Sr. Helena Burns: The good (and bad) news about hell

I love hell. Let me qualify that. Hell is a great motivator, perhaps the greatest motivator. But shouldn’t love be our greatest motivation? Certainly, but hell is a great backup when we’re feeling less than virtuous.

Peter Stockland: A timely lesson for the ages

In mid-July, my wife had the opportunity to interview a 92-year-old former opera star at her home in a village between Quebec City and Montreal.

Leah Perrault: On setting down our defences

It has been my experience that defence often follows discomfort when reconciliation is needed. In my Catholic faith tradition, the discomfort can be understood as a gift that invites us to turn back, to repent, to make right. And defensiveness is a self-protective strategy to avoid taking responsibility. Defences divert us (for now, or forever) from being in real relationships with the ones we have had conflict with.

Fr. Raymond de Souza: Fundraising efforts have symbolic impact

There are now a number of Catholic initiatives to raise money for residential school survivors and Indigenous communities. The Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan have launched a fundraising drive and there is a lay-led initiative to do the same. At least two dioceses which never operated residential schools — Calgary and Toronto — have announced that they will be raising funds.

Charles Lewis: Pope sends discouraging message

Pope Francis has sent a message to those who attend the Latin Mass. In essence he has said: We do not really want you. It is time you went away. It is time to give up your “divisive” ways.

Cathy Majtenyi: Time is ripe for reconciliation

Following more than a month of gut-wrenching developments, the winds of change are starting to blow across Canada, bringing with them fresh energy and commitment to reconciliation.

Glen Argan: Novel reveals dangers of an insular world

Some may take Michael Crummey’s brilliant 2019 novel The Innocents as a piece of nostalgia for a lost way of life in Newfoundland’s outports. But The Innocents offers insights much greater than the nostalgic pacifier Make Newfoundland Great Again. It depicts an unrelenting struggle for survival by two children left orphaned when their parents and baby sister die within a matter of months.

Fr. Raymond de Souza: The grace of penance in summer of shame

In 2018, American Catholics experienced their “summer of shame” — first the revelations about Theodore McCarrick and then the Pennsylvania grand jury report on priestly sexual abuse. Given the media reach of the United States, the shame spread around the world. Soon Pope Francis announced a global summit on sexual abuse for February 2019. From that emerged some key reforms for episcopal accountability.

Sr. Helena Burns: The sorrow of residential schools

Although I don’t feel qualified to speak to the ongoing revelations of life and death at Canada’s residential schools, I would still like to weigh in, and to express my sorrow.

Robert Kinghorn: Finding light in the gloom of shame

There are some days it is harder than others to get up the energy, and indeed the courage to make the trip downtown to the Church on the Street, and this was one of them.

Peter Stockland: Sadness and anger are long overdue

Forgive me for regarding with a somewhat dry eye my fellow Canadians’ umbrage gusting to apoplexy over the infamy of Indian Residential Schools, and Catholic blame for same.