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Pope Francis' Survey

Last updated on December 4, 2013

Elsewhere on this website is my story about Pope Francis requesting input from the world’s Catholics about marriage. What you’ll read here is my take on what this all means.

So what does it mean? Perhaps a wholesale review of what marriage is all about considering we have many different versions; cohabitation, same sex, common law and of course traditional heterosexual? Does this mean the Pope is contemplating some game changing decisions? Truthfully, who knows, but he isn’t about to go to all this trouble if he isn’t thinking about doing something to change the trend away from traditional marriages.

History has shown stable traditional marriages are the bedrock of a stable society. You start fooling around with that and it leads to instability, uncertainty and that’s deadly for a society. We just haven’t yet reached that point. What will come from it, in my opinion, is a reinforcement of traditional marriages, a way back for divorced Catholics to again receive...

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Relations with Other Faiths

Last updated on October 29, 2013

We Roman Catholics have always thought of ourselves as adherents to the true faith and everyone else as sort of also rans. We do believe in and support ecumenical activities and we’re in favour of us all being one as long as we’re all Catholic. 

Some of that has changed in the last 50 years and Pope Francis’ comments since becoming Pope seem to indicate more attitudinal changes are coming. It will surprise many to know that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has for years encouraged and supported dialogues with some 14 Christian and non Christian faiths. The dialogues are a serious attempt to understand and work with the multitude of traditions, after all, Christians and most non Christians believe in similar moral and ethical precepts.

Our Archbishop, Daniel Bohan, is chair of the CCCB Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue and as such his commission oversees their work. We hear very little...

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Okay, I’m a little behind with my blogs but I’ve had other things going on including a fishing trip with some buddies to Tobin Lake earlier this month and from which we came home without any fish. We even had a local resident guide us for a half day and even he couldn’t find anything with fins on it. Four guys together with a deck of cards and a few refreshments and it was good time anyway.

On to business.

I usually don’t have much faith in Supreme Court decisions but they got this one right; they told doctors they couldn’t withdraw life support from a comatose Ontario man in Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital unless they had either his or his family’s permission. The Court emphasized the ruling applied in Ontario only and no where else. The Supreme Court, like all courts, makes rulings based on their interpretation of the law. They don’t concerns themselves with morality or whether it’s right or wrong. So even though this decision was correct legally and morally, more...

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Last updated on September 19, 2013

I am convinced that in the not to distant future Canada will either legalize euthanasia or like abortion, leave it in no man’s land.

We have a BC court ruling last year that denying a person’s request for assistance in taking their own life violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (currently under appeal by the federal Justice Department), and now Quebec vowing to pass legislation that would protect doctors who at the request of a patient, help that patient end his/her life.

Civil Libertarians backed the case in B.C. in which a woman suffering from ALS wanted help in killing herself. Those who argue for euthanasia call it ending a life with dignity. Call it whatever euphemism you want, it’s still killing someone. Sure there are all kinds of caveats usually attached to those requests but in time, as experienced in countries and some U.S. States that allow some form of euthanasia, the lines become blurred. As someone in an article once said, it’s easier to...

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Parents' Responsibility For Their Children

Last updated on September 6, 2013

The tragic killing of six-year-old Lee Bonneau by another child under 12-years-old brings to mind an editorial I recently read in the Globe and Mail. It commented on a recent law passed by the Nova Scotia Legislature that made parents open to civil liability if their underage child is convicted of cyber bulling. It came about because of 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons who committed suicide which was blamed on cyber bullying she suffered. 

Of course parents are responsible for their children but it seems to me the state keeps making it more and more difficult to be an effective parent.

It’s been a long time since young children were in our house and I appreciate much has changed in society affecting how a parent loves, supports and disciplines children. I don’t really care what psychologists, sociologists, psychiatrists or any other “experts” say on bringing up children, a child needs guided discipline as well as teaching to understand the difference between right and...

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Size of Province

Last updated on August 27, 2013

You have to drive this province in order to appreciate its size, topography and diversity. In the last couple of weeks, I drove to Rama, 266 kilometres north and east of Regina in the parkland with many bluffs of trees and rolling land and a few days later to Ponteix 269 Kilometres south west in ranch and large farms country, treeless, virtually flat except for creek valleys.

