Community

  • Steady As She Goes

    What Canadians heard in Wednesday’s throne speech might not be exactly what the government intended or even exactly what they said. Communication is difficult, especially when swimming in COVID-infested political waters, Ray Pennings writes.

    Maybe Prime Minister Trudeau was smiling under his mask as the governor general delivered the throne speech on Wednesday. But if he was smiling, it would suggest he didn’t realize he was swimming into turbulent waters, the din of which could easily drown ou...

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  • The Tent of Abraham

    Catholic Priest Father Noel Farman brings his “universal heart” to Calgary from his native Nineveh, Amanda Achtman reports.

    Each year on Yom Kippur, Jews read the Book of Jonah during the afternoon services. The story recalls the initially reluctant prophet’s eventual exhortation to the Ninevites to repent.

    I recently met a modern-day Ninevite whose own life is filled wit...

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  • Regaining Lost Educational Ground

    In part two of his essay on the damage done by a century of “revolutionary” pedagogy, Joe Woodard foresees the power of independent schools and parental choice for returning education to its natural purpose.

    University arts students of the 1970s all saw Marxism dominating the world of academic respectability among ambitious young scholars – the Herd of Independent Thinkers – despite Communism’s repeated seven-and eight-figure slaughters (such as Stalin’s four t...

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  • Dignity That Illuminates Community

    Convivium Editor Peter Stockland talks with Rev. Deacon Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute, about regaining the light of shared humanity in this time of pandemic and racial protest.

    Peter Stockland: You talk about human dignity being something that radiates from inside us. What do you mean by that?

    Andrew Bennett: Christians and other tra...

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  • Ottawa Must Give Giving a Nudge

    The toll COVID-19 has taken on the charitable sector makes this prime time for the federal government to launch an equitable national donation matching program, writes Daniel Proussalidis.

    It didn’t take long for the federal government to help grieving families when an Iranian missile brought down a Ukraine-bound passenger plane back in January.

    There were 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents among the 176 who died in the cr...

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  • Let Commonality Grow

    A car dealer, a psychologist, and a doctor. Three comically different individuals, one harmonious view of the current circumstances. Peter Stockland unpacks a story of community right under our noses.

    As we all chase the bright elusive butterfly of release from infernal social isolation, it seems natural to regard what the pandemic has wrought as a curse to be, well, cursed.

    Yet since mid-March, when our lives became bounded by the walls we live b...

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  • COVID-19 and Common Humanity

    Convivium contributor Brian Bird writes that even within the pain caused by the pandemic we can recover our fundamental shared identity as human beings and the universal dignity embedded within it.

    Restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 are starting to be relaxed in Canada, the United States and elsewhere. For many places, the next chapter of this pandemic is beginning. As we enter a new stage of this extraordinary moment in hum...

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  • The Ties That Bind Even Solitary Sailors

    Jason Zuidema, executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association, writes that all of us should actively battle social isolation – not just governments or businesses.

    This article first appeared here.

    That we all crave social contact has become ...

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  • Saving Graces: Week Three

    While COVID-19 sweeps darkness across the world, the Convivium Team is scouring the web for stories of hope to share with our readers. We are pleased to offer this selection of good news stories, hoping they will be a source of saving grace for all.

    During this time of Passover, Easter and Ramadan, faith communities have moved services and supports online:

    ...

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  • Is Reconciliation Being Railroaded?

    Indigenous land claim protests might spell the death of reconciliation if they continue threatening the rule of law, Father Raymond de Souza argues.

    “Reconciliation is dead and we will shut down Canada until Canada pays attention and listens to and meets our de...

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  • Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

    Matthew Kaemingk, recently named Hamilton-based Redeemer University College’s 2019 Emerging Intellectual, challenges Christians to defend the religious freedom of all faiths as they do their own. 

    Christians are really good at defending their own religious freedoms. When it comes to other faith traditions, however, Christians often seem quite ill-prepared to defend the religious freedoms of non-Christians. 

    This discrepancy was one of two key ...

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  • Are Even Secular Schools Sacred?

    Father Raymond de Souza wonders what spirit moves the public board of education in Brockville, Ontario to block an empty building’s sale to a private religious group.

    Who does the government compete with? Is a public school a sacred building? A recent surplus building sale raises those questions.

    In Brockville, the local public school board has a sold an elementary school in Wolford that it had closed in 2018. The...

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  • A Matter of Belonging

    After having spent some time away from the church of her childhood years, Brittany Beacham tells the tale of coming back to membership among the familiar congregation.

    Recently I participated in a centuries-old tradition of which many might question the validity and the modern relevance: I became a church member.

    It was not new; I had done it before – with the call to baptism at 16 came the embrace of membership. B...

