Articles from May, 2013

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So you want to be a radical?

How many of us walk by the kiosks where the lottery tickets are sold and just for a second imagine what it would be like to win 50 million? What would we buy? What would we give to family, church, or charity? Personally, I imagine what it would be like not to have to worry about paying the bills, and how settled it would be to have my home paid off. I’d plan elaborate vacations with the extended family and ... (Continue reading)

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Gay-Straight Alliance and the distortion of Truth

Scriptural passages are probably among the most frequently quoted—and misunderstood and misrepresented statements in the history of the Bible. Two sides of a religiously-charged debate will use scripture to drive home their point and defeat the other person. Nowhere was that more evident than at a Toronto Catholic District School Board meeting I attended a few days ago. The Board debated a Trustee motion to reject the establishment of Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in Ontario Catholic schools. GSA clubs are mandated ... (Continue reading)


In the past week, there has been a lot of rough weather. The worst of it, or at least the worst that has gotten major news coverage, seems to be the tornado in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City is certainly not a place where tornadoes are a new thing. It hasn't even been a decade since the town hit so badly this week was destroyed by another tornado. Even accounting for this familiarity, however, there is something pretty impressive in the way that ... (Continue reading)

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Who Am I?

A few weeks ago on my birthday, a bunch of friends and I got together for drinks and excess amounts of various desserts. The conversation ranged from how on earth the wine bottle chandelier was constructed (I figured it out after about an hour) (everyone else seemed to not be mystified by it at all), to my friend’s inspiring interview that day with an ex-prostitute, to clothing, to chocolate. We finally settled in on a vibrant discussion of gender identity. One ... (Continue reading)

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Our imperfect family rosary

When I was growing up, my immature self believed that the family rosary was something that had to be endured. Through no fault of my parents, the nightly ritual was anything but idyllic. My siblings and I were called into our parents' bedroom where we knelt facing the crucifix. My older brother and I would sneak jabs and pokes at each other and then my mother would scold and separate us. I would often rush through the responses hoping that ... (Continue reading)

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Abuse. Blasphemy. Communion in the hand?

"I'm heartbroken to announce that last week, we discovered a crushed consecrated Host beneath one of the kneelers," the pastor of a small yet devout Californian parish says. He pauses for a moment before he goes on, his voice choked by just indignation and sadness: "This is God, people. God." Then he drops the bomb. "I'm writing to Pope Francis to do away with the practice of Communion in the hand altogether. I believe most of the abuses and blasphemies ... (Continue reading)

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Life is a battlefield

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King Jr. In his recent homily, Pope Francis recommends an approach to evangelization that is so radical, it is sure to make all comfortable Catholics cringe. Brace yourselves: it actually involves—gasp!—talking about Religion, even if that makes us seem annoying! I know, I know. No one wants to be that Christian, the buzz kill who somehow manages to ... (Continue reading)

Necessary Magic

Several years ago, when I was working on a community theatre project, I overheard two little girls having a conversation about wishes. They were clearly friends, perhaps seven or eight years old, and the conversation began somewhere along these lines: “When you see a falling star, you have to make a wish, and it will come true.” “My granny told me never to make wishes because they don’t come true.” At the time, I was pretty sure that this was the saddest thing ... (Continue reading)

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Who tells you what to do?

My friend blogged the other day about how her boys, when allowed to have whatever they want for breakfast on their birthday, choose cereal. Not just any cereal, but the type of cereal with so much sugar it makes your toes curl. They don’t want pancakes or waffles or strawberry-flavoured milk or ice cream—nope. It’s all about the “vitamin-enriched” bits of crunchy wheat, enhanced with green marshmallows or chunks of chocolate. What’s not to love? And so it is with my ... (Continue reading)

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Honouring our mothers and fathers

He gently leads his dad down the aisle. Mass is about to begin and he knows it will take a few minutes to get him settled. The son's hand firmly grasped around dad's elbow, they continue slowly, carefully, to their favourite pew. The younger instructs the elder to hold the back of the pew in front of him and he guides his father gently down into the seat. He places the sturdy cane on the floor and then helps dad ... (Continue reading)

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