Francis Campbell

Francis Campbell

Francis Campbell is an editor at the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax, N.S.

Another year over, a new one just begun. For 55 newsroom employees at the Halifax-based Chronicle Herald, almost the entire year was spent on the picket line. A year is a long time to be on strike.

Last Holy Thursday I was asked to join other volunteers to have a foot washed by our parish priest during Mass as part of the symbolic re-enactment of the great lesson of serving others that Jesus shared with His disciples.

For weekends on end now in the tiny western Cape Breton seaside community of Inverness, more and more people have been seeking a bonanza of easy money by chasing the ace.

It’s summertime and the living is easy. Regular schedules are abandoned as day trips, vacations and relaxation provide respite from the everyday humdrum. In our churches, the pews that appeared to be sparsely occupied in fall, winter and spring seem to be even more vacated in the summer heat. Open the doors and where’s the people, we might ask.

The Vatican last week released the Pope’s encyclical on the environment and while many pundits suggested the Catholic Church and its spiritual leader should butt out of ecological politics and economics, the Pope’s hard-hitting missive about our endangered planet got a relatively positive review.

The Nova Scotia weather turns from rain to sunshine and even to a short flurry of hail on a lazy late-May afternoon. 
The dreary weather lends itself perfectly to an exchange of texts with a good friend.

My God, my God, why have we forsaken thee. Society is hell-bent on downplaying the existence of God, ignoring Him, pushing Him to the sidelines, pretending that He just isn’t real.

The latest volley in the deity war was fired broadside by the Supreme Court of Canada. In mid-April, the country’s highest court ruled unanimously that the practice of Saguenay, Que., city councillors of crossing themselves and spending 20 full seconds in Catholic prayer before conducting official municipal business was out of bounds.

It’s been the winter of our discontent.

After a practically snow-free December and January, the Maritime provinces were relentlessly buffeted by snowfall after snowfall during February and March. 
Two and sometimes three storms in a week left Nova Scotians scratching their heads and cussing their fortunes.


Hang on for dear life.

Unfortunately, the dearness of life seems to be dying a not-so-slow death.

There are many more questions than answers.

That’s the way it is with most tragedies but this one seemed even more perplexing, even more heart-rending.

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