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This morning, I asked my colleagues at H2Onews how they celebrated Carnival, the Italian pre-Lenten festival. They shrugged their shoulders. Similarly, I don’t know many Canadians who strictly observe our Shrove Tuesday pancake tradition. Worldwide, I’m guessing that the majority of us can’t find time to party before Ash Wednesday arrives. Still, signs of Carnival ...read more
Healing stories in the Gospels are never simply a reversal of physical misfortune. God works through miracles, through political forces, social action, intrigue, personal and societal chaos and daily, ordinary living to pick us up from where we have fallen and redirect us along right pathways. Many aspects of Jesus’ early ministry in Mark’s Gospel ...read more
Last summer, I decided to begin reading the Bible cover to cover. Not that I hadn’t read the Bible before, of course I had – in spurts – in fact, the Bible that my Mom gave me when I left home at 16, is almost all underlined, with scribbles on the margins and falling apart. ...read more
I surprised even myself by succeeding to catch the 7 AM train on Sunday.  I had woken up at 5:30 AM to do so, knowing that this was my only opportunity to reach the little-known island of Ponza. The ferry website listed just one boat departing from the seaside town of Anzio each morning. My ...read more
Earlier this week I spoke with Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski at an Acton Institute-sponsored event at Rome’s Pontifical Antonianum University. The “State Financing of Catholic Schools” conference asked whether, as an extension of the recognized right to education in accord with conscience, governments were obliged to make alternative religious schools accessible to parents who can’t afford ...read more
Imagine you have a special needs child. Maybe they have Downs syndrome, maybe they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, maybe they have Autism. Now imagine that you still want this child to learn about the faith, the faith that led you to keep them when doctors advised not to, or perhaps the faith that led ...read more
Church observers on the state of religious freedom in China were watching carefully last week as The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva conducted two days of hearings on China’s human rights record. Many human rights activists were hoping that Beijing might make some concessions even though its government is not required to follow ...read more
For weeks stores have been plastered with gushy greeting cards, displays of heart-shaped boxes brimming with chocolates, and little fuzzy bears with cheeky comments on t-shirts. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day, and though refreshing, I’m not exactly sure if a bag of cinnamon hearts entirely embodies what love is. This weekend Salt + Light offers viewers ...read more
The first reading from Leviticus 13:1-2; 44-46 for the sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B) outlines the harsh laws for people with skin diseases usually labeled correctly or incorrectly as a form of leprosy. Throughout history, few diseases have been as dreaded as the horrible affliction known as leprosy. It was so common and ...read more
During my retreat in January at the Monastery of the Precious Blood, my spiritual guide told me an anecdote. He went with a group to Manitoulin Island where they celebrated the Eucharist. He said he will never forget this line from the homily: “The Eucharist is God’s love made edible!” I reflected on how God ...read more