Jesus revealed through the kindness of strangers

In 1985, Bishop James Doyle sent me to the faculty of education of the University of Toronto where I had a wide range of facilitators and assignments. My psychology professor, Dr. Kong, provided a challenging assignment that proved spiritually fulfilling and blessed my Christmas experience that year.

Grandma's gone, but Christmas memories live on

 Christmas at Grandma's — widowed as long as my kids have known her — has always been a special time. Numerous traditions are an integral part of the experience.

Immaculate Conception is still misunderstood

On Dec. 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the dogmatic bull Ineffabilis Deus. In it he stated, "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, saviour of the human race, preserved from all stain of original sin." Since then, Catholics have celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception each year on the anniversary.

The real nation

The air in Canada these days has the acrid odour of Rome burning while Nero fiddles. All the debate over whether Quebecois (presumably francophone Quebecers) constitute a "nation" provides a convenient distraction from the real challenges facing the real nation.

We are challenged to declare our Catholic education goals

Where does Catholic education in Ontario find itself today? It truly reflects the culture.

In his book, entitled Unknown Gods: The Ongoing Story of Religion in Canada (1993), Canadian sociologist Reginald Bibby pointed out that a decline in attendance at religious services, first observed years earlier, was continuing: "beyond numerical involvement, relatively few Canadians give evidence of being profoundly influenced by any organized faith." He noted: "The Roman Catholic example, however, suggests that when religious groups have to go head-to-head with the myriad socializing influences found in Canadian culture more generally, it is extremely tough to come out the winner."

Making room

A recent poll suggests that Canadians still embrace multiculturalism and religious diversity. At the same time, the survey shows that at some point newcomers must find ways to accommodate themselves to this country's deepest principles.

'Ask the people, Stephen'

In late June of last year,  without the benefit of social scientific evidence, adequate democratic deliberation and the normal process of judicial appeals, and with inordinate pressure put on members of Parliament by party leaders, the House of Commons passed Bill C-38.

Motherhood takes plenty of on-the-job learning

My uncle was writing a catechism and he had asked me to discuss the role of wife and mother. It was a difficult writing assignment.

This special gift keeps giving

As Christmas approaches and wish lists get finalized, one thing is certain: no one in our family will receive a bigger gift than the one Sean, the youngest member, received several years ago.

Lister Sinclair was unwilling to be held slave to simple fact

The death of Lister Sinclair on Oct. 16 marks not only the passing of a national figure of consequence but provides the occasion for some serious reflection on the role of the public intellectual in our national discourse.

Making sense of U.S. midterm elections

President George Bush The immediate result in politics isn't always the most important. Sometimes the election of a particular candidate, or the shift of a percentage of the vote one way or the other on the political spectrum is nowhere as vital as what the underlying trend indicates about the future. The midterm elections in the United States may well be an example where the clear result becomes murkier the more analysis applied and the more time unfolds.