A few weeks back, I attended a funeral Mass about a half hour from my home. With the priest’s comforting words and the heavy smell of incense still commandeering our senses, the congregation filed out and into the nearby church hall for sandwiches, tea and a story or two about Sandy, the deceased. The elderly man, from all accounts that flowed from inside the church and out, was a kind, gentle soul who put family and God above all else.

Pope’s Holy Land visit not your ordinary pilgrimage

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The “principle purpose” of the May 24-26 visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land is not a conventional pilgrimage, as conducted by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I.

Business as usual in Catholic schools

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Jesse Jackson once said, “Text without context is pretext.” His comment applies to the recent discussions around an Ontario Divisional Court decision that clearly is pretext taken out of any contextual understanding.

Our acts of mercy show our allegiance to Jesus

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When the disciples questioned Jesus about the end of the world (Matthew c. 4), Jesus described signs and portents, and then related what has since become known as the last judgment. The people of Earth are assembled and the King renders a verdict based on each person’s conduct: “I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.”

In our churches, Jesus takes precedence

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It’s sad to think of a church in ruins.

Land and Sea, the entertaining CBC television documentary show that chronicles the joys and struggles of Atlantic Canadians, recently had an interesting feature on churches in the region that have fallen into disrepair.

Basilica hits the spot for Lenten renewal

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Cradle Catholics sometimes miss the wonder of the universality of their Church: universality in two senses — the “here comes everybody” that overpowers the new convert, and the geographic universality of the Church being everywhere in the world so no one is ever without a home.

Child-like faith makes it crystal clear

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So many questions, so few answers. That’s often where we find ourselves as Catholics and as people.

The what, how and why of Catholic education

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Have you ever noticed that the lineup for Apple products always seems to be the longest in the mall? Certain products have a strong brand loyalty. It is similar with Catholic education.

Hospitality of the heart brings God closer

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They’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Catholic schools are winners in the education game

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Next to hockey, education seems to dominate the Canadian media. And just like hockey, education is reported as a sport. Winners and losers, weaknesses and strengths, who should stay, who should be traded, who’s not contributing to the team, who’s first and who’s last.

Faith’s message is too often lost

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It was the night before Christmas and all through the church, many creatures were stirring . . . especially the restless children.