The world was present for Christ’s birth

KINGSTON, ONT. - Local Catholic Tony Vella had an effective evangelizing idea. How to remind local schoolchildren about the birth of Jesus amid the commercial clutter of the season? The St. Paul the Apostle parishioner thought that the best way to remind children about Jesus was to show them, well, Jesus.

    The good side of human nature wins

    As quickly as human nature can leave you discouraged, it can turn around and uplift you.

      New look at New World pope

      It’s been a long time since the Church has had to learn about a new pope. The shocking election of 1978 meant that Catholics the world over scrambled to discover who this Karol Wojytla from behind the Iron Curtain was. But the election of 2005 gave us a man already well-known to the world for more than a quarter century, Joseph Ratzinger. So with the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis, people are fascinated with a hitherto unknown man for the first time in more than three decades.

        Jesus embodies true sense of selflessness

        Selflessness. That most admirable quality seems to be fighting extinction in our me-first society.

          Religious voice is essential in euthanasia debate

          A few years ago I interviewed then Bloc Quebecois MP Francine LeBlanc. In 2010 she introduced a bill in Parliament to legalize euthanasia. At that time there didn’t seem a snowball’s chance in hell of it passing, but the introduction of the bill was at least a chance to talk about the issue.

            A glimpse of today’s Church

            One of the lovelier aspects of Catholic culture is the love that Catholics have for their priests. Most priests have many stories of how complete strangers have shown special warmth and affection upon seeing the Roman collar. As for one’s own portion of the flock, parish priests and chaplains know how eager Catholics are to love their priests.

              Seeing is believing

              Christmas came early to our house this year. Very early. Pre-Advent early.

                Riled up atheists show Francis is on to something

                Three atheists got me thinking about Pope Francis the other day.

                  The gift of the Lateran Basilica

                  Nov. 9 is a rather obscure feast on the liturgical calendar — the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Obscure, but most important. A year when we are praying for a new Pope is a good occasion to revisit its significance.

                    Ignatieff’s honesty sets his apart from other political memoirs

                    In his Songs of Innocence William Blake wrote: “The strongest poison ever known / Comes from Caesar’s laurel crown.”

                      Our fascination with death

                      At the heart of the liturgical year are the great feasts of Christmas and Easter, the feast of eternal life becoming earthly in a new baby, and the feast of earthly life becoming eternal in the Resurrection. The Christian calendar hangs upon the great feasts of life. Yet notwithstanding the principal feasts, the opening days of November, the month in which we pray for the dead, are a direct answer the Church gives to the mystery of death. All Saints Day celebrates those who have died and are already enjoying the life of beatitude in heaven. All Souls Day prays for those who have died and, while still being purified in purgatory, will one day be in heaven. The Church does not ask us to look away from death. To the contrary, in November she forces us to look straight at it.