Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment

Taking care of young people is not an optional task for the Church, but an integral part of
her vocation and mission in history.

(Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, 1)

Most of you alive in 1985-86 will remember Whitney Houston’s rendition of the grand ballad Greatest Love of All, which began with the words, “I believe the ...

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Is My Faith Alive?

In preparing for this reflection, I had to pause and think a lot about our readings. I realised that it must be difficult to preach today’s Gospel. We live in a time where divorce is a common and acceptable practice. We’ve all heard the statistics, over 50% of marriages end in divorce and over 65% of second marriages end in divorce. I want to particularly focus on the beauty of what God did for man when he created the woman.

In ...

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Hungry Sinners

Back in the summers of 1982 and 1983, I convinced parishioners from my home parish to join me on the weekends to serve at St. Bridget’s Soup Kitchen in Ottawa’s Byward Market.  This image entitled “Christ of the Breadlines” hung on one of the walls and it has stayed in my mind for the past 35 years.  Though a print, the ...

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United We Stand? Sit? Kneel?

As a young person growing up in the Roman Catholic tradition and attending Immaculate Heart of Mary weekly, the last thing that was on my mind at Mass was being in community. While subconsciously I was being formed by my faith community; consciously, it was about me and God. I can still recall coming into the church, blessing myself with holy water and ...

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Faith in Action

“What good is it if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?”  In these words James teaches that faith must be demonstrated by works. The basic idea is that what is the good of going to church then walking out and not ‘doing’ anything in between attendance at Mass? In the second reading, James also says, “Someone will say, you have faith and I ...

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Be Strong; Do Not Fear

All we need to do is spend a few minutes listening to the news, or perhaps checking our Facebook or Twitter feed and we will find reasons to be afraid: fires burning out of control; storms ravaging communities; unprecedented numbers of refugees; wars and threats of war; economic uncertainty; abuse within the community of faith; gun violence in “peaceful” neighborhoods; devastating illnesses … ...

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He has gone out of his mind / He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons, he casts out demons

Even for Jesus who was so misunderstood and opposed, this seems to be just a bit too much. His family thinks he has suffered a mental breakdown (at the best) and the religious authorities say that he is in league with the devil. What brought things to such a head so early in Jesus’ mission (we are only in Chapter 3 of Mark’s gospel)?

A quick look back shows us that Jesus ...

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Christ is the mediator of a new covenant!

The way in which we celebrate the Eucharist today is steeped in a tradition that is described in today’s first reading from Exodus, although you may not initially recognize it in the somewhat gruesome details of the story.

Moses builds an altar and gathers together the newly liberated Israelites. Representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel are invited to bring sacrifices for the burnt ...

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The Most Holy Trinity


The gesture of the Sign of the Cross, an outward profession of faith, and the words  “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen” identifies Catholics worldwide. From childhood, we are reminded of the significance of the words, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Most Holy Trinity.” It is also the principle mystery ...

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Pentecost

When I was very young I remember coming across an old 1960s catechism book referring to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. When I asked my mother why the book referred to “Holy Ghost” when I had only ever known the “Holy Spirit”, she said, “Holy Ghost scared people so they had to change it,” without missing a beat. It was an answer she thought I would understand, but I just ...

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