John Paul II Benedict XVI With Britain on the horizon, is the Vatican’s communications office up to the challenge? Sadly, the probability that the answer to this question is 'No'. The Holy Father is an intellectual and holy man; a wise choice of the Holy Spirit. Alas, he does not the possess charismatic presence of his predecessor. Come the end of his Pontificate, it is unlikely that the crowds will shout out "Magnus" as happened at the Funeral Mass of John Paul the Great. Learned Vatican watchers bemoan the chaotic and seemingly 'reactive' posture of this pontificate when it comes to presenting a hermeneutical key that defines the message of the Holy See. Where John Paul fashioned and planned his messages with Joaquín Navarro-Valls and others so as offer the clarity of fundamental principles as they apply in different cultures. Politics teaches: you can either 'define' yourself, or allow others define you. Through missteps and poorly craf
Mecca Demographics alone points out that there is a coming confrontation between Muslims and the West. With birthrates throughout the western world having fallen below replacement levels while Muslims continuing for at least the first generation of their arrival as immigrants into western countries. This demographic reality has created a great deal of disquiet among Christians and the 'chattering classes'. IMHO, Christians should have confidence in the forces of western secularism rather than fear the 'Islamification' of culture, as seems to be the opinion of a significant percentage of frightened western citizens. Consider that as recently as the 1960's, Christian values and religious standards were enshrined as the dominant societal consensus. In one generation, these same preeminent values have been wiped from the public square. Though seemingly blind to the horrendous consequences wrought upon children and women's interests by the sexual revolution, se
Yesterday, a letter was published on a website (Sylvia's Site) that was received anonymously, claiming to come from priests of my diocese writing under the pseudonym of 'Pembroke Priests for Justice, Truth and Integrity'. I have been asked on that site whether or not I would publish the letter here on my blog. The answer is an emphatic NO !!! The reason that I won't publish it is BECAUSE it is anonymously offered. Anyone who follows my blog here or elsewhere on the net should know that I always use my real name (not some made up 'handle') when I express an opinion. I do this because IMHO, if I am not willing to attach my name to an opinion, then I should have no reason to expect that anyone would give it more than just a passing glance. If someone is not willing to stand behind what they write, be they allegations or plaudits, then there is really no reason to give it much attention. I am always mindful of John Gabriel's 'Dickwad Theory of the
In a spirit of equality, and having witnessed the never-ending quality of a Mother's work during my friends recent visit with me at my cottage, I offer this inspirational video in tribute to Mothers everywhere. 'Dads' may 'rock', but 'Moms' are cool. (H/T Michael Brandon for the suggestion and the video) Enjoy!
As summer draws to a close, it's appropriate to come to the end of my summer meditation project on the Mass. I've accompanied this prayer time with a reading of a social gospel classic text by Walter Rauchenbauch: Christianity and the Social Crisis of the 21st Century . This book, published in 1907 (!) is amazing preessencent for what has transpired in the past number of years. Writing in the first decade of the 20th century he spoke of the need to re-engage the prophetic voice of the Church to remind society of the existence of truth as understood by Christians. He predicted that the voice of faith would be challenged both externally and weakened internally resulting in a privatization of faith, driving it from the public square. This Baptist convert from Lutheranism prefigured the arguments of a latter convert from the Church of Luther, Richard John Neuhaus. Catholics (and Christians of all denominations,) need to heed these voices. I pray that this short inspirational vi
Archbishop Charles Chaput (Denver) IF the day should ever come that I would leave my beloved Ottawa Valley Diocese of Pembroke, and were to leave the country, the Dioceses headed by the Archbishops mentioned in this story would be my destination. These men are orienting their diocese in the right direction, choosing to engage the argument in defense of faith in the Public Square. It would be an honor to harness myself to the team that is being guided with such wisdom. In Canada men like Archbishops Collins (Toronto) and Smith (Edmonton) and Bishop Henry (Calgary) are also working towards the same goal. They too are a blessing for the Church in North America. With the elevation of Cardinal Ouellet to the Congregation of Bishops in Rome, and with the imminent replacement of over 50% of the Bishops in Quebec over the next five years (as they reach 75 years of age), the chances for other like minded Bishops throughout the province are future is pregnant with hope for better times in
Friends of mine have just left my cottage after an eight day visit.... Dad, Mom, Hannah (5) , Jocelyn (3) and Olivia (1), together with Zack (Jack Russell Terrier) and Tawney (major league Mutt!) have just pulled out of the driveway on their way home. In their honor (and in eternal thanksgiving for the peace and quiet that has finally returned to my life), I post this video from YouTube entitled "The Dad Life". Parenthood is most certainly a vocation... because if it wasn't for God's grace... I don't kids would not live to see their 6th birthday!!! I finally understand my father who used to call me whenever he came to the end of a visit with the grandkids at his house to tell me that I should be on my knees thanking God everyday for being a celibate!! "I like to see them come" he would say, "but I love to see them go!" Dad... for the first time in my life, I truly understand what you were telling me. You were a wise man! So, enjoy
Here is a shot that was posted on the CNN website of a gentleman waiting to board a flight. I can't decide if he was a victim of a wicked security check or is simply in (DESPERATE) need of a wardrobe makeover. Either way, I doubt you would see him walking down a Canadian street in winter with this get-up! I wonder though... where does he keep his passport?
