Faith

  • 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...

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  • 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 ...

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  • 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...

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  • 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.

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  • 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...

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  • 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 ...

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  • 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...

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  • Writing Faith Into The Public Square

    Convivium contributor Karen Stiller finds inspiration in writers who have shown courage writing their faith into the public square, providing opportunities for writing about what is important to the faithful.

    This article is the third part of an ongoing series on faith leaders who have demonstrated courage living faith in the public square. In partnership with the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute...

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  • Division and Hope

    On the feast of Pope St. John Paul II, we need to heed his messages of hope, courage and conviviality in the aftermath of a divisive election, writes Convivium's Rebecca Darwent.

    A country divided in blue, red, orange, turquoise and a splash of green. The top-two parties’ popular vote divided with a margin of a mere 1.4 per cent, other ballots cast towards a split up of three other parties, radically different and yet, unequivocally...

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  • Licking The Immigration Numbers Game

    Matthew Lau argues setting the ideal annual number of newcomers to Canada makes as much sense as predicting the number of ice cream cones Torontonians will eat on the weekend.

    “What is the ideal target of those who support mass immigration?” asked Maxime Bernier, Quebec MP and People’s Party of Canada leader, recently on Twitter. 

    Half a million imm...

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  • We Are Each Other’s

    A jarring early morning Amber Alert on her smartphone reminds Hannah Marazzi why we are called to love our neighbours.

    The blaring noise not unlike an air raid siren dragged me out of sleep at 3 a.m. in my tiny Ottawa apartment. Through blurry eyes, I saw how my phone had turned itself into a sort of warning station, its screen lit up. “What is going on?” my roommate mumble...

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  • A Concerto of Prayer

    Collin Pierlott hears the presence of God in music – even when words are absent.

    I often turn to music, as many do, as an avenue of prayer to God. However, I also listen to pieces of music without lyrics and have found these lyricless pieces to be quite effective for reflection and prayer. I sometimes find the artistic expressions of hu...

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  • Following The Yellow Arrows

    Eighty-year-old Betty Hope Gittens walked the Camino with a God-given strength and the assurance that He would be with her through every step of the way – a journey she compares to walking the way of God’s will for her life.

    With her youthful appearance and straight-as-an arrow posture, 80-year-old Betty Hope Gittens exudes irresistible charm and positive energy. She could easily be strutting down a catwalk modelling fashions for stylish seniors.  Instead, she celebrated turnin...

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  • The Graduation Watch

    Father Raymond de Souza looks back in time to his friends' high school graduation and recalls a lasting lesson about importance of the past to the present.

    It’s graduation season, and thus the season of graduation speeches. Some worthy is invited to address the graduates – “graduands”, if the address is given before the degrees are awarded, for those who remember their Latin endings – and is supposed to lend s...

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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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  • Where Weather Waters Faith

    When late spring rain fell on parched southern Saskatchewan this week, Peter Menzies writes, those who work the land smiled skyward knowing the downpour wasn’t mere water: it was a baptism for summer’s bounty.

    The genteel play of those negotiating the smooth and subtle greens of the Regina Lawn Bowling Club was disrupted this week by something that didn’t happen last summer. It rained.

    And as it did, you could see the smiles begin to grow under the shadow ...

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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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  • Cultivating A Culture of Fatherhood

    Involvement in faith communities helps support and encourage healthy fatherhood and family life, writes Cardus Family program director Peter Jon Mitchell. And our culture's veering away from these spaces is a risk. 

    Dads once were considered the forgotten contributor to their children’s development as noted psychologist Michael Lamb observed in the mid-1970s.  

    In the past, fathers were portrayed as the ones grilling red meat on the barbecue, teaching kids to ri...

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  • What's In A Name?

    An internet search of a person's name will tell you much about them and who they are, but in the Jewish faith, G-d's way of identifying with people goes far beyond a name. 

    When we meet a stranger, the first thing we acquire from them is their name. 

    This is the beginning of a relationship with another person. We begin by introducing ourselves; offering our name to a stranger in a gesture that welcomes a conversation, o...

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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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  • We've Got to Talk

    Recently, Convivium has run columns rebutting accusations of discrimination against an independent Christian school in Surrey, B.C. Today, Cardus Executive Vice-President Ray Pennings unveils research showing religious schools are needed precisely because faithful North Americans have deep misgivings about government-run schools harming spiritual formation.  

    This piece was originally published on the Barna blog.

    Navigating the issue of children’s spiritual formation can be difficult in the current North American co...

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  • Association Not Discrimination

    A B.C. faith-based school’s dismissal of a teacher for sexual conduct contrary to its standards is neither shocking nor discriminatory, notes Ottawa constitutional lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos. In fact, he says, it’s protected by Charter of Rights rulings that date back to 1984.  

    This week, news broke about a teacher at Surrey Christian School in British Columbia, being asked approximately two y...

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