Articles from November, 2013

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The ghost

The ghost

“This way,” he said; “mind the steps by the staircase. This house is more crooked and old-fashioned than you would think from its snobbish exterior. There are quite a lot of odd corners in the place really.” - G. K. Chesterton, The Club of Queer Trades When we bought our old farm house many years ago, my wife was expecting. The family we purchased the house from were descendants of the original homesteaders who had come from the Isle of Wight in ... (Continue reading)

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre

Dear Brothers and Sisters, You are gathered in Rome for the Order’s World Consultation which takes place every five years to reflect on the situation of the Catholic Community in the Holy Land, to evaluate the achievements and determine directives for the future. At the same time the International Pilgrimage is taking place with more than 2,000 participants. I thank you for coming and wish to express my appreciation and my encouragement for the initiatives of solidarity that the Order fosters ... (Continue reading)

My beads

Born either in 1834 in Limerick, Ireland or Norfolk, Virginia, Fr. Ryan was described by a contemporary as having “an open, manly character.” He was a vigorously patriotic southerner, dedicated to defending Our Lady’s honour in all he did. After the defeat of the South, he generously wrote a poem on the peace following the re-unification of the Untied States. SWEET, blessed beads! I would not part With one of you for richest gem That gleams in kingly diadem; Ye know the ... (Continue reading)

Padre’s corner

Padre's corner “These is so much bad in the best of us, And so much good in the worst of us, That it hardly behooves any of us To speak ill of the rest of us.” This old saying contains a great deal of wholesome truth and advice. There is no greater and more general tendency on the part of human beings than to set oneself up as an infallible judge of other people. The criterion or standard measure by which we compare ... (Continue reading)

Successor to St. Peter

It’s been a challenging few weeks for serious Catholics. By “challenging” I suppose I mean difficult, and by “serious” I mean those who live rather than edit their Catholicism. So much has already been written about the pope’s extensive interview that I am not going to re-address the details here. The tragedy was that the New York Times, rather than the Bishops and the Church, had the first opportunity to distill and interpret what the Holy Father said, which is rather like ... (Continue reading)

Wood heat

Wood heat

Heating a house with skids has always seemed like a good idea to me, since these are free for the asking at almost every lumber yard or warehouse. Often they are made from some poor grade of maple or oak, but I once built a crib out of mahogany from a skid that had held bags of cement. A few (more than a few?) years ago, a friend of mine was in a similar position to exercise thrift. Allan and his ... (Continue reading)

The Day of Confraternities and Popular Piety

In the Gospel we heard a passage from the farewell discourses of Jesus, as related by the evangelist John in the context of the Last Supper. Jesus entrusts his last thoughts, as a spiritual testament, to the apostles before he leaves them. Today’s text makes it clear that Christian faith is completely centred on the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ... When Benedict XVI spoke to you, he used this expression: evangelical spirit. Dear confraternities, the ... (Continue reading)

Song (To C. L.)

From collected poems, 1911 Song (To C. L.) The corn is garnered, the swallows fly, The leaves fall soft on their wintry bed. There was a dream in the summer sky, And song, as soft as a rose’s sigh. Why should I linger? the dream has fled. The song is silent, the rose is dead, The ghost of the rose is in the air, The dead song speaks in the moaning sea; After the dream is the long despair. The endless dusk and the unheard prayer; “O Death come quickly and set ... (Continue reading)

The Path to Rome

From the preface to The Path to Rome, 1902 I said, “I will start from the place where I served in arms for my sins; I will walk all the way and take advantage of no wheeled thing; I will sleep rough and cover thirty miles a day, and I will hear Mass every morning; and I will be present at high Mass in St. Peter’s on the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.” Then I went out of the church ... (Continue reading)

Rebuilding Catholic culture

This summer, Saskatoon hosted the first ever Rebuilding Catholic Culture Conference on 19 and 20 July. Keynote speakers were Catholic biographer Joseph Pearce and Saskatoon’s own Dr. Ryan Topping—from whose recent book, Rebuilding Catholic Culture (Sophia 2012), the event took its name. The event was the fruit of an entirely grassroots effort. Along with a few friends, one Saskatoon family—the Sidloskis—wished to offer to the local Christian community a weekend of fruitful learning and immersion in the riches of Catholic culture. ... (Continue reading)

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