Faith

  • When Calls to Service Call Us Back

    The Cardus Religious Freedom Institute’s Diakonia Project moved its two researchers to faith-based service themselves, Peter Stockland reports.

    When Father Deacon Andrew Bennett and researcher Johanna Lewis began planning the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute’s Diakonia project last year, their aim was to tell the stories of Canadi...

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  • When A Pope Comes Home

    The welcome for Pope Francis on his visit to Iraq was a memorable first step. Now hope must become reality, Susan Korah reports.

    A calculated risk in the face of pandemic fears and potential security threats, the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq brought incalculable benefits, say members of the country’s indigenous Christian community. 

    Traumatized by years of violence and hate w...

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  • When Covid Constraints Come to Church

    Don Hutchinson considers the complementary roles of Church and State vis-à-vis the pandemic and public health.

    Governments have reacted, some say overreacted, to a declared pandemic by moving beyond giving advice for the good of our health to legislating behavioural constraints. Those restrictions have come to church, generating contradictory responses.

    Wash ...

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  • It’s How The Light Gets In

    As our pandemic winter shadows withdraw like halting springtime snow, Alisha Ruiss reminds us that even the tiniest crack in the darkness can begin to illuminate God’s promise anew.

    I was born with my eyes wide open, my parents tell me, unblinking at the bright world I had entered, several days later than anticipated, in midwinter. And so it seems I have continued to live: curious, hungry for clarity, attempting to fit the fullness of ...

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  • Pandemic Pancake Tuesday

    On this day before Lent, Don Hutchinson counsels Convivium readers to prepare for the 40 days before Easter as a mix of self-denial and doing unto others as we would have them do for us.

    It’s Pancake Tuesday! My first memory of Pancake Tuesday is from my elementary school years. My working single mom had arranged on school days for a neighbour to feed me breakfast – cereal I carried each morning in a baggie – and lunch. On that particular T...

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  • We Must Obey Lockdown Laws

    Writing from a Christian perspective, theologian David Hionides argues followers of Jesus must endure COVID lockdowns by serving Christ as good citizens in the spirit of the early Church.

    Lockdowns are not easy by any stretch of the imagination. They are a hard sacrifice. Christians believe humanity was created for community and as Scripture repeatedly indicates, this is a physical connection.

    It is simply not good for humanity to be ...

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  • Silent Witness of a Holocaust Suitcase

    Susan Korah reports on a Canadian family that helped solve the mystery of a teenage girl’s life and death at Auschwitz.

    Hana Brady could be another Anne Frank except she did not leave a diary. 

    But the suitcase that 13-year-old left behind when she died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz concentration camp continues to teach millions of children around the world the import...

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  • Tears of Jedi Joy

    Evan Menzies reports on the end of a Star Wars season that left the series’ fans awash in waterworks over a tale of fatherly love.

    With the second season of the Mandalorian wrapped, many both young and old reported sniffly noses and leaky tear ducts on Star Wars fan boards and on social media. 

    You can count me as one of them. I think it’s safe to assume for the overwhelming maj...

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  • Hope Born Anew

    In the darkness that can envelop even the Christian Church, Peter Stockland writes, the season Christmas reminds us that Christ’s hope, faith, and truth illuminate the world.

    On the eve of Advent, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal released a devastating report on its own horror-show ineptitude regarding a sexually abusive priest named Brian Boucher.

    Even in a year free of the disaster of COVID-19 church closures,...

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  • A Christmas of Spiritual Longing

    An Angus-Reid/Cardus poll shows 85 per cent of Canadians abiding by COVID lockdown rules. But human need for family and friends means government can’t take compliance for granted, Ray Pennings warns.

    If mommy kisses Santa Claus this Christmas, hopefully they’ll be in the same household bubble.

    After all, COVID means this is going to be a holiday like no other we’ve experienced before.

    Canadians’ plans for the holiday season are a reminder ...

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  • Adieu to a Larger-Than-Life Priest

    Alan Hustak reports on the death and contrarian life of Montreal’s Father John Walsh, who began serving the Church as an altar boy while also a member of a street gang.

    By his own admission, Rev. John Walsh, O.C. was a subversive Roman Catholic priest who at times seemed to be ministering everywhere, to all religious communities, in Montreal. 

    Father Walsh, 78, died of a heart attack on November 9 as he prepared to ...

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  • Is Politics Putting POGG on Ice?

    Canada’s Constitution gives paramountcy to peace, order and good government (POGG), but Don Hutchinson argues bills on conversion therapy and medically assisted death prioritize progressive expediency.

