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.

Debunking some of the atheistic secularists

New books bent on discrediting religious belief and practice are never in short supply. But in the last couple of years we have witnessed a mini-boom in anti-religious publishing of the classic, interesting sort — ferociously opinionated, high-minded, inclined to view Christianity as something very dangerous. The basic arguments may be rather shop-worn, but they are stated in compelling and sometimes surprising new ways.

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. 

Mired in Afghanistan

The recent deaths of eight Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan underline once again the troubling direction of Canada’s largest initiative in the global struggle against terrorism. It is not so much the fact that soldiers are dying in a military conflict that is so worrisome — though this is tragic enough — but the seemingly ad hoc management of this military venture by the Conservative government.

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.

The ‘new creation’

As the consensus develops over global warming, the Catholic Church is slowly sifting through its teachings to find wisdom that can help Christians understand their own responsibility for creation.

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.

Easter promises us that we are being renewed in Jesus

With the coming of Easter, the calls for conversion we Christians heard so often during Lent are naturally heard less. The mind of the church turns to other things: the victory of Jesus over death, the coming of His Spirit, the inauguration of the Kingdom of  God as a radical new reality in the life of humankind.

Truly risen

The documentary Lost Tomb of Jesus, for all its trumpery, posed a question that is as relevant this Easter as it was two millennia ago: Did Jesus rise from the dead? Even if the answer is self-evident to Christians, it does no harm to be able to explain it to the rest of the world in which we live.