Dorothy Cummings McLean is a Canadian writer living abroad. She recently published her book "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.

There is a new Easter tradition in the United Kingdom: going to the local historical house to hunt for chocolate eggs.

Comment: Death comes like a thief in the night


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.

Comment: The preacher, the Catholics and a rainy day


Edinburgh was wet on a recent Saturday, but Mark and I were out in it, running errands in the Old Town. As we were walking up the Royal Mile, we heard shouting outside St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh’s so-called High Kirk.

Comment: Maltese bishops have cast aside Catholic teachings


No doubt many of you have read the article from Catholic News Service about the Maltese bishops’ response to Amoris Laetitia that appeared last week on The Catholic Register web site.

Effort will take you further than talent


School’s in, and again I look upon my lost youth with mingled regret and nostalgia. Not to terrify 14-year-old readers, but occasionally I see an ex-classmate on Facebook wailing, “If only I were 14 again and could do things differently.” Having read an excellent book called Make It Stick: the Science of Successful Learning (Brown, Harvard, 2014), I too long for the time machine.

Beware taking Christ’s passion for granted


My father once told me the story of a Japanese tourist who wandered into a historical European church. A guide hurried to meet him and point out the intricate carvings, the famous paintings. It took her a moment to realize that the Japanese visitor was paying no attention. He was standing frozen in the middle of the aisle with his face contorted in horror. Finally he raised a shaking finger to the baroque and bloody crucifix and asked, “Who is THAT?”

Let’s keep Advent in Christmas


I spent the eve of Advent polishing the makeshift communion rail in our little wooden church. All around me parishioners vacuumed the rafters or cleaned the windows or mopped the floors. Someone had decided that this year we should clean the church for Christmas, and I thought that a great idea.

Banging on the doors of fortress Europe


Migrant crisis leads one to wonder: how many are real refugees, how many are queue-jumpers?

The day after our friend George was elected MP, I walked to his house with a bottle of champagne. It wasn’t chilled, so George and his wife took another bottle from the fridge. When I left them I was a little woozy but not so woozy that I couldn’t do a little lobbying: “I know, George, that if the question comes up in the House, you will speak on behalf of the Middle Eastern Christians.”

Vocations are blooming in Edinburgh


It’s late August, and the wild roses have blown over. In July they grew profusely, and every time I passed them on the way to the supermarket I stopped to smell them. Although its delicious scent is indistinguishable from that of the pink, I like the proverbial “white rose of Scotland” best.

There is no shame of the faith that is in you


Before I started theology school, I thought I would be trained in apologetics, which I saw as the art of arguing one’s own beliefs so well that others are converted to them. However, when classes began I was told, “We don’t do apologetics; we do theology.”

The uniqueness of the marriage bond


“Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings,” wrote the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to co-operate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.”