Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza is the pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary parish on Wolfe Island, and chaplain at Newman House at Kingston, Ont.’s Queen’s University.

It was a good idea that didn’t work. Before the reform of the Roman calendar in the 1960s, the octave day of Christmas — Jan. 1 — was celebrated as the feast of the circumcision and holy name, as Jewish boys were named on the eighth day after birth. There was a minor feast of the divine maternity of Mary in the calendar on Oct. 11, which St. John XXIII chose for the opening of Vatican II, and now serves as his feast day.

VATICAN CITY - One of the most repeated themes during the Synod on the Family was the need for a more biblically based approach. The original working document for the Synod — the Instrumentum Laboris — came in for repeated and severe criticism for taking as its starting point sociological data rather than the Word of God.

VATICAN CITY - Canadians had a rather prominent role in the first week of the Synod on the Family. Two of the language- based discussion groups elected Canadians as their moderators — Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto for one of the English groups, and Cardinal Gerald Lacroix for one of the French.

The Synod on the Family begins Oct. 4 and promises to be a rather unpleasant few weeks in the life of the Church.

WOLFE ISLAND, Ont. - One of the highlights of my summer is “Seminarian Week” on Wolfe Island.

When Pope Paul VI was beatified last October, his feast day was set for Sept. 26, the date of his birth in 1897, rather than the customary date of death, Aug. 6, 1978. Blessed Paul VI died on the feast of the Transfiguration, so another day for his feast had to be found, otherwise it would never be celebrated.

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) for 44 tumultuous years, has been decreed by the Vatican to be worthy of sainthood, needing only an approved miracle for him to be beatified.

July 16, 2015

A blasphemous gift

KRAKOW, POLAND - Was the “crucifix” given to Pope Francis by Bolivian President Evo Morales — a corpus hanging on the hammer-and-sickle — blasphemous?

When the massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., took place, I was in the United States. I heard the news from another priest who, clearly devastated by the bloodshed in the house of God, added quickly thereafter a comment about the debate over gun control. I was struck at how even such a great wickedness was seen so quickly through the prism of politics. And indeed, in the days after the massacre, the talk shifted to political debates over gun laws and the confederate flag. The pastor of Mother Emmanuel, Clementa Pickney, murdered in his own church while leading a Bible study, was also a member of the South Carolina state senate, a pastor holding political office.

The Book of Job, one of the great masterpieces of not only biblical literature, but all literature, is rarely read at Sunday Mass. Yet it was there last Sunday, a brief excerpt from the devastating speech of the Lord God to Job, who has dared to question Him: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the universe?