Jesus revealed through the kindness of strangers

In 1985, Bishop James Doyle sent me to the faculty of education of the University of Toronto where I had a wide range of facilitators and assignments. My psychology professor, Dr. Kong, provided a challenging assignment that proved spiritually fulfilling and blessed my Christmas experience that year.

Grandma's gone, but Christmas memories live on

 Christmas at Grandma's — widowed as long as my kids have known her — has always been a special time. Numerous traditions are an integral part of the experience.

Immaculate Conception is still misunderstood

On Dec. 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the dogmatic bull Ineffabilis Deus. In it he stated, "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, saviour of the human race, preserved from all stain of original sin." Since then, Catholics have celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception each year on the anniversary.

We are challenged to declare our Catholic education goals

Where does Catholic education in Ontario find itself today? It truly reflects the culture.

In his book, entitled Unknown Gods: The Ongoing Story of Religion in Canada (1993), Canadian sociologist Reginald Bibby pointed out that a decline in attendance at religious services, first observed years earlier, was continuing: "beyond numerical involvement, relatively few Canadians give evidence of being profoundly influenced by any organized faith." He noted: "The Roman Catholic example, however, suggests that when religious groups have to go head-to-head with the myriad socializing influences found in Canadian culture more generally, it is extremely tough to come out the winner."

'Ask the people, Stephen'

In late June of last year,  without the benefit of social scientific evidence, adequate democratic deliberation and the normal process of judicial appeals, and with inordinate pressure put on members of Parliament by party leaders, the House of Commons passed Bill C-38.

Motherhood takes plenty of on-the-job learning

My uncle was writing a catechism and he had asked me to discuss the role of wife and mother. It was a difficult writing assignment.

This special gift keeps giving

As Christmas approaches and wish lists get finalized, one thing is certain: no one in our family will receive a bigger gift than the one Sean, the youngest member, received several years ago.

Lister Sinclair was unwilling to be held slave to simple fact

The death of Lister Sinclair on Oct. 16 marks not only the passing of a national figure of consequence but provides the occasion for some serious reflection on the role of the public intellectual in our national discourse.

Making sense of U.S. midterm elections

President George Bush The immediate result in politics isn't always the most important. Sometimes the election of a particular candidate, or the shift of a percentage of the vote one way or the other on the political spectrum is nowhere as vital as what the underlying trend indicates about the future. The midterm elections in the United States may well be an example where the clear result becomes murkier the more analysis applied and the more time unfolds.

Pastoral Letter: Democracy rests on love of God and neighbour

Aloysius Cardinal AmbrozicDear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Valueless values

I ask myself at times why I react so negatively to a word often used these days, the word "value." The reason for my negative reaction seems to lie in the fact that the talk of values strikes me as very neutral. The word admits that for someone else my value may be quite valueless. The term communicates, in fact, our acceptance that what we take as valuable may be quite meaningless in somebody else's eyes. In other words, I react negatively to the word simply because it contains a possibility of relativism and meaninglessness.

What's the future for African orphans?

The controversy over Madonna's adoption of a one-year-old Malawian orphan, David, raises important questions about adoptions of African orphans to Europe and North America. Our concern here is not the morality or legality of the adoption of baby David, even though these have some implications for his future happiness, fundamental rights, stability and cultural integration. Our concern is whether adoption of African orphans to Western countries offers any meaningful answer to the challenges that the high number of African orphans pose to African societies.