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Showing posts from December, 2013

A happy seasonal pastime: Remembering old friends now gone but never forgotten. Here's one of the best: Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

Each Christmas sets me ruminating through memories of friends and family I've loved and lost. Here's a video about my mentor and friend Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. It stands as a singular honour that he asked me to participate in this project when its producer requested a Canadian friend to represent him in this CBC documentary piece. I miss him a great deal but am eager to great him again in the great convivium of the Parousia to come!

Pope's Christmas wish: Hope for a better world - CBC News - Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  May today be a day of peace and love for all. Pope's Christmas wish: Hope for a better world - CBC News - Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News

1 in 3 Canadians say they will be attending Christmas Church services this year. Is this good news for the Church or not?

Here's an interesting story from the Holy Post discussing the fact that 1/3 of all Canadians state that they intend to go to Church this Christmas. A poster going by the handle of Whistlerskier responded with a different framing of this stat, pointing out that fully 2 in 3 Canadians didn't plan on going to Church. I wrote in response with how I viewed the issue as a Catholic priest. Do you agree with my answer? Whistlerskier Or to put it another way...." 2 in 3 Canadians don't plan on attending religious services this Christmas". Fr_ Tim Whistler: You are 100% correct. Let's also admit that of the 33% who will show up in a Church this Christmas that the majority of them are not regular church attenders. Personally I look upon such stats as both a challenge and an opportunity. A challenge in as much as it reminds me of the work of evangelization that needs to be accomplished by all serious Christians throughout the other 364 days of the year to bring peo

Santa and his reindeer sing 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' (He should come here to Pontiac Co. Qc. Lot's of the white stuff on the ground here!)

‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson suspended from show after anti-gay comments in GQ magazine | National Post

I am not a 'Duck Dynasty' viewer, having only watched one episode of the series, but even I have to ask if this is actually a surprise or shock to anyone? Is it not on a par with 'Honey Boo-Boo' (another show I've never seen more than five minutes of) saying that she prefers eating sweets to vegetables? Isn't the reason that these characters are on the tube to begin with because they are considered 'eccentric' in the first place? They sure as hell aren't there because they are 21st century versions of the types of families we watched in the 50's and 60's like the Cleavers (Leave it to Beaver) or the Brady Bunch! So why be upset when one of them says something as inane as Phil Robertson's remarks in GQ? The other point I'd like to raise is that everyone seems upset by the homophobic remark but yet there's hardly a peep being offered by his equally offensive remark that African Americans were not 'unhappy' with segregatio

An Apple ad that captures the essence of the season in a most surprising way.

I have always been an 'Apple' - man, starting with my first Apple 2+ in the early 1980's right through to my iPad and iMacs of today. Here's a seasonal offering from them that's creative in the way it presents a new paradigm for looking at how today's youth are using their products. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Antibacterial soap could pose health risks, FDA says - Health - CBC News

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says there is no evidence that antibacterial chemicals used in liquid soaps and washes help prevent the spread of germs, and there is some evidence they may pose health risks.   The agency said it is revisiting the safety of chemicals like triclosan in light of recent studies suggesting they can interfere with hormone levels and spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.   The U.S. government's preliminary ruling lends new credence to longstanding warnings from researchers who say the chemicals are, at best, ineffective and at worst, a threat to public health." Oh great... what's next? They'll probably discover that coffee is bad for us too! ( What's that? You mean they already said that's bad for me too? )   Click on the link below to read the entire story. Antibacterial soap could pose health risks, FDA says - Health - CBC News

Scientology officially recognized as a religion in U.K. after judges rule god not essential to worship

This is a mistake on Britain's part. Scientology is an abusive cult. It is NOT a religion .    John Sweeney's book 'Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology' makes this case quite convincingly. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about this cult. I've also read Janet Reitman's 'Inside Scientology' which is another excellent exposé on this cult. I suggest reading these or similar works to learn for yourself why Scientology should not be considered a church. Scientology officially recognized as a religion in U.K. after judges rule god not essential to worship | National Post

Time Magazine Names Pope Francis Person of the Year

Time Magazine Names Pope Francis Person of the Year

A parishioner sent me this meditation about the true meaning that Christmas should mean for us as Christians. I thought I'd share it with you. (Thank you Elaine M.)

I thought this was really thought provoking, so wanted to pass it along.  There is merit in the suggestions. Letter from Jesus about Christmas  --       It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.  How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day.  If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.      Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa's and snowmen and  put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn  If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.      Stop worrying about the fact  that people are calling the tree

Here are the questions that the Vatican has distributed to all the dioceses of the world to gather information for the upcoming Synod dealing with the pastoral care of families. How would you answer them?

The following series of questions allows the particular Churches to participate actively in the preparation of the Extraordinary Synod, whose purpose is to proclaim the Gospel in the context of the pastoral challenges facing the family today. 1. The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium a) Describe how the Catholic Church’s teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible,  Gaudium et spes ,  Familiaris consortio  and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today? What formation is given to our people on the Church’s teaching on family life? b) In those cases where the Church's teaching is known, is it accepted fully or are there difficulties in putting it into practice? If so, what are they? c) How widespread is the Church's teaching in pastoral programmes at the national, diocesan and parish levels? What catechesis is done on the family? d ) To what extent — and what

Mandela was ever-mindful of church role in South Africans' struggle | National Catholic Reporter

Thank you Mr. Mandela for your great witness to the power of forgiveness. May your soul rest in peace. Mandela was ever-mindful of church role in South Africans' struggle | National Catholic Reporter

PopeWatch: Hans Kung | The American Catholic

PopeWatch recalls an episode of the Hogan’s Heroes sitcom from the sixties.  Colonel Hogan is attempting to disarm a bomb.  He has to cut one of two wires, and if he cuts the wrong wire the bomb will go off.  He asks Colonel Klink which wire he would cut, and after Klink chooses a wire he cuts the other one and disarms the bomb.  Klink asks Hogan why he asked his advice if he wasn’t going to follow it.  Hogan responds that he wasn’t sure he would pick the right wire but he was confident that Klink would pick the wrong one. Any article that starts with a reference to Hogan's Heroes deserves (IMHO) to be read. Imagine how happy I was then to find such an article dealing with the Vatican!! PopeWatch: Hans Kung | The American Catholic

Pope Francis: A Church Without Joy Is Unimaginable | Daily News |

This story reminds me of a rhyme I was taught as a child. 'If your faith makes you sad, mad, or not glad, then it's bad'. Belief in the saving power of Christ and his desire to bring all souls to heaven should be a source of great joy for all of us. When one's belief/faith doesn't produce such fruit, then it's clearly time to re-examine it so as to reorient it to a more proper end. I'm grateful to the Holy Father for reminding all Catholics of this basic tenet of our faith. Pope Francis: A Church Without Joy Is Unimaginable | Daily News |