Seeing the blessings

A story that a hospital chaplain once shared spoke to me deeply. Here’s what she said:

“When I met Bibi, a staff worker at St. Blaise retirement home, she expressed concern for the welfare of Doug. He suffers from a degenerative disease and had just returned from hospital after surgery to correct bleeding on the brain. Doug was unable to get out of bed and unable to speak clearly. I could not help with his physical needs and he seemed distressed by my presence. I was told he disliked strangers so I stood in the corridor and observed as two staff members attended to him. Then I moved to an office where two other staff members shared some information about the man they had come to know.

“They told me Doug had been falling frequently before his hospitalization and they were frustrated at the slow process of finding a placement for him in a long-term care facility. They expressed sadness for the man they had known and cared for and who was now in a very difficult situation. They expressed helplessness because they could no longer care for him and voiced uncertainty about what could be done in the face of the latest crisis...

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May 19, 2013 issue

Exclusive articles, video, audio and photo galleries in the Catholic Register: Digital Edition for our May 19th, 2013 issue:

Some ecumenical convergence on Mary

Mary is often considered to be a major stumbling block on the road to Christian unity in terms of doctrine and devotion, but that is less and less the case. Today Mary is appearing more frequently in Anglican and Protestant liturgical hymns and calendars and her image is hanging on their church walls.

Even priests should take heat when they crash and burn

It was just a year ago that the latest media priest crashed and burned. Fr. Thomas Williams, a priest of the Legionaries of Christ and a well-known writer and television commentator, acknowledged in May 2012 that he had fathered a son many years ago. He took a leave of his public ministry. The Legionaries have now announced that Fr. Williams has asked to leave religious life and the priestly ministry, petitioning the Holy Father for permission to do so.

The United States sticks to its guns

Earlier this year the topic of gun control was brought up in this space, citing how that issue underlines perhaps the biggest cultural difference between Canadians and our neighbours to the south.

May 12, 2013 issue

 

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It defies logic

At a recent debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide, the proponent for medicalized killing was making the predictable argument on the grounds of personal autonomy.

We must assure the survival of Christianity in the lands of its birth

Last time I was in Amman, Jordan I met a lovely 12-year-old Christian girl with a beautiful smile. Her father used to be a taxi driver in Baghdad — until a gang of criminals or jihadists or both threatened his life and his family if he didn’t leave Iraq immediately.

Rolling the dice on an ‘illusion’

The debate on whether Toronto should have a casino has generated a lively range of opinion, both pro and con. People I have discussed it with have a mixed reaction. There’s a sense that all those new jobs would be good and an occasional visit to the a casino might be fun, but there are serious concerns about what government-sponsored, high-stakes gambling could mean for families and for people with addiction problems.

Social media dialogue should be respectful

The father of a large family passed away recently. During his last days, family members rushed home to see him, but two brothers couldn’t make it.

Quick action the best route

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.