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Canadians in arms pt 2

Entering church

Shown here about to enter Campobasso’s Holy Rosary Church are Roman Catholic personnel of three Canadian infantry units. Fresh from the Italian front, where they had been relieved by soldiers of other units, they celebrated Mass conducted by Capt. A. J. Barker of Saskatoon. Pipe Band of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, shown in the foreground, piped the men to church while applauding and cheering Italians lined the route. Frank Sheed, from The Church and I Doubleday and Company, Inc. Garden City, New York: 1974. Cardinal Hinsley never tried to rid himself of his Yorkshire burr. We ... (Continue reading)

Canadians in arms

In church

Address (in part) given by Brigadier G. P. Vanier, D.S.O., M.C. at graduation class exercises, O.T.C., Brockville. First comes faith. Faith in God and in His power to help, faith in the righteousness of our cause, faith in ourselves and in ultimate victory. The faith which moves mountains can work other miracles, and thus upset the natural order of things. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Do not misunderstand me. I do not advocate as a means to victory ... (Continue reading)

The Ballad of the White Horse

“Mother of God,” the wanderer said, “I am but a common king, Nor will I ask what saints may ask, To see a secret thing.” *** “When our last bow is broken, Queen, And our last javelin cast, Under some sad, green evening sky, Holding a ruined cross on high, Under warm westland grass to lie, Shall we come home at last?” And a voice came human but high up, Like a cottage climbed among The clouds; or a serf of hut and croft That sits by his hovel fire as oft, But hears on ... (Continue reading)

Fairy tales

Fairy tales

I deny that biology can destroy the sense of truth, which alone can even desire biology. - G. K. Chesterton, The Long Bow "Papa, tell us some fairy tales!" all the children cried in a single voice. "If you promise to be good, and not to fight, Patrick and Anna, and to pay attention, Sally, and when I’m finished to go straight to bed, especially you two, Elizabeth and Pippa.” “We will, we will,” everyone promised. “Okay, then let us begin,” their father said. ... (Continue reading)

To reject the soup

In Ireland, my ancestors were offered a devil’s bargain by the otherwise good people during the potato famine. At that time, well-intentioned but misguided folk would provide soup to starving Irishmen on the condition that they renounce their Catholic Faith. The sentiment of the Irish peasants was expressed in the song that they sang in the streets of Dublin: “Souper souper ring your bellsouper souper go to hell.” My paternal ancestors faced a similar problem only three hundred years earlier, in Lancashire, ... (Continue reading)

The Greeter


“Perhaps it was rather rude of me to turn my back, but upon my blessed word, I—I’d never heard such a thing in my life!” - G. K. Chesterton, The Conversion of an Anarchist On New Year’s Day, after Mass we were getting the coats and hats on the children, and generally getting ready to leave. I was on the edge of the pew, beside the centre aisle, where everyone was filing past on their way outside. I finished getting mittens on my ... (Continue reading)

God be with ye

I was speaking with a colleague, Fred, who is an atheist, and he told me that he preferred to use Xmas on his Christmas cards rather than Christmas. This, he said, would not give offence to people who did not accept the entire Christian association with Christmas. Never mind the obvious, that there is no Christmas without Christianity. This reaction to Xmas is a common mistake, and one that we ourselves can easily fall into. I pointed out to him ... (Continue reading)

Cough Syrup


It was coming up to Christmas and I was sitting in the living room looking at the Christmas tree, deciding whether to light a cigar to celebrate the holiday. The rest of the family was getting supper ready, and my problem was whether I had time to enjoy the cigar, or if I should wait until after supper. A pipe or cigar is not for everyone. Some people prefer to pass the time by recycling garbage; others find fulfillment in getting flu ... (Continue reading)

All twelve days

“Therefore your end is on you, Is on you and your kings, Not for a fire in Ely fen, Not that your gods are nine or ten, But because it is only Christian men Guard even heathen things. "For our God hath blessed creation, Calling it good. I know What spirit with whom you blindly band Hath blessed destruction with his hand; Yet by God’s death the stars shall stand And the small apples grow.” G. K. Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse Many of the traditions that are associated with ... (Continue reading)



“What can go wrong?” I asked, “the book says it is safe, and it shows a picture of the thing. Listen! It says right here that there are no poisonous puffballs, and this is a puffball.” We had found some puffballs in the field behind our house, large round mushrooms about the size of a fist or a bit bigger, and I insisted against my wife’s pleading that we not have them for supper. Mushrooms are funny things, and mushroom books are even funnier. ... (Continue reading)

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