New generation of leaders

In choosing his first group of new cardinals, Pope Francis indicated changes for some parts of the world, but continuity for Canada.

God will be judge

In his inimitably colourful way, Pope Francis has challenged Catholic priests to be shepherds “living with the smell of the sheep.”

Just my imagination? I don’t think so

The Christmas holidays tend to be a time to catch up on reading around our house, when the hustle and bustle is over and before we gear up to return to work or school.

History repeating

In an elegant touch, Pope Francis announced his trip to the Holy Land on Jan. 5, the precise 50th anniversary of the historic meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.

Francis, Quebec secular charter, top Catholic stories of 2013

Catholic story of 2013 was the retirement of Pope Benedict and the election of Pope Francis as his successor. During the period between those events, the media exploded with a mixture of ill-informed rants about the need for a new pope who would bring the Church “into the 21st century,” particularly on issues related to sexual morality, including same-sex marriage, contraception and abortion.

Francis’ year in rhetorical review

The dominant news story for theCatholic press in any year of apapal election is the conclave itself.Except this past year, when it wasthe cause of the conclave, namelythe utterly unprecedented papalabdication of Benedict XVI. Therehad never been a freely chosenresignation by a pope whose legitimateelection was not in dispute.Yet the abdication and conclave asthe Catholic news story of the yearwas soon overtaken by fascinationwith the new Pope, particularly hisrhetorical style.

Two very similar Popes

In its Christmas editorial, The Catholic Register reminded readers of their double reason to be joyful in 2013. For the first time in Church history, the editorial pointed out, Catholics are able to pray for not one but two legitimate popes as Christ is yet again renewed in our hearts. It’s certainly a surprising bounty worth reflecting on as the year ends. Even more, it is a gift to carry joyfully through 2014 and well beyond.

There’s nothing like Christmas traditions

Like many families, for years the Brehl Christmas centred on dad and mom corralling as many of the seven kids as possible and going to Midnight Mass at Holy Cross Church in East York.

Let us all adore Him in song

KINGSTON, ONT. - On Thursday evenings, we have a Mass and dinner for our students at Newman House, which is just across the street from the Queen’s University campus. At the end of the semester our evening Mass coincided with the Queen’s Bands practising on nearby Tindall Field. At least that is what we surmised as my homily was delivered with background music, recognizable as the repertoire of the marching band.

Open up and let God into our lives

I just can’t do it in my own. We vain humans have such difficulty admitting that.

Mandela a model of putting natural virtue to service

The death of Nelson Mandela has produced the most extravagant laudations, and his funeral rites have attracted a parade of the great and the good not seen since the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and which will not be seen again until the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. I made my own modest contribution in the National Post, praising Mandela for the virtue of magnanimity, that large-heartedness which enabled him to renounce vengeance first, and political power later.