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.


We need to take action to save the world’s water

waterWorld Water Day, March 22, affords us the opportunity to stand up, speak out and act to ensure our earth’s fresh water is protected as a public trust. Water is a right for the common good of all life forms, not a commodity for buying and selling to the rich by the rich.

Service to others can bring us closer to God

This is my brand new day starting now
Letting go of the ways that I fall down
The old can be made new, the lost can be found.

Superchick, Christian band
 
There’s a wealth of contemporary Christian music being produced these days, and I tune in to it whenever I can. Often, too, I hear it wafting (or blasting) out of my daughter’s bedroom stereo. Lately these lyrics by one of her favourite bands, Skillet, have been stuck in my head: “Rebirthing now/I wanna live my life, wanna give you everything/Breathe for the first time now/I come alive somehow.” The song, “Rebirthing,” is about finding meaning and purpose in Christ and feeling fully alive as a result.

Fr. Raby’s world never got tired or old

fr_rabyLike many Register readers, I read the news of Msgr. Tom Raby’s retirement from The Little World column with sadness. Unlike most Register readers though, for me Msgr. Raby is not only a byline and a photo; he is a brother priest in the archdiocese of Kingston, an occasional advisor and confessor, and a model of priestly evangelization in the newspaper world.

What the Lord is transcends what we understand of Him

At the recent meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Washington, discussion was rife in the corridors and around the dining table on the relationship of reason and faith. The times demand it.

Debating Christian ‘fascism’

Conventional wisdom can only take you so far. Take the notion that talk is better than fighting. On the surface it seems obvious. With experience you learn that it all depends on the nature of the talk and the people doing the talking. The perfect lesson for this took place at Innis Hall at the University of Toronto on Feb. 6.