    As the Second Session of the 43rd Parliament started last month, the Trudeau Government promoted two bills as high priority in the legislative queue. Both make use of the Criminal Code to tread the constitutional line between federal and provincial jurisdic...

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  • Of Hope and Home Runs

    Non-fans often deride baseball as large men in pyjamas standing on lawns, but Blue Jays’ fan Joseph McDaniel finds in the game stubborn wisdom from deep in the human spirit.                                

    Why do I like baseball so much?

    I asked myself this question a couple of weeks ago as I watched a young Toronto Blue Jays team stream onto the field with elation after clinching a berth in this year’s wild Major League Baseball playoff bracket.

    ...

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  • Faith Leaders Fight Back Against Expanding MAiD

    The Liberal government’s proposed Bill C-7 has drawn multifaith ire across Canada and a sharply-worded public call to immediately halt the legislation, Peter Stockland reports.

    More than 50 leaders across the faith spectrum warn the Liberal government’s changes to Medical Aid in Dying legislation will pressure vulnerable Canadians to opt for “lethal procedures” over living with illness or disability.

    Equally alarming, says ...

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  • ABCs of Amy Coney Barrett’s Faith

    Failure to understand deeply religious people will underlie a lot of words thrown at the U.S. Supreme Court nominee this week, Father Raymond de Souza writes.

    Hearings that begin today on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the American Supreme Court will bring out abundant words beginning with C. Conservative. Constitutionalist. Catholic – or “devout Catholic” in this case. Charismatic Christian. And Cult. 

    ...

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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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  • The Unbearable Whiteness of Jesus

    Questions about the Christian Messiah’s skin colour offer a fascinating complex of archeological, historical, migratory, linguistic and theological answers that ultimately won’t matter, Don Hutchinson writes.

    Questions about the whiteness of Jesus, White presence in Bible times, and the whiteness of the North American Church have become widespread in public debate during recent months. It’s not that there wasn’t already discourse about these points, but discussi...

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  • The Motivations of Missionary Martyrs

    Reviewing Joan Thomas’ historical novel Five Wives, Natalie Morrill wonders what moral calculus contemporary readers can bring to evangelizing engagement with vulnerable populations.

    Mincaye Enquedi died April 28 of this year. He was, as near as anyone could say, 85 years old, an elder among the Waorani people of Ecuador. 

    I first heard about his death on Twitter. ...

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  • When Mass Kneeling Replaces Faith

    A generation raised without religious faith is suddenly dropping to its knees to plead its causes. Peter Menzies asks whether it’s the spirit moving – or another triumph of marketing.

    A few Sunday mornings ago, I came across the broadcast of a church service on Radio-Canada and, not surprisingly, there was almost no one in the congregation.

    The service aimed at francophone audiences was applicably Roman Catholic. The eglise...

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  • Futility in the Face of Pandemic

    How can we carry Christ to others when we might also be carrying the virus that infects them with COVID-19? By discerning that love requires seeking new approaches, Daniel Gilman writes.

    In a dangerous and selfless act of love, two of my friends flew to the city of Cremona, which is located in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in ...

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  • A Meeting Place of Meaning

    Rabbi Reuven Bulka reminds us that the very search for meaning in crises such as the current pandemic gives expression to our shared humanity.

    A short while ago, as I was exiting from a funeral sparsely attended due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place, one of the attendees blurted out a remark that is surely on the minds of many: “Where is God now?” or words to that effect. It could have been sp...

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  • A Life Story of Giving

    The late Burlington baker's family name was synonymous world-wide with great tasting cookies, but Ray Pennings says the best things about Bill Voortman were his mentorship, friendship, and tireless gifts to build God’s Kingdom.

    Growing up, the word “Voortman” was a shorthand for the speculaas that were a staple of my youth. I knew the founders were post-Second World War Dutch immigrants like my own family, the Voortman brothers founded what would become a $100 million “cookie empi...

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  • Silent Encounter of the Heart

    In a house in troubled Gaza run by religious Sisters, Carl Hétu meets a child who without a word teaches him Easter’s meaning of suffering and resurrection.

    Call it an Easter lesson from the coronavirus and Christ’s resurrection combined. Or call it how I visited Gaza and learned more about life from a silent little girl. 

    We had arrived from a two-hour drive from Jerusalem going through an elaborate Isr...

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  • Mercy From an Unrelenting Lent

    COVID-19 isolation caused Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent to give up even giving things up for Lent. It helped her understand what the Apostle Matthew missed.

    I’ve heard people refer to this season as the Lentiest Lent that ever Lented. At the beginning of the 40 days of Lent, having been through a wringer of a winter, I decided to not take on a huge feat, but rather stick to simple practices of prayer, fasting a...

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