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Conscience next victim of liberal agenda

{mosimage}A pro-life doctor friend recently told me that if things get really bad here in terms of religious freedom, he’ll move to the United States. Not so fast: his dream escape is dissipating before his eyes.

Parish youth ministry needs to be a priority

{mosimage}My two daughters spent a week at camp this summer — in the mountains of northeast Georgia. That’s a long way to travel, I know, 990 kilometres to be exact. But it’s an experience they couldn’t get around here, at least not to my knowledge.

The camp, Covecrest, is operated by Life Teen, a non-profit, Eucharist-centred Catholic ministry focused on leading teens into a closer relationship with Christ. Originally a single-parish program in Arizona, Life Teen can now be found in more than a dozen countries.

You’ll always be baby to me

{mosimage}There was a crib set up at my church. It wasn’t someone’s version of a crying room and it wasn’t going to replace the manger. This crib was meant to encourage donations for an organization that assists unwed mothers and their babies. People were encouraged to bring baby clothes, diapers and baby food.

I was excited about shopping for baby items. I had seen an ad for the cutest little sleeper sets and chattered away about my shopping plans to my husband as we drove away after Mass. “Why wouldn’t you just give money?” asked my husband the accountant, “and then you could get a tax receipt.”

Church is also where laity are

In much of the news coverage relating to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States last spring, it was noted that he “bonded” with the American people, even though some had expected to feel negative towards him.

Religion, morality have a place in public debate

The British House of Commons was supposed to once again wrestle this summer with the Human Embryology Bill, a piece of legislation ostensibly designed to bring the legal framework of Britain into line with the realities of genetics research. But Prime Minister Gordon Brown has decided to once again postpone the end state of the debate.

Humanae Vitae: 40 years on

Editor's note: Below are two commentaries on the meaning of Pope Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which was released 40 years ago this summer, on July 25, 1968. The encyclical, which reaffirmed traditional Catholic teaching against the use of artificial contraception, has long been considered a watershed document in the history of the post Vatican II Catholic Church.

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Jesuit novelist mines Africa's joy and anguish

A fine novelist can capture in fiction what objective documentary evidence is unable to realize. No matter how detailed, objective and scientific a study of a human calamity like the Holocaust can be — and there are many human-generated catastrophes to choose from in our carnage-loving time — the capacity to evoke true horror as well as the power of the human spirit to survive is only approximated by historical analyses. Art invariably succeeds where analysis fails. And it need not be in words.  Think of the haunting works of the Polish composer Henryk Gorecki.

It's OK to use taxes for social goals

{mosimage}Canadians are evenly divided on Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s plan to use the tax system to reduce Canada’s disproportionate contribution to global warming.

When the Liberal carbon tax and its purpose was described to them by pollsters at Harris/Decima, 47 per cent of Canadians said they support the concept versus 39 per cent who were opposed.

Trials and tribulations of a soccer dad

{mosimage}Prior to our daughters’ soccer tournament in New York state last weekend, my husband tried to interest other parents in carpooling. He volunteered to drive the two-and-a-half hours each way, but forewarned that our minivan’s air conditioning wasn’t working.

We serve the church best with honesty

On the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul I found myself attending Mass at a church in Toronto whose current pastor is an old friend. We had lunch afterwards and talked about the state of the church but nothing that emerged from that discussion matched the perspicacity of his morning homily.

This summer, remember to care for creation

The current warm, sunny weather invites us to spend as much time as possible outdoors, taking in nature with all of our senses.

Families typically enjoy activities such as gardening, visiting local parks, going to the beach, attending sporting events, picnicking, hiking, cycling, attending outdoor concerts and festivals, stargazing and vacationing in the woods or by the water. We also enjoy the many fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables available locally, some perhaps from our own garden.