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Showing posts from July, 2010

Taking the summer to reflect upon the beauty of the Mass

The Roman Catholic celebration of the Eucharist is at one and the same time the most exalting and humbling of events for believers. It is no less so for those of us who are priests. So often in our regular day to day ministries, we lose sight of the immensity and awesomeness of the mass and it can become routine, in spite of its inherent glory. This summer, I am taking time during my personal and fraternal celebrations of the Eucharist here alongside the Ottawa River to search out musical power point presentations on YouTube that help me to concentrate on one specific prayer and moment of the liturgy at a time. I searching for these pieces, I have endeavored to choose offerings in a language other than English (although they often have English subtitles) as it helps me to enter into the mystery of each prayer, without getting tangled up in the words. It also helps to remind me of the truth that the Holy Roman Catholic Church is indeed universal and has much to offer from cultures fo

Big Bang investigators want new atom smasher - CTV News

Aaah... they saved the best line for the last! "Why is there something rather than nothing" is the ultimate question that science and theology tries to answer. During my recent fishing trip I was able to take advantage of the absolute peace and quiet to read 4 or 5 books, among the best of which was "The Universe in a Single Atom" by the Dalli Lama. In it he makes a persuasive and cogent argument that science and faith are not competitors or opponents. He posits that each is using its own methodology to answer that simple single question by pointing to points of convergence between Buddhist teachings and the recent discoveries of particle physics (just to name one of the material sciences). It inspired a great deal of thought as I read his book and compared his arguments with the teachings of the R.C. Church. Between the five books I completed I filled up a good sized notebook with thoughts, quotes and arguments on this and other questions. Lots of fodder for future

Tembec to invest $300-million in Temiscaming mill: union - The Globe and Mail

This story is certainly an example of how the 'rubber' is 'hitting the road' in my corner of the world. Temiscaming was the town where I initially served as a priest, and it is the neighboring parish to my current assignment in Mattawa, Ontario.  The timber mills in Mattawa fell silent almost two years ago, the largest operation falling to an earlier cost-trimming exercise by Tembec. The impact of the almost complete collapse of the lumber industry in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec has had a devastating impact on many good people. Even the one local laminate flooring plant that is (barely) operating in Rutherglen (where neither wages nor benefits would come close to provincial average in most other occupations) finds themselves undercut by similar product produced in China! I happen also to have been born and raised in an INCO mining town in the Sudbury area, and I stand incredulous at seeing United Steelworkers local 6500 being brought to its knees by the new

The end can never really justify the means

Cristina Alarcon, a Vancouver pharmacist (and frequent participant in the comment threads of this blog - thank you Cristina!!) has produced an excellent editorial that was published in THE PROVINCE newspaper in B.C. In it she raises a series of issues related to the conviction of Capt. Robert Semrau of conduct unbecoming an officer when he killed a severely wounded Taliban soldier on the grounds that it was the most 'merciful' action he could offer. Capt. Semrau was found not guilty of the more severe charge of murder. Given the exigencies of war (where the 'rubber' REALLY hits the road!) it is an article well worth reading for anyone who is concerned about is the issues of war and justice. There have also been a number of posts on this subject that can be found on the National Post's Religion blog, 'The Holy Post'. Check them out and join the conversation! The end can never really justify the means

"Gone Fishing!"

Well folks, time to take another break from parish work as I leave tomorrow for a five day fishing trip. No phones, internet, TV, radio... nothing but peace and quiet.  I'll resume posting on Friday July 23rd! You will all be remembered in prayer. Please keep me in yours! Thanks. Fr. Tim

Haven't we all been 'here' at least once in our life?

Traveling to the 'New Jerusalem'

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (RJN) often shared his hope that the sign he would see over the gates of heaven would read... “From the Wonderful People who Brought You New York: The New Jerusalem”. As a resident of Manhattan, he was all too aware of the role of expressways and collector lanes to move souls from one destination or another within that earthly city. It is not a great leap of imagination that this traffic imagery could easily indicate how he would expect the inner workings of the New Jerusalem and the unfolding of the coming prolepsis at the end of time. To put this more familiar biblical imagery:  will there be different ‘off ramps’, ‘collector’ and ‘express’ lanes which will carry the ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’ to their different end. (Matthew 25:31) Meditating upon this imagery can be instructive for us in our daily lives. If we know that death is the fundamental destiny that no man, woman or child can avoid, then it is not advisable (if one believes that life is not extinguished

Implications of the Cardinal Ouellet appointment to the Vatican

Folks on the National Post's religion blog, 'The Holy Post' have been discussing the recent appointment of Cardinal Ouellet to head-up the Congregation of Bishops in the Vatican. Some have been accusing the editor of the HP of promoting an agenda by changing the heading of the cross-post to an article written by Fr. Tom Rosica of Salt & Light Media. Fr. Tom's headline read  Au Revoir et Mille Mercis, Cardinal Ouellet! whereas the summary of the HP article was headed Ouellet’s appointment shows desire for reform.   I try to address this issue in the short post below.  If you're interested in joining the discussion, click on the link at the end of my post. You can read Fr. Rosica's article by clicking on the title of this post. The reform is not a question of 'reverting' or rolling back the reforms of Vatican II, nor is it an attempt to drag society back into some modern version of Christendom. It is a desire to change the the direction

Seven days that shook the Vatican | National Catholic Reporter

Best analysis of the events shaking the Roman Catholic Church I have read. (I have read a lot of them!!) The insights expressed by the Pope (B16) in the recent curial appointments of three theologians into the most powerful offices of the Church (including Cardinal Ouellet of Quebec to lead the Congregation responsible for choosing Bishops throughout the world) men who are wholly compatible with what B16 has already revealed in his first two encyclicals, the virtues of Love and Hope. It is (FINALLY!) an acknowledgment of the fact that the Church is 'on fire'... and not in the way that devout Catholics would have hoped for... but that at last it is orienting itself to face this deadly challenge to its very existence posed by the modern State. If B16 can steer the Barque of Peter into the wind, we are well equipped to weather the storms that threaten the ship of faith today. History is replete with predictions of the Church's imminent sinking, yet the barque of Peter continue

Amid Church Abuse Scandal, an Office That Failed to Act -

The prosecution states its case... A summary and culmination of the various news stories and scandals printed in the NYT. As damning as it is of the Vatican, and Pope Benedict XVI in particular, it does make clear one thing that I have been repeating in response to this sad affair: that the Bishops of Canada, USA & Australia (the first english-speaking Churches scorched by the sex abuse scandals) in fact HAVE changed their ways, and that reports of abuse are now being properly handled and reported to the appropriate police authority. Everyone is aware that such evil as is inflicted by child abusers on innocent victims will always be a scourge to be fought. It was spoken of in the Bible 2000 years ago, it's still here today. No doubt it will be with us until time comes to its end. It is not so much the fact that there are priests who are predators that harmed the people's faith. It's the cover-ups which demonstrated such a callous disregard for the victims, and for