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Whose children are they?

Ontario’s hot-button issue of faith-based schools is not solely one of public vs. private education, or of religious rights vs. the secularity of the state, but rather of the right of parents to educate their own children.

Education debate feared, welcomed

And so the Ontario election is over. The Grits are returned with a majority. The Tories are licking their wounds. The NDP and Green Party observe largely from the margins.  And, of course, the issue of faith-based schools — John Tory’s killer decision — remains for another day of reckoning.

The nature of Catholic education

{mosimage}There has been in recent weeks much focus and discussion on Ontario’s strong publicly funded school system. Catholic schools are an integral part of that system, supported by 2.4 million Catholic ratepayers and the province’s three major political parties.


Our common front: end homelessness

{mosimage} Prior to the 2006 federal election, Faith Today, the magazine of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, published the response of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to a question it had put to him: “What role do you think faith should play in developing public policy, and what is the place of religious institutions in contemporary Canadian society?”

Musical abuse

{mosimage}The people in the pews are the Body of Christ, and never am I more aware of this than when I am in my parish in Cambridge, Mass. The priest censes the altar. The altar server censes the boys’ choir. He then stands before the People of God and bows his head. We bow our heads. He censes us for, like the altar and the boys’ choir, we are holy. He bows again. We bow again. There is a tremendous dignity in all this — unless, of course, you are allergic to incense and sneeze.

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John Main, an ordinary spiritual teacher

{mosimage}The 25th anniversary of the life and death of Benedictine monk John Main (1926-1982) will be celebrated at the John Main Seminar in Orford, Que., Oct. 18-21. It will bring together more than 200 speakers, teachers of spirituality, meditators and the general public from around the world to join in a three-day colloquium on the influence of this extraordinary spiritual teacher and prophet.

Notes from Newfoundland

{mosimage}Forty-six per cent of Newfoundlanders are left-handed. At least that’s what my husband’s golfing partner told him while they played the Terra Nova course.

Unexpected rewards reaped from yard sale

“We can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

The pros and cons of a proportional vote

{mosimage}Editor's note: Ontario voters face a historic election Oct. 10, but not because of the candidates before them. This year, voters will be asked in a referendum if they wish to make the most dramatic change since Confederation in how they choose provincial governments. They will be asked whether they want to retain the current system (known as the “first-past-the-post” method) or accept a form of proportional representation called the Mixed Member Proportional vote. Below we offer pro and con opinions on MMP by two Catholics with extensive experience in political activity. For more information on the referendum, access the web site www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca.

A time for spiritual renewal

{mosimage}Advertisers have recently picked up upon a theme teachers have known about for time immemorial. Labour Day is indeed the “real” New Year’s Eve. Many young people and adults make new resolutions to do better and to achieve certain goals. Others will choose a new career or again get serious with their lives. Promises in the calendar year are often linked to the new school year, revolving around our relationship with others, the community, the church and God. They often begin with the words, “This year, I am finally going to….” Well, what exactly are you promising to do?

The new Cain and Abel

{mosimage}In the bad old days, Catholics, Anglicans and Protestants in Toronto did not get along. Catholics kept to themselves, Anglicans fussed over what popish dash was allowable in church and old-style Protestants hosted Belfast-style Orange Day parades. Now Catholics marry anyone who will take them, Anglicans scooped our pretty things in the post-Vatican II sales, and there are hardly any old-style Protestants left to speak of. The Orange Day parade, strangely, remains.