Faith

  • 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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  • Moved by Music

    Musician Brian Doerksen sits down with Convivium to discuss how music shaped him, how the needs of his family shaped his music, and how, in the end, collaboration is life.

    Convivium: Your songs were in many ways the accompaniment to my childhood. I would come to church many Sundays just in time to have you lead our congregation in worship. Take us back to the beginning of your musical journey.  

    ...

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  • God in the Chaos

    Overcoming her doubts about the mission, though not the message, of the Church, the University of Ottawa’s Samantha Dignam discovers at the Urbana18 conference how acknowledging the faults of Christians is key to carrying the Gospel to the world.

    I first heard about Urbana, a triennial global students missions conference, in 2015 when I was a first year International Development student at the University of Ottawa. I heard about it mostly in passing and honestly, I d...

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  • God in the Chaos

    Overcoming her doubts about the mission, though not the message, of the Church, the University of Ottawa’s Samantha Dignam discovers at the Urbana18 conference how acknowledging the faults of Christians is key to carrying the Gospel to the world.

    I first heard about Urbana, a triennial global students missions conference, in 2015 when I was a first year International Development student at the University of Ottawa. I heard about it mostly in passing and honestly, I d...

    Read more...

  • Faith Among the Seconds

    Through often painful moments listening to a broken man at an Ottawa drop-in centre, Joyce Deng began to hear God’s voice in the briefest of encounters.

    “When you homeless, you don’t wanna hear much of that, cause it’s like, when you get through talking about Jesus, I gotta go back to living in this empty building, you know?" 

    - Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith

    Last year, I w...

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  • Faith Among the Seconds

    Through often painful moments listening to a broken man at an Ottawa drop-in centre, Joyce Deng began to hear God’s voice in the briefest of encounters.

    “When you homeless, you don’t wanna hear much of that, cause it’s like, when you get through talking about Jesus, I gotta go back to living in this empty building, you know?" 

    - Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith

    Last year, I w...

    Read more...

  • No Christians by Proxy

    Kaitlin Packer's faith is more than a check-box or the roof she was raised under. Rather, faith is the reality of the soul. 

    “So, you grew up in a Christian home,” she says, fingering the rim of her Starbucks cup. It feels like an accusation.

    “Sort of,” I say. “My parents became Christians right before I was born.” 

    This is always my response. It’s my way o...

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  • Waiting for Aslan

    An Ottawa production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe leaves Convivium’s Rachel DeBruyn sensing the anticipation of Advent and the impact of the way in which we remember.

    Photo by Chris Spencer

    Imagine if it were always winter, but never Christmas. 

    This is a daunting prospect (especially for Can...

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