Faith

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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,...

    Read more...

  • 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 ...

    Read more...

  • 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 ...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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.

    ...

    Read more...

  • 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 ...

    Read more...

  • 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. 

    ...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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. ...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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 ...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • 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...

    Read more...

  • Easter in Our Own Upper Rooms

    Finding ourselves in isolation without the usual traditions and celebrations to mark Holy Week, our Easter this year is similar to that of the first, when Jesus left the Apostles, writes Mirjana Villeneuve.

    I was waiting until Holy Saturday to buy tulips from the Farmer’s Market. Over the years as a student in Kingston, I developed this little tradition for myself, as a final preparation before the Easter Vigil. Of course, this year is different. In my fifth a...

    Read more...

  • Paying Faith News Forward

    An innovative approach by Winnipeg journalist John Longhurst engages religious communities in the media by asking them to fund multi-faith coverage, Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent reports.

    Faith groups complaining about absent media attention must share the blame they direct at news organizations, contends Winnipeg Free Press religion writer John Longhurst. 

    Negative stories of abuse scandals or terrorism will always make the ...

    Read more...

  • Andrew Scheer’s Fight and Flight

    The Conservative leader couldn’t secure electoral gains he’d already made. But his ouster signals a serious threat to democratic difference and dissent, Peter Stockland writes.

    In the end, it’s probably just as well for both the Conservative party and Canadians that leader Andrew Scheer resigned today.

    Drawing, quartering and hanging might have been all the rage as recently as the Elizabethan era. But it is, to paraphrase a...

    Read more...

  • The Point of Darkness Around the Light

    In the second of her weekly reflections on Advent, Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent notes that even in biology certain flowers need a time of darkness before they flourish. So, spiritually, we need winter’s night in our souls to encounter the blazing light of Christ.

    This is the second article of a weekly series of Advent reflections. To read the first piece, please click here: An Advent(ure) of the Heart.

    ...

    Read more...

  • Space For Forgiveness

    Former hockey coach Bill Peters was under fire after allegations of targeting player Akim Aliu with racial slurs 10 years ago. While the act itself cannot be excused, missing from the conversation is the key element of forgiveness, writes contributor Tyler Brooks.

    There is a lot of news recently coming from the NHL and it is not about who will win the Stanley Cup. What began as a story about former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock embarrassing then rookie Mitch Marner, has now arguably changed to how we se...

    Read more...

  • The Aftermath of Falling Walls

    Father Raymond de Souza reminds us that bloodshed rarely ends the instant freedom rings out. When the Berlin Wall fell, tyrants still murdered the innocent.

    Thirty years after the breaching of the Berlin Wall, there has been much attention to the victory of freedom in the Cold War. The Cold War would not formally end for another two years, when the evil empire itself, the Soviet Union, would be erased from the ...

    Read more...

  • Losing Our Faith in Political History

    Convivium’s Father Raymond de Souza rebuts critics of Andrew Scheer for focusing on his religious beliefs while forgetting it was historically outlandish to expect he’d win Election 2019.

    About the election, three observations: one about history, another about campaigns, and the third about religion. 

    First, history matters. Amongst those who desired a Conservative victory, there has been much talk about how Andrew Scheer and his team...

    Read more...