the Church through his first Holy Week, there is great interest in what he does, how he does it and what the new Pope has to say. The communications apparatus of the Holy See is essential to addressing that interest.

A pontificate begins

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VATICAN CITY - Perhaps St. Francis — who wrote poetically of Brother Sun praising God — provided the weather for Pope Francis on the day of his inaugural Mass. After two weeks in Rome where the weather was wet, overcast and dreary, the sun shone brightly on St. Peter’s Square as the Holy Father began his Petrine ministry on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, patron and protector of the universal Church.

Christ’s good news is for all

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The great mission’s name is Jesus