On this date last year, Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was ablaze in a serious fire.
Three months prior to the fire, my friend Jacqueline and I were visiting the church. Here are my reflections from then: Continue reading “Before Notre-Dame burned into flames”
On this date, 34 years ago, John Paul II made a historic visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome where he greeted Chief Rabbi, Prof. Elio Toaff.
And so tonight I re-read John Paul II’s address that he gave on the occasion, which contributed to a turning point in Jewish-Catholic relations. Continue reading “Simply brothers”
On this date, fifteen years ago, Pope John Paul II died. I remember this time well because I was 14 at the time and the news of his death was, paradoxically, also the biggest news to me of his life. Before his death, I’d heard his name my whole life but I hadn’t really gotten to know much about him or his remarkable biography. But then, in 2005, every magazine cover had his face on it and it seemed that there was unending coverage of this Catholic leader whose life had made a profound difference not only in the Church but throughout the whole world in the drama of the twentieth century. Continue reading “The day John Paul II died”
Tonight I went to St. Maurice Church in Ottawa, which has been holding drive-in Eucharistic Adoration as well as drive-through confessions on Friday evenings.
As the sun began to set, cars lined up around the church in an orderly fashion as parish volunteers wearing high visibility vests conducted traffic as they waved a hockey stick in one hand and dangled a rosary in the other. Yes, passers by caught sight of the peculiar witness. Continue reading “The longest line I’ve seen during Covid-19”
This photo is of the Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai, Lithuania. The first time I saw footage of this place, I knew I had to visit. From that moment on, I longed to make a pilgrimage to the site where more than 100,000 crosses have been placed on the hill. Continue reading “On the Way to the Cross”
Today marks the anniversary of the fascinating conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne that occurred on Thursday, January 20, 1842. I have been learning his story gradually, throughout my travels to Rome and Jerusalem. Continue reading “On the anniversary the Virgin Mary Appeared to a Jewish Atheist who became a Catholic priest”
Without question, among the 100+ summer schools/programs/conferences, etc. that I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED, the Tertio Millennio Seminar ranks among the top five.
The three-week, fully-funded seminar centred on Catholic social teaching takes place annually in Poland. The seminar includes: basking in the beauty of Poland’s churches, grappling with the difficult history of the twentieth century, learning from stellar American professors and Polish Dominicans, meeting phenomenal Catholic young adults from across North America and central Europe, praying, singing, and learning in a convivial setting, enjoying amazing meals, meeting many persons who knew John Paul II, and so much more. Continue reading “Apply: Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society”
I arrived to Toronto to visit my Protestant friend for the week. She greeted me wishing me a happy new year and asking how I’d spent it.
“Well,” I explained, “At the conference from which I just came, we venerated a relic of St. Francis Xavier’s right arm, the arm with which he baptized 100,000 people.” Her first question was not “Why do Catholics venerate relics?” but rather “So, how did his arm come off?”
Continue reading “A Protestant and a Catholic discuss 465-year-old relic of St. Francis Xavier’s Arm”
Last Christmas, I was searching for a book to take with me on Christmas holidays. I asked God, the Divine Librarian, to help me choose one. Since I was going to France, a book that had been on my shelf but that I had not yet read caught my eye when I read the back cover. That book was, From the Kippah to the Cross, the conversion story of Jean-Marie Élie Setbon. Continue reading “Shabbat for Christians”