Farewell to the Prairie Messenger

In 2018 the Prairie Messenger, a Catholic journal out of Muenster, Saskatchewan closed down after being published for more than a century by the Benedictine monks. I was a long-time contributor the the paper and was among those invited to write a guest column near the end. Here is my contribution: Childhood companion  My relationship... Continue Reading →

A gift they gave me long ago

This story involves love, generosity and a big black Underwood typewriter. My  pleasant memory of that gleaming old monster was triggered recently when I saw an antique in a used bookstore in my city neighbourhood. Farmers in town I grew up in St. Benedict, Saskatchewan, a small prairie town with three wooden grain elevators and... Continue Reading →

Pontiff’s ‘grand message’: Pope Francis calls for spiritual and environmental revolution

In his recent encyclical, Pope Francis may succeed in ways that the earnest scientists of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have not. The world’s foremost climate experts have issued a series of ever more urgent reports about looming ecological catastrophe if we don’t mitigate human-induced climate change. Those reports are factual and credible,... Continue Reading →

Pope Francis’ second anniversary

Fascination with Pope Francis continues as he approaches on March 13 the second anniversary of his election. The New York Review of Books carried a cover story on him recently and he also featured prominently in an article in Harper’s magazine. Time magazine named Francis as its Person of the Year in 2013 and early... Continue Reading →

Father Gustavo Gutiérrez receives honorary degree

Saint Paul University in Ottawa has conferred an honorary doctorate on the Peruvian theologian Father Gustavo Gutiérrez during a November 7 ceremony in the university’s chapel. Rector Dr. Chantal Beauvais said that the degree is the university’s way of showing “profound gratitude to Father Gutierrez and to recognize his contribution to Catholic theology. We are... Continue Reading →

Canadians on the Camino de Santiago

For most of September and into early October my wife Martha and I walked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. I had planned to post occasionally to my Pulpit and Politics blog but found that Facebook presented an easier format in which I could write while on the move, so I made multiple Facebook... Continue Reading →

Climate change and Canadian churches

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its most recent report. The blue ribbon group of scientists concluded that is 95 percent certain that global warming is occurring, that it is caused mainly by our burning of fossil fuels, and that we will see more violent weather and rising sea levels as a result. Scientists... Continue Reading →

Pope Francis and the Argentine generals

Pope Francis has completed his first days in office. Much has been made of his frugal lifestyle, his apparent simplicity and his sense of humour. Those are admirable traits and it is also refreshing to hear a religious leader talking about solidarity with the poor rather than the prosperity gospel preached by so many. On... Continue Reading →

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