Junior’s Great Adventure, or when Harry left home

My oldest son, Harry Jr., recently decided it was time to leave home. Last June he had graduated from high school and had chosen to take a year off before starting postsecondary education. The months since have been somewhat tumultuous, but nothing too extreme.

Charles Taylor matters

Maybe it’s a trifle unCanadian, but let’s give a cheer of national pride on May 2 when Charles Taylor arrives at Buckingham Palace to attend a private ceremony with the Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince Consort will formally bestow the 2007 Templeton Prize for Progress or Discoveries in Spiritual Realties on Professor Taylor.

A matter of life and breath

Do you know what it’s like not to be able to breathe effortlessly? Do you have a loved one who has respiratory problems? Polluted air contributes to these serious problems. We can live without food and water for a period of time but we cannot live without air.

Take your run at religion, but let’s be fair about it

It must seem to most Christians as if attacks on the integrity of their faith — as opposed to bona fide studies, queries and investigations — have become de rigeur. After all, just a cursory glance at the weekly bestseller lists will confirm the suspicions of the besieged that it is an open field when it comes to excoriating religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular.

90 minutes I just can’t forget

The summer before my last year of theology studies, I spent seven weeks in East Africa involved in various ministries related to HIV/AIDS outreach. One of the outreaches consisted in accompanying social workers from a Catholic hospital in Kampala on home visits to check on patients who had begun anti-retroviral drug regimens (ARVs). This is how I came to know Katana Stella. 

Reflections on the passing of John Billings, a gentle giant

The passing of Dr. John J. Billings on April 1 at 89 years of age will elicit, throughout the world, two kinds of responses. The first will concern his illustrious career as a medical doctor, researcher, founder and teacher of the Billings Ovulation Method. His work in developing and promulgating this method of natural family planning was recognized by Pope Paul VI in 1969 with a papal knighthood and earned an additional star by Pope John Paul II in 2003 for his 50 years of work in this field.

The situation of refugees and displaced persons in Iraq

Editor’s note: The following is a joint statement submitted to the fourth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva by Dominicans for Justice and Peace (Order of Preachers), Dominican Leadership Conference, Pax Christi International, Congregations of St. Joseph and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and five non-governmental organizations in special consultative status.

Dominicans for Justice and Peace (Order of Preachers), Dominican Leadership Conference, Pax Christi International, Congregations of St. Joseph and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas express their deep concern for refugees and internally displaced people of Iraq. An estimated 100,000 Iraqis leave their country each month, including many of Iraq’s best educated professionals. Approximately two million Iraqis have fled since the 2003 invasion and about 1.8 million Iraqis are internally displaced.

Some good out of past evil

As Britain remembers the 200th anniversary of the legislation abolishing the slave trade this year, calls for reparation have gone forth from Africans on both sides of the Atlantic.

We need to act to end poverty and social exclusion

What could we accomplish if Canada made a real effort to significantly reduce poverty in our country? Societies can reduce the rate of poverty and the depth of poverty. The key rests in the political commitment to develop an integrated and comprehensive action plan to combat poverty.

Don’t miss the opportunities ‘under your nose’

“Sometimes we overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones.”  Unknown

The recent March break was a low-key one for our family — very unstructured for a change.

Ontario needs to tackle poverty

Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from a brief presented to the Ontario Legislature’s standing committee on finance and economic affairs last month by Catholic Charities. The next provincial budget is expected to be revealed March 22.

There is a crisis that continues to grow in our midst. It is one that affects the poor and marginalized and the most vulnerable in our society.