Dorothy Cummings McLean

Dorothy Cummings McLean

Dorothy Cummings McLean is a Canadian writer living abroad and the author of two books, Ceremony of Innocence and Seraphic Singles.

Dorothy has an MA in English literature from the University of Toronto, an M.Div./STB from Regis College and spent two years in doctoral studies in theology at Boston College.

It is time once again to acknowledge the existence of an overlooked group of people in our parishes: the perpetually single and childless.

The roots of our Halloween traditions may lie in Europe, but in Europe Halloween is regarded as an American import.  Nothing says American Halloween like a big toothy jack o’lantern, and the paper pumpkins that are decorating the tourist bars of Kraków are a testament to globalization.

I don’t know if you read the same Catholic blogs I do, but I can tell you that mine have been in a tizzy over Pope Francis’ interviews by Fr. Spadaro of La Civiltá Cattolica and by 89-year-old Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica. Both interviews had startling elements, elements made more startling by mistakes in translation and, it turns out, the fact that Scalfari did not record his interview but relied on his memory for a reconstruction.

I recently granted an interview to a journalist who wanted to write about Internet dating. Although I am not a fan of dating web sites, I was happy to help and mentioned that I had met my husband over the Internet, although not through a dating web site. And thus I was surprised and chagrined to discover that a sub-editor had composed a caption stating that I had met my husband through a dating web site.

I have returned to chilly Scotland from a week in sunny Italy, and — oh! — the contrast. The only improvement to my way of life is my electric coffee machine. In Italy I had recourse only to a metal object that sat on the stove and grudgingly spurted a quarter cup of coffee into its upper storey and to local café-bars, where one raises eyebrows if one requests milk in one’s coffee after noon. In Scotland I can glug whole mugs of milky coffee at any hour of the day with ease and impunity.

English is the lingua franca of the young of Europe. Perhaps they forget that it is understood by older people, too. Or so I thought as my Polish friend and I walked along the Motława River in Gdańsk one evening behind a young tourist determined to impress upon the young man to her right how sexually liberated she was.

I was horrified when I saw the amateur footage of the police shooting of Sammy Yatim.

When my mother invited me on a bus tour of the English countryside, I was delighted. But I had a troubling thought: How would we get to Sunday Mass? It is a law of the Church that Catholics attend Mass on Sunday, so if I can, I do. Some may call this legalism. I call it Canon 1247.

On June 6, Yulia Solodyankina was coming down with something. Nevertheless she went to a joyous percussion performance at a bar near the University of Edinburgh, where she is a physics student. The show began at 7 p.m. She left at 9 p.m. Although she sent a friend a text message the next day, she has not been seen again.

One of my greatest regrets is that I joined the pro-life movement when I was 18. In retrospect I wish I had joined when I was older. Today’s pro-lifers are spared the abuse we endured because they no longer picket weekly outside clinics. They would be arrested at once.