Heading into church last month for the noon-hour service on Ash Wednesday, I walked along the sidewalk behind two middle-aged couples decked out in office-type apparel. I overheard that one of the couples was heading out for a bite of lunch and the other was skipping lunch to attend the service that marks the beginning of Lenten fasting, penance and prayer that is now entering its final days before we reach the glory of Easter Sunday.

“What good can this wretched intolerance and religious bigotry effect?”

The pledge was buried deep within the federal budget and delivered almost as an afterthought. Still, it is encouraging to see the Liberals keeping a 2015 election promise on palliative care.

Lent gives us two solemn feasts, St. Joseph and the Annunciation of the Lord. Both fell in the last weeks of March, and it is likely that a majority of Canadian parishes did not celebrate both of them; a great many likely celebrated neither.

At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church wiped its hands of its “long century” of defensive reaction to the modern world and climbed into what it hoped would be a new era of dialogue. However, it takes (at least) two to dialogue and over the last 50 years the Church’s willingness to talk about important issues has not often been reciprocated by the secular world.

Almost six years ago The Catholic Register reported that the world’s 193rd nation came into being as a That was South Sudan in 2011 facing an uncertain future.

At the end of the last millennium, gay marriage was not yet a reality and the idea of legalized euthanasia was considered ridiculous. Abortion was of course an issue, but there seemed some hope that the lawless practice would at least become regulated.

On March 7, at about 9 p.m., my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The doctor didn’t know if it was malignant, but as it had caused a blockage of fluid, Mark would have to have an operation ASAP. She left us behind the papery blue curtain in the emergency ward.

It was bad enough when the federal Liberals reversed Conservative policy and began using taxpayer money to fund overseas abortions. But a much bolder edict that will now see Canada help bankroll efforts by some foreign groups to overturn anti-abortion laws in Africa and other developing nations is a step way too far.

The Pope’s recent musings about the possibility of older, married men someday being ordained as priests is all about math, not theology, doctrine or politics.

One unanticipated consequence of the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States has been the rediscovery of a seminal novel first published in 1949. According to The New York Times, George Orwell’s 1984 is being reprinted around the world and is at the top of bestseller lists.