Rama is the site of St. Anthony’s Church, a grotto in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes and a statue commemorating St. Gianna patron saint of the unborn. The event celebrated in the grotto the first annual mass for the unborn.

Ponteix celebrated the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Sours de Notre Dame Auvergne from France.

Both places have their own form of beauty. The grotto beside St. Anthony’s church was handbuilt and gives the impression of being natural; there is no grotto in Ponteix but the brick twin-spired church dominates the skyline. The interiour is cathedral like and was...

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A Life Fully Lived

Last updated on July 19, 2013

Sister Agnes Blaquiere died July 12, 2013 after spending 104 years on this earth. It seems to me she could be a terrific poster woman to interest more women to consider religious life.

The image, I think, most have of women in Religious life is one of prayer, serving in various capacities in parishes, social work, teaching etc. But there are a variety of other careers that can be pursued while wearing the symbols of their community. Blaquiere is one example. There is a separate story in the news section of this web site.

She wanted to be a missionary and heard about the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM French synonym) from her parish priest. She journeyed to Regina in 1928 from her home in Prince Edward Island and began a two year novitiate as a postulant. She wasted no time getting into missionary work. Two years after making her first vows she left for French Indo-China, now Vietnam and stayed for 45 years, through the Japanese invasion in WWII, the...

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History Made, Rejuvenated and Relived

Last updated on July 11, 2013

I loved the ordination of Paul Mau Van Nguyen that took place in Holy Rosary Cathedral June 28.  Yes, the services are long, about two hours for this one, but they’re full of ceremony and ritual and reminders of the ancient church to which we belong. The ordination was the first service in the newly renovated Holy Rosary Cathedral. I won’t go into a lot of detail about the work that went into it, there are separate stories describing the ordination and the renovations on this website somewhere in the news section.

As soon as you walk into the Cathedral from the main entrance, the dramatic blue stripe just below the upper arches catches your eye and beautifully brings out the blues in the stained glass windows. I’m not a critic so I’ll leave the details to others but I like the overall impact of the new colours. Take a moment out of your day and visit the Cathedral. It’s quite a change.

Saskatchewan’s towns contain a treasure trove of history that we rarely think about...

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It’s scary!

Last updated on June 19, 2013

What kind of society are we creating? I’ve written about this before and the speed with which it seems to be happening is increasing. The latest comes from Quebec, that former bastion of moral values and Catholicism, that has abandoned its roots. The provincial government or National Assembly as they call it has introduced a bill that would legalize assisted suicide, something that federal criminal law and most right thinking people would call murder. Think Robert Latimer.

The Supreme Court in Canada in 1993 upheld Canada’s laws against assisted suicide in the case of the Crown Vs. Sue Rodriguez of British Columbia, but that is not deterring Quebec from going its own way. If the bill passes and it appears likely from anything that I’ve read, it could put doctors in an untenable position, at least those who would be willing to give the needle to some poor soul. Legal in Quebec but the doctor could still be charged with murder under federal law. Of course the whole thing is...

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It was a Hectic, Enjoyable Sunday

Last updated on June 5, 2013

I had a hectic day last Sunday, June 2, Attended two priest anniversaries, one in Wilcox and another at Holy Child Parish. In Wilcox Father Len Albers celebrated his 65th anniversary and at Holy Child, Father Art Vandendriessche celebrated his 60th. But they weren’t the only priests celebrating.

May 30, 1953, no fewer than eight were ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Michael O’Neil, four are still living and celebrating mass. Fathers Vandendriessche who lives in Martha House, Regina, Joe Frey who lives in Kenosee, Steve Ripplinger who is in Elbow and Al Piche who is in a Saskatoon care home. What’s unusual about this group of eight is that after Vatican II when many priests decided to live a different life, they all remained priests. Think about it. The four who are alive have a collective ministry of 240 years! They ministered to thousands, changed the lives of many and their influence continues in those people and their descendents.

You can read about the...

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