Editorial: Good news for the Good News

How fitting that the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday should be accompanied by a trinity of good news stories about the state of our Holy Mother Church.

Verbatim: Media release on the Sacred Covenant

Media release from the Tkemlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops First Nation) and Archdiocese of Vancouver on the Sacred Covenant published April 1, 2024.

  • April 12, 2024

Priest lived, taught holy acceptance

Fr. Clair Watrin, the Basilian priest from southern Alberta who founded the ecumenical Live-In weekend retreat movement and Catholic Christian Outreach, has died at age 91. Both of those movements brought thousands of people into a deeper relationship with Jesus and His Church.

Feminists must see motherhood as a gift

On International Women’s Day, The Globe and Mail published a lengthy article about the difficulties millennial mothers face. An article released later in March also discusses “the motherhood penalty and its impact on Canadian women in the workplace.” Both are effectively summarized by this quote: “The world isn’t set up to support young mothers at work.”

Life of the spirit is habitual change

I am about to do a new thing.

Isaiah 43: 19

When I accepted the position of President of St. Mary’s University in Calgary, I had to convince my family that it was exciting to give up our life on the beach and move to a glorious mountainous winter wonderland. I must have been convincing because they immediately agreed. But when we left Sydney, Australia, at 40 degrees, and landed in Calgary at -40 degrees, my daughter looked at me sternly: “This is child abuse!”

Leaving time for the miraculous to emerge

More than a week has passed since Easter and there is still chocolate sitting in the Easter baskets. We are gradually learning that joy can be spread over many days in small doses, rather than trying to consume it all at once. Though the Easter baskets appear on Sunday morning, the resurrection in my life rarely arrives overnight. New life is emerging more than arriving suddenly.

Cash registered

Quinton Amundson’s recent cover story “Cash no longer king” made for essential reading. The driver seems a mix of technophilia, fear and alienation turbo-charged during the pandemic.

Confessions of a Catholic childhood

PROVERBS 28:13 ~“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses...”        

Confessionals: Our family called them “confession boxes.”

As a boy in the mid-1960s growing up along the Gaspé coast, I was intrigued by our Catholic church’s confession box. There were three entrances: the centre compartment for the priest to enter through an actual door, and two side compartments (one on each side of the priest’s compartment) for the penitents, but no actual doors for them. There were, however, ornate embroidered curtains covering both entrances, which deterred curious but innocuous parishioners (I mean, was the person confessing good fodder that could be passed along to a neighbour or two, or was it a lesser, venial-type, sin?). The heavy curtains also dulled sound and the penitents knew to speak in a hush audible only to the priest, and he reciprocated. The result in the pews: indistinguishable voices in English and French. 

The bearable lightness of whispering to Christ

St. Philip Neri once had a penitent confess to indulging in gossip. He advised the contrite soul to bring him a chicken, and to pluck its feathers as he walked the streets of Rome. When the man showed up with the chicken, his penance fulfilled, the great saint told him, “Now, brother, gather up all the feathers you’ve strewn about the city.”

Editorial: Living up to family obligations

In an opinion column published during Easter weekend, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan offered a message not just for the ages but for our specific moment of darkness.

A river runs through a writer’s soul

“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it,” wrote Norman Maclean in his classic novella, “A River Runs Through It.” The river “runs over the rocks of the basement of time…. Under the rocks are the words, and the words are theirs.” This leads to Maclean’s stark confession, “I am haunted by waters.”