Terry McDermott

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How Humanae Vitae shaped 30 years of marriage

wedding rings

The week of 19-25 July 2015 is designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. In their statement, the Bishops encourage us to "celebrate and reverence God's vision of human sexuality." The week ends on the 47th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's prophetic encyclical Humane Vitae, which "articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood" (USCCB.org). Although the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has not announced a similar recognition of ... (Continue reading)

Faith of our Fathers: Church Militant


Frederick William Faber was a theologian, poet, writer, and priest who lived in Victorian England. The son of a Calvinist minister, he was born in Yorkshire, England on 28 June 1814. After serving two years as an ordained minister in the Church of England, he converted to the Roman Catholic Church. With Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, he founded the Oratory in London. While Newman went on to establish the Birmingham Oratory, Fr. Faber remained in London. For his prodigious work, ... (Continue reading)

The Mass as Spectacle


The visiting priest came with members of his Order and a few singers. They were there to raise money and awareness for their charity and in so doing, they turned Holy Mass into a spectacle. Shouts of “Amen!” and “Alleluia!” filled the air as people enthusiastically waved their arms, prompted by the visiting priest. The musical performance (because that’s exactly what it was) was better suited to a rollicking concert venue than Holy Mass. The parishioners clapped to the upbeat rhythm, ... (Continue reading)

Charlie Charlie: A wake-up call for sobriety

St. Michael the Archangel

When I was a teenager in the early seventies, an older cousin introduced me to the Ouija Board. At first, I thought we were just playing a harmless game. Amidst giggles and whispers we would ask silly questions: Does the cute boy like me? Will I have lots of money? While we lightly placed our hands on the planchette, it would answer our questions by pointing to letters of the alphabet or sliding over "yes" or "no." Initially, there was ... (Continue reading)

Book review: Why Be Afraid?


Why Be Afraid? A Retreat by Douglas McManaman Justin Press ISBN: 978-0-9917996-6-4 102 pages, softcover $12.95 CDN Deacon Douglas McManaman is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Toronto, ministering especially to those who suffer from mental illness. A high school teacher for twenty-five years, he teaches Religion and Philosophy to senior high school students and is currently the chaplain for the Toronto Catholic Teachers Guild. Why Be Afraid? is based on a retreat he gave. I bought this book for one of my university-aged sons who is ... (Continue reading)

St. Gianna: The modern woman’s saint

St. Gianna Beretta Molla a Woman's Life

It is said that God gives us the saints we need for our time. Saints who, by their lives rooted in self-surrendering, self-sacrificing love, show us how to conquer the darkness of the world in which we live and rise to their ranks. In our time, when so many women continue to reject authentic femininity as ordained by God, He has given us St. Gianna Beretta Molla. 16 May 2015 marks the eleventh anniversary of St. Gianna's canonization by Pope St. John ... (Continue reading)

The month of May and the Act of Total Consecration

Preparation for Total consecration to Jesus Christ Through Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort

"I'd like to renew my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary," I explained to my spiritual director. "I feel that something in my life needs to change." It has been about one year since I first prayed the thirty days of preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. In that year, life has been very busy. With a large family that is my first priority, a full-time career, parish volunteer commitments, and writing, my days are full. And while ... (Continue reading)

Palliative care from a Catholic moral perspective


On 6 February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down the ban on physician-assisted suicide stating, “The prohibition on physician-assisted suicide infringes on the right to life, liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” The Federal Parliament has one year to draft new legislation that allows consenting adults who are enduring physical or mental suffering to request medical aid in ending their lives. Their medical condition ... (Continue reading)

The promise of the Paschal candle


At the beginning of the Easter Vigil, when the congregation is engulfed in darkness, the entrance of a single source of light from the Paschal candle signifies hope, salvation, resurrection. It is the light that we follow into the darkened church, the only light that illuminates our way. As the gentle flame draws us in, we are reminded that our Saviour, through His death and resurrection, has set aflame our new life within Him and He is the light that ... (Continue reading)

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Works without faith


In the March 2015 issue of Catholic Insight, a letter to the editor opines that “many Catholics tend to treat Sunday Mass and receiving Communion as the principal, and sometimes only action required of them.” The letter writer sees Holy Mass as “only a start to our following His teaching.” He believes that once we leave the church after Sunday Mass, many of us are “oblivious to the rest of Christ’s teaching, which is centred on love of your neighbour.” ... (Continue reading)

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