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  • The Barometer of the Heart

    In an age marked by distraction and fragmentation, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are choosing a life marked by deep joy, service to the poor, and a community of faithfulness. Convivium's Hannah Marazzi sits down with Father Emmanuel Mansford, vocations director for the New York chapter to discuss vocation, trust, and deep community. 

    Photo by Patrick Dunford 

    Convivium: For those who are unfamiliar, who are the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal? 

    Father Emmanuel Mansford: We are a new religious community, fou...

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  • Building Beyond Bill 21

    Quebec’s law banning public displays of religious symbols has affronted advocates of religious freedom across Canada. But Convivium’s Peter Stockland reports on plans by Montreal Catholics to turn the secularist tide and create strong communities of faith.

    Quebec’s government has declared the province an aggressively secular society with the passage of Bill 21 banning the wearing of religious clothing and symbols in certain public service workplaces.

    Montreal’s E...

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  • A Resounding Yes to Life… And Death

    In the premature deaths of two young priests and in the hand-made rosary she carries with her, Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent finds incarnate reminders to affirm God’s gift of life even at its end.

    Aesthetically speaking, the rosary isn’t anything special. Green and gold beads, a rather large Crucifix, attached with the small loops of a regular old chain. Being Catholic from birth, I have had many rosaries given to me as gifts – during my time of miss...

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  • Figuring Out Social Isolation

    Twenty-three per cent of Canadians suffer from extreme social isolation and loneliness, according to a recent Angus Reid Institute survey in partnership with Cardus. Convivium sits down with executive director Ray Pennings to discuss this and other results from the survey.

    Convivium: The main findings come as no surprise to Cardus, but I assume will come as a surprise to an awful lot of people – the role that faith and active participation in religious communities have in ...

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  • Belonging On The Court

    Last night’s improbable NBA championship for the Toronto Raptors was one professional sports team’s triumph. Even more, Alida Thomas writes, it’s a historic moment of shared belonging when Canadians discovered who they want to keep becoming.

    Euphoria over the Toronto Raptors historic NBA championship victory wafted north from Oakland at the final buzzer of Game 6 last night and is spreading from across Canada today. But for pure poignancy, the most heart-felt moment in the Raps lo...

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  • Diversity, Moral Superiority, Tattoos: Welcome to Jurassic Park

    In advance of tonight's big game for the Toronto Raptors, Editor-in-Chief Father Raymond de Souza muses on the ins and outs of the group's fan base, diversity in the crowds and temporary tattoo shows of support.

    There are many queuing up early this morning, even last night, to get into Jurassic Park for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. I was at Jurassic Park in downtown Toronto for Game 3 of the NBA Finals. It was an away game in Oakland, the fans were fired up and expect...

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  • Pluralism and the Blue Plate Special

    Weekly media teeth-gnashing over deepening political polarization is finally turning up good news, writes Josh Nadeau. A path back to true pluralism leads through small local institutions such as places called Judy's Diner.  

    Polarization, despite having become a major buzzword in recent years, can be a tricky thing to study. This isn’t due to a lack of attention: concerned essays appear almost weekly in major journals, sites and magazines. 

    Analyzing, decrying or justify...

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  • Nones Who Know Nuns

    Surprised and refreshed by her first encounter with a religious sister, Katie Gordon talks to Convivium’s Hannah Marazzi about the generative possibilities that could emerge from bringing religious nuns and religious nones together across generations and affiliations.  

    Convivium: Would you share with us about the origins of the Nuns and Nones project? How did the Nuns and Nones initiative first become a part of your story? Katie Gordon: The Nuns and Nones project emerged from a c...

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  • When The Flood Hits Home

    Convivium writer Rebecca Darwent missed the last once-in-a-hundred-year inundation of her Ottawa neighbourhood. Two years later, even worse flooding has taught her the meaning of community.

    There’s something about the anniversary of any notable happening that brings us to reflect and ask Where was I when that happened? This crossed my mind as my city, Ottawa, went through the second once-in-one-hundred-years flood happen in, well, muc...

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  • Tools of Science: Trusted or Busted?

    Putting algorithms to an accountability test doesn’t require junking them entirely, but it can help us catch out powerful interests more intent on abusing than using our data, argues Cardus Social Cities Director Milton Friesen.

    The big success stories of our time have scaled at exponential rates -  Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and the other ‘super bigs’ that relentlessly enlarge themselves. When something scales, however, the mix of characteristics, benefits, and costs of a business o...

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  • Blessed Are the Peacemakers

    In the lull after Christmas and New Year’s, Josh Nadeau finds the pursuit of peace ever-elusive but never more imperative.

    We’ve come through Advent, got past Christmas season, and launched into January overweight with get-togethers, eggnog, nostalgia, spiritual practices and cultural traditions that would probably seem downright weird if they weren’t already so familiar. Stock...

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