BLOG: Advent and Christmas
When Christmas is near, we all become traditionalists. Even the most anti-establishment types among us are horrified by attempts to alter our treasured rituals. As one example, Toronto shoppers were aghast at the unveiling of the modernized Christmas tree in the Eaton Centre shopping mall. Replacing the traditional, Swarovski-bedazzled faux-fir of years past, this year’s more
The seasons of Advent and Christmas seem to come so quickly and to be filled with many activities to say the least. In the everyday planning and preparations for family and community celebrations there are inevitably certain individuals who for whatever reason go unnoticed or unrecognized. They make important contributions.  They are invaluable in their more
The Vatican has released Pope Benedict XVI’s schedule for Advent and Christmas. He will preside over nine services between the beginning of Advent and the Epiphany. He will: — Lead an evening prayer service with Rome university students in St. Peter’s Basilica Dec. 1. — Pay homage to Mary on the feast of the Immaculate more
By now you’ve heard the great news for the Canadian Church: Toronto’s Archbishop has been named a Cardinal. All the local and national news outlets have been covering the story, including the CBC’s six minute phone interview with Archbishop Thomas Collins this morning. The Pope made the announcement following the celebration of Mass and the more
The neighbourhood diner was packed after Mass on January 1st. Some patrons came to celebrate the New Year, while others were seeking a greasy antidote to their rough morning. As my friends and I waited for our brunch, I asked them whether they were looking forward to 2012. They all shrugged. One dismissed January 1st more
Daniel’s family is made up of a mix of Italian, Lebanese and Columbian cultures. He shares with us how he melds those different traditions and shares the richness of each culture with his children. more
Let me conclude by summarizing my reflections on the voice of illness by sharing the wisdom of a friend, the wife of a deacon candidate. One of her colleagues at work was dealing with what seemed to be depression. All of a sudden it was as if a darkness and heaviness has descended upon her. more
Joseph reflects on how his family’s Christmas celebrations evolved over the years and what that evolution revealed to him about celebrating Christ’s birth. more
I have been blessed not to have had any major experiences with illness, death or suffering, although, as all of us, I have had my share of pain. I’d like to conclude with four insights that I have learned about suffering. First, I remember an experience I had several years ago at the L’Arche Daybreak more
Growing up on the West Coast, David rarely experienced a white Christmas. He shares his memories of rainy Christmases in Vancouver and reveals what his parents did to keep Christmas commercialism at bay in the LeRoss household. more