Stephen Weigel, son of George & Joan Weigel, was kind enough to take some pictures while taking a tour on the Ottawa River, including this shot of my cottage. Stephen is a professional photographer who is well on his way of eclipsing his father's fame (George is a noted author, biographer of Pope John Paul II and NBC religion commentator) with his spectacular shots. Next year, Stephen will be producing a multi-media project of Churches and Chapels in Rome. It will include two versions of a book and a DVD. His Facebook page (Stephen Weigel Photography) offers a few albums of his recent work in Canada and the USA. Thank you Stephen for this gift. It helps to make clear why I so deeply appreciate my little piece of 'heaven on earth' as this photo captures the essence of the peace, quiet and isolation that my humble little cottage offers me.
The homily follows the liturgy of the Word. It is the part of the Mass where the priest is to 'break open' the word that has been proclaimed so that all participants might be able to digest the lessons of God. Just as the priest is to break the eucharistic bread so that it can be taken by individuals, so too the preacher is to take apart the scriptures so that people will be able to understand them and by nourished by the Word of God. Here is a meditation video on the significance of the Eucharist. Enjoy! (I did!!)
Good things are happening in my own little diocese of Pembroke! Here is a letter to the editor of the local daily from a Grade 12 student who has found peace and strength in her faith. She is not alone. This is a trend that has been engendered in our Diocese through programs such as 'Lifeteen'. These young men and women are to be commended for taking up the wonderful challenge of Catholic orthodoxy. Well done!!! Keep up the great work for Christ! One teenager's eye-opening trip to a Christian youth conference - The Daily Observer - Ontario, CA
Here is an article that I wrote for the National Post's religion blog, the "Holy Post". The friends I mentioned were George & Joan Weigel (and their son, Stephen) as well as Fr. Andrew Fournall, a Polish Dominican who serves on the campus of Columbia University in NYC and is pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Manhattan. Aside from visiting Madonna House, we also spent part of the day exploring Wilno, a hamlet set high upon the hills that frame the Ottawa Valley. It was of particular interest to Fr. Andrew as Wilno is also the first Polish settlement in Canada, with Polish continuing to be spoken by many of the elder residents of the area. Stephen, an up and coming professional photographer. His first project will be published next year (book/DVD), a collaborative effort with his father and others highlighting the churches and chapels of Rome. This will be a 'must have' book for anyone interested in the history and beauty of this treasure trove of churche
The Liturgy of the Word is the public telling of the sacred stories of our faith. As a people of Abrahamic faith, we are a people of the written word complied together in the Old and New Testaments. One of the most beautiful ways to take in the scriptures is to participate in singing them using Gregorian chant. Much of sacred writing is in fact musical lyric and mnemonic rhythms, forms that allowed for easy memorization by populations who for the greater part, were illiterate. For the next few days, I will post video's which offers different angles on this subject so as to help in reflecting upon how the chanting of scripture can augment our understanding of how God's spirit moves through the telling of His encounters with humanity.
An interesting and cogent defense of the rights of individuals to 'marriage'... whatever that word means. I am still troubled by one element of this interpretation by the US Federal Court: what does 'marriage' now mean? If it is simply a registration of a legal domestic relationship - something that every citizen possesses according to this ruling, does the state still possess the capacity to determine what a 'marriage' is? Is it necessarily limited to a relationship between two individuals, or can other configurations be accepted? Will there need to be a separate set of laws that will govern sexual relationships within 'marriage' to ensure the genetic health of any progeny that would spring from the marital act? Would this not be a gross intrusion of the state into the 'bedrooms of the nation', unraveling legal definitions that we have benefited from since the 1960's? Fr. Tim Editorial - Marriage Is a Constitutional Right - NYTimes.com
Bishop James Wingle is a native son of my Diocese. It is good to hear that he is alive and doing well. Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Missing Canadian bishop sends email, says he was in Jerusalem
Continuing with my summer reflections on the parts of the mass, I offer this. As we began our Eucharist by acknowledging our sinfulness and total dependency upon the merits of the cross, the faithful are then called to move both interior-ally and externally to the expression of joy and praise in appreciation of God's mercy and love embodied in the Gloria. May this holiday Monday be a time when joy and praise fills your heart and life as well as for all whom you love and hold dear. Fr. Tim
"Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former US politican and sociologist, was quoted as saying: "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts." That said, and that being true, why are there so many differing opinions about things in our world? In a recent article for her blog, writer Sheila Liaugminas, a very thoughful and reasoned writer pulled together some research and thinking that gave me pause. She commenced her piece as follows: "Opinions are individual and subjective. But facts are facts. Trouble is, they’re usually communicated or interpreted by someone. That’s where opinion comes back in…." Click on the link below to read the rest of this concise and insightful offering. Freedom Through Truth: When Faced With the Truth Many Hide From It. Why?