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Saint Agnes and the Women’s March

saint agnes

Today, the universal Church celebrates the memorial of Saint Agnes, a young Virgin Martyr, who perished by the sword under the reign of Diocletian in 304.  Her name, which sounds like the Latin noun for 'lamb' (agnus) is derived from the Greek, agnes, 'chaste, pure, sacred'. She was highly venerated, attested to by the fact that she has her own antiphons in the Office.  Contemporary accounts, preserved by Saint Ambrose, attest that the executioner was more afraid to kill her than ... (Continue reading)

Trump’s Mandate

trump inaug

Donald Trump was sworn in just before mid-day this morning, as the 45th President of the United States, launched into his new career with a prayer from Timothy Cardinal Dolan and other spiritual figures; as one article put it, the most prayer said at any inauguration, a good sign, and Trump is going to need all he can get. The America left after eight years of Obama is, to put it mildly, a fractious one, divided along many lines, with ... (Continue reading)

Conservatives, Big and Small


One can get the measure of a man not from his guarded, careful behaviour, but rather from his occasional slip-up, his less careful moments, when the 'true self' comes forth.  Such was the case in Sherbrooke, Quebec the other day, when the Prime Minister, on his largely unscripted tour, at least so the story goes, responded solely in French, to a question in English about receiving English services in officially bilingual Quebec.  The blindness of such behaviour, to the ... (Continue reading)

No Harvard Anywhere, and Other Notes


Stephen Gordon argues that it is a good thing that Canada does not have an ‘elite’ university like Harvard (and, by extension one may presume, no ‘ivy league’ universities at all).  His argument, from my brief perusal, is that everyone should benefit from a university education, since it leads to higher salaries, which is why Canada’s socialist centres of higher education all strive for the same bland socialist level:  No one excels, and, lo and behold, everyone does well! The ... (Continue reading)

The Indomitable Hilary of Poitiers

hilary of poitiers

Today is the feast of Saint Hilary of Poitiers (310-367), Bishop and Doctor of the Church, who was such a brilliant foe of the fourth century heresy that denied the divinity of Christ he is known as the Malleus Arianorum, the Hammer of the Arians. The main part of his life follows upon the Council of Nicaea in 325 which condemned the Arian heresy by declaring Christ to be homo-ousois (consubstantial), of the 'same being' as the Father. The heresy ... (Continue reading)

Marguerite Bourgeoys and What Canada May Yet Be


Today is the feast of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700), founder of the Congregation of Notre-Dame, and founder also of the first official schools in Canada.  A missionary from France, she faced difficulties in her first years in Quebec City before going to Ville-Marie (now Montreal), where she started in the first elementary school, free of charge, in an abandoned stone stable. This was in an era when every female religious was cloistered, and there were attempts to unite her new ... (Continue reading)

Of Death and Baptism

Source: CNN

Another day, yet another terrorist attack, this time in Israel, where a Palestinian, an 'ISIS sympathizer', drove a truck through a squad of Israeli soldiers, backing over his victims, before being shot to death by Israeli soldiers and a 'tour guide'.  Hmm.  Even the tour guides are armed in lsrael, which is always on edge.  But how does one guard against an enemy within one's midst, where every vehicle is a weapon of mass destruction?  Ideological and cultural borders will ... (Continue reading)

Saint John Neumann and Bishops


Today is the feast of Saint John Neumann, born in Bulgaria, but who  travelled to the United States in 1836 to seek ordination since there were ‘too many priests’ in his native country (remember those days?).  Having already completed his seminary studies, he was ordained in New York city, and, after some difficult years as a diocesan priest, joined the Redemptorists for a more complete community life. His zeal, holiness and indefatigable work amongst the streams of immigrants (Bishop Neumann ... (Continue reading)

Of 2017, and the Continuing Struggle of and with Islam

Source: The Daily Mail.

Ringing in the new year of 2017, rife with predictions from seers and others on what might happen during this 100th anniversary of the Fatima revelations, has already seen its troubling signs.  One thousand or so 'migrants' from sub-Saharan Africa tried to storm the border, rushing and fighting their way into southern Spain.  They fought with riot police with rocks and clubs, but were turned back. What happens when they return with rifles and grenade launchers?  I am not sure ... (Continue reading)

Of Holy Families, Peace and Good Will Toward Men


Today's feast of the Holy Family reminds us of the fundamental importance of this 'basic building block' of each and every society, not just Catholic ones.  Although Christian revelation and practice elevate and perfect the family unit, making it a true ecclesia domestica, a kind of domestic Church, there can be no society at all without the family even at a natural level:  Husband, wife and children. Any deviation from this ideal leads to some level of diminution in society, ... (Continue reading)

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