Finding broken hearts can change the world

It all started with a call from a friend. “Would you be able to meet with a relative of mine who is sleeping rough on the streets and into drugs?” I said that if he was willing, I would meet with him. We arranged to meet at “Ripples of Kindness,” the outreach program run out of Sacre Coeur Parish in downtown Toronto. Little did I know that the meeting would lead me deep into the Rock ’n’ Roll scene of the ’80s and ’90s.

Christ will bridge the loneliness gap

It’s a condition that increases the risk of heart disease by 29 per cent, strokes by 32 per cent and premature death by 26 per cent. It has the same effect on the body as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. People with this condition are more likely to catch viruses, contract respiratory illnesses and develop dementia, among many other ills.

Adventures while awaiting God’s call home

I suppose I am one of the young, old. In January I will turn 65, and officially become a senior citizen.  Not long ago I spent a weekend with an old friend. During an evening of wonderful conversation he said, “you know Harry, we are in the prime of the rest of our lives.”  I thought his comment was noteworthy, so I wrote it down.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

There he stood. Alone. Vulnerable. Attired as a Prince of the Church wielding spiritual power, he was unprotected from the risks of downtown Toronto street life.

Regaining belief as relationship with God

‘I believe’

As the darkest days of the year arrive in the northern hemisphere, my heart is aching with the knowledge of just how conflicted the world is. So many people not only fail to find comfort in faith, but struggle with the concept of belief itself. There is a crisis of engagement — in service clubs and churches and political issues, just to name a few. And it begs the question, what does it mean to believe in something.

No justice in Israeli or Hamas actions

I love Israel. But I hate what it is doing in Gaza. I yearn for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Middle East. But Hamas, especially its Oct. 7 raids on Israel, is the greatest obstacle to that state becoming reality.

Get thee to Confession, Heaven awaits

Haven’t been to Confession for a while? One question: How can you stay away?!

All right, I know it can be very difficult to even find Confession offered beyond 30 to 45 minutes right before a Saturday evening Mass, or “by appointment.” But no matter what you must do, what hoops you must jump through, how many kilometres you must drive, Confession is totally worth it. You and I need frequent Confession because we are sinners. I will now try to shoot down some “excuses” for not going to Confession.

Miracles to be found in specks of dust

In Catholic tradition, November is both the last month of the faith year, and the month where we remember and celebrate all souls. We write in a book of remembrance the names of loved ones lost and light candles for them. We pray for and with those who have gone to eternity before us. The practices remind me of Ash Wednesday: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

The metaphysical comfort of conservative homelife

Does liberalism get the big questions right? The question was the subject of a Munk Debate on the evening of Nov. 3 in Toronto.

My short answer is yes. Better put, it gets more things right than competing philosophies. Capitalism, it has been said, is the worst economic system except for all the others. Liberalism is a better solution for our common lives than socialism or communism. Yet at the end of the night, the winning side of the debate were those who were opposed. How have we arrived at a point where so many appear to be questioning liberalism?

Pilgrims seeking peace register their voice

As Catholics, as people of faith, as pilgrims seeking peace, Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land is appalled by the editorial The Catholic Register printed on Oct. 19. 

All that’s left is pleading for mercy

Misericordia! I feel this word as a deep cry from my soul in response to these troubled times of unspeakable horror.

Pope Francis in addressing the National Confederation of the ‘Misericordie’ of Italy said, “This word misericordia — mercy — is a Latin word whose etymological meaning is ‘miseris cor dare,’ to ‘give the heart to the wretched,’ those in need, those who are suffering.”