BLOG: Advent and Christmas
In 2007 I was a fresh-faced reporter at a diocesan newspaper. My editor assigned me to write a piece on the history of the nativity scene. I tracked down a priest and professor of church history and set off interview him about the history of the nativity scene. I did not do a Google search ...read more
Pope Francis’ ‘Urbi et Orbi’ Address on Christmas Day 2014 Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas! Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, is born for us, born in Bethlehem of a Virgin, fulfilling the ancient prophecies. The Virgin’s name is Mary, the wife of Joseph. Humble people, full of hope in ...read more
In the Jubilee Year of 2000, John Paul II made a very insightful statement.  He said: “Our Christian witness would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated the face of the Lord.”  The same might be said of our fully entering into the Christmas season. Christmas is a time in which we ...read more
December 24, 2014 At 9:30 p.m. Rome time, Pope Francis presides at the Christmas Midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. The full text of his homily is found below. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land ...read more
“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas……” Indeed, the shopping malls and streets of Toronto are dressed in the “holiday” style. Christmas trees, wreaths, candles, etc.. And yes! It is not easy to take a photo with Santa Claus because of the lineup. Yet it is ...read more
  Although it stands tall next to the obelisk in the middle of St. Peter’s Square every year, the Vatican’s Christmas tree is relatively new addition to the Holy See’s yuletide traditions. St. John Paul II introduced the Christmas Tree to St. Peter’s square in the early 80s. Why was the piazza bereft of a ...read more
  This photo was taken at our 2014 Staff Christmas Celebration on Friday evening, December 19, 2014 in the chapel of the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre in Toronto. Here are our prayers for you this Christmas: To the Child of Bethlehem Prayer of St. John XXIII O sweet Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may ...read more
Flash Mob: The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington Jesus is truly the reason and joy for the season! Starting with a single cellist on the floor of the National Air and Space Museum’s “Milestones of Flight” gallery, and swelling to 120 musicians, The U.S. Air Force Band exhilarated museum visitors ...read more