Leadership and common ground vital for reconciliation

Pope Francis has fulfilled his mission in Canada. He has apologized in Canada “to survivors, their families and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit and Metis children in Catholic-run residential schools.” That was Call to Action 58 in the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Pope did not come here within one year of the report’s release, as the call to action specifies, but he did get here, apologized sincerely several times and met with groups of survivors from the schools.

‘Awokening’ to age-old anti-Catholicism

Anti-religious violence doesn’t come out of the blue. Before it explodes, the seeds of mistrust are planted and well-tended.

Golf & the Kingdom: faith, hope, fairways

In summer 2021, I had the pleasure on the local public golf course where I play to be part of a foursome of walk-ons that included a diminutive albeit athletic 30-something Asian woman.

Art from stone that lights the heart

The Vatican Museums comprise 54 galleries of which the Sistine Chapel is undoubtedly the most famous. They exhibit more than 20,000 significant pieces of art, a mere fraction of the works in the collection of over 70,000. These include sculptures, paintings, maps and more, with the pièce de resistance being Michelangelo’s Volta della Cappella Sistina, a High Renaissance art masterpiece painted in only four years by the 33-year-old prodigy.

Exposing the evil face of MAiD

A war veteran, recovering from PTSD and a brain injury, approaches a Veteran Affairs Canada service agent to seek a treatment plan that would continue the progress he was making.

Sr. Burns rubber in her highway traffic act

I come from a family of lead-foots. I think we have black-and-white checkered genes. Nunhood made no dent in my “need for speed” heritage. So here are a few of my encounters with law enforcement on the roadways of North America. (Be it known that I’m always dressed as a nun. I don’t really have any other clothes.)

The word of the Lord is to keep believing

I teach it and I preach it, but every so often I am reminded how difficult it is to live it. I am talking about laying our expectations on others.

Bless the gifts of a beautiful mess

Mess is a theme in my life, and therefore also in my barefoot preaching. I think I return to the theme because mess challenges me so deeply. While I grew, I found relief in order, comfort in control, rest in simplicity. And I wandered into a world with a tendency toward disorder, a resistance to control and more complexity than I could have imagined. I tried and failed to eliminate the mess, and I crawled out of rock bottom (more than once) to make peace with the reality of mess.

Getting over speed bumps to live the faith

On my way to becoming a Catholic I kept hitting speed bumps. There were certain things the Church taught that I could not get my head around.

The ineradicable lightness of understanding

At a recent convocation ceremony, I closed my commencement address with a reference to one of my favourite stories: that of the famed astronomer Harlow Shapley and his discovery that Argon atoms, which make up one per cent of our atmosphere, never fade. They recirculate indefinitely.

The West should be a cardinal point

Pope Francis will lead a consistory to install new cardinals on Aug. 27. The 16 new cardinal electors, eligible to vote in the next election of a pope, come from surprising places, and many are involved with people on society’s margins. As observers note, the men this Pope has named princes of the Church often have no pretensions to royalty. They are God’s servants in the vineyard of life.