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Survival of Catholic education faces new challenge

{mosimage}On Oct. 10, Ontario brought a bruising provincial election campaign to a close. On Oct. 11, Ontario Catholics faced the beginning of what could be an even more wounding battle over the very existence of their publicly funded schools.

We need more joy

{mosimage}In many of his homilies and speeches since coming to Toronto, Archbishop Thomas Collins has returned time and again to the theme of joy. It is an attribute implicit to being Christian, yet it is all too rare in practice.

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?”

Nuclear justification is just plain wrong

The recent decision of North Korea to dismantle its facilities for producing nuclear weapons — if we can believe the leaders of that ruthless totalitarian state — is a faintly hopeful development in the otherwise grim recent history of nuclear proliferation.

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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What's a surplus?

{mosimage}Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in a rather indecent rush recently to turn the $14-billion federal surplus from last year into a $725-million tax cut for all Canadians. Granted, we’d all love an extra $30 or so to go shopping at the mall, but before we accept this as a fait accompli, shouldn’t we at least talk about it.

Our schools

{mosimage}In the middle of a highly emotional public debate over religious education, a new report has just been released by the Institute for Catholic Education on the current sense of how concerned Ontario Catholics feel about their publicly funded separate school system. The political context gives this report a necessary urgency.

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.

Pray for Anglican Church in crisis

It hurts to see the Anglican Communion breaking up over the issues of openly gay clergy and same-sex unions.