Reading the lives of the saints to learn about the saints is short changing yourself. Whatever glimpse of a saint may peek through the frequently dull, awkward and even inscrutable prose of a typical hagiography is mostly valuable for what it teaches us about ourselves.

MAiD to measure culture of death

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There is perhaps no more apt word to describe the grim advance of euthanasia legislation in Canada than that of juggernaut. The word derives from the Sanskrit, Jagannātha, and translates as Lord of the world, and is one of the titles used for Krishna, a Hindu god. 

Reputations ruined over residential school graves

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Publicity about the residential schools has focused on the presence of graves on the grounds of or near those schools. Questions are raised about whether the objects identified by ground-penetrating radar actually represent bodies. If we suppose these are indeed graves, what can we conclude regarding what happened in residential schools? 

Power failure an outlet for truth goodness, beauty

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It may seem strange that a prolonged power outage has caused me to reflect on truth, goodness and beauty. (And whether my computer battery will die before I hit save. I digress.) Most of us have a stronger emphasis in one direction — either truth, or goodness, or beauty. But we need, if not down to the per cent, a third of each for our society to remain civil.  

When does voting become an act of love?

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When is a vote an act of love? This is an important question for Ontario Catholics voting on June 2, called by Christ to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12) .

Counting every blessing that God bestows

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In mid-December, my doctor confirmed I had cancer. I was told I’d require surgery. Major surgery! ASAP! Not the sort of thing one wants to hear just before Christmas. Not with a pandemic raging. In the weeks that followed I underwent umpteen tests to determine how and when the Beast would be tackled. 

Cardinal Zen a martyr for democratic, Catholic ideal

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I’ve spoken to Cardinal Joseph Zen a couple of times. He’s a difficult interview — hard headed, spoiling for a fight and rather in love with his own opinions.

Military chaplaincy report assaults core of spiritual life

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Catholics need to be informed about the recent report of the Minister’s Advisory Panel on Systemic Racism and Discrimination. They also need encouragement to speak out, especially those with any relationship to the Canadian Armed Forces. 

Lest we forget: Chaplains aren’t social workers

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This year, within 24 hours, our family will watch our eldest son wed his long-time girlfriend, and another son receive his commission as an Officer of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The former will marry at our parish church where bride and groom first met. The latter, after receiving his commissioning scroll, will pass through the Memorial Arch at the Royal Military College (RMC), Kingston.

Filling daycares and emptying neighbourhoods

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With all 10 provinces and three territories newly signed on to the federal system of early learning and child care, there have been a spate of better-late-than-never articles about how this program won’t work as advertised. In short, parents aren’t going to get the deal they were promised.

Catholics can’t just leave politics to others

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Politics is in the air — power-sharing deals in Ottawa, a federal Conservative leadership campaign and a provincial election campaign in Ontario that is sure to garner national attention.