Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA.  Twitter: @srhelenaburns

By now, my corduroy Levis were covered with snow from wiping out, and the snow was turning to ice against my skin. My brother looked truly sorry for my misery.

The hard part was sitting down properly on the T-bar ski lift, or rather not sitting down. If you sat down, the whole vertical pipe would swoop forward violently and dump you on your back in the middle of the track for the skier behind you to pierce you with their long skis. The object of the T-bar was to brace your knees in a slight crouching position, hang on to the pipe with your hands, and let the seat drag you to the upper altitudes by the back of your thighs. Whoever designed this lift deserved a sadistic engineer of the year award.

One winter when I was 13 and my brother was 14, we took a family trip to New Hampshire. To ski. Because my brother really wanted to. He promised he would teach me how to ski. My elderly dad, an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast, had never, however, in his long life, skied, and was wary of its potential dangers involving bone protrusions and close encounters with trees. He agreed to take us despite.

In the recent flurry of jarring communiqués from the Vatican, a rather important instruction may have been missed by most. Within it, one key sentence may also have been overlooked. It’s the December instruction from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on the proper handling of the ashes of the deceased following cremation of a baptized Catholic Christian.

In a recent meeting in Rome with the International Theological Commission, Pope Francis spoke in an impromptu fashion, stating that “one of the great sins we have witnessed is ‘masculinizing’ of the Church... The Church is woman, and if we cannot understand what a woman is… we will never understand the Church... This is the job I ask of you, please: demasculinize the Church.”

You might be a Modernist and not even know it. I was. Well, a quasi-Modernist at least. I’m talking here about the official heresy of Modernism, not the cultural and artistic movement. There is also the “Modern Era” (lasting roughly from 1500 to 1945). We are in the Postmodern or Post-Postmodern Era now, philosophically speaking.

Haven’t been to Confession for a while? One question: How can you stay away?!

All right, I know it can be very difficult to even find Confession offered beyond 30 to 45 minutes right before a Saturday evening Mass, or “by appointment.” But no matter what you must do, what hoops you must jump through, how many kilometres you must drive, Confession is totally worth it. You and I need frequent Confession because we are sinners. I will now try to shoot down some “excuses” for not going to Confession.

There was much buzz at the recent Synod on Synodality in Rome regarding the possibility of women deacons. In the New Testament, St. Paul refers to a woman named Phoebe as a “servant” or “deacon,” and “patron of many” (Romans 16:1-2), and it seems that at one time in the early Church, women had designated roles of service that no longer exist in the same form today.

Have you been hearing news from the ongoing Synod on Synodality in Rome about proposals such as women deacons and ordaining women to the priesthood? As a former radical feminist who believed that women could and should be ordained to the priesthood, allow me to respond.

On an ordinary weekday, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, tens of thousands of ordinary Canadians took to the streets of our major cities and sleepy towns to protest the extraordinary promotion of gender ideology to children and youth in our schools. They called it “The 1 Million March 4 Children.” Seemingly out of nowhere, passionate parents, concerned citizens and fed-up youth took to the streets to peacefully protest the deluge, the unrelenting onslaught of often explicit and graphic LGBTQ+ issues being highlighted in cross-curricular fashion from pre-K through to high school graduation.