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The media as a vast enterprise of neighbourliness

“You just want to sell newspapers!” is one of the most interesting insults that every reporter and editor hears at some point. There aren’t many professions liable to quite that sort of calumny.

Faith’s message is too often lost

It was the night before Christmas and all through the church, many creatures were stirring . . . especially the restless children.

We can only grow through embracing our own fragility

There is a deep vulnerability at the heart of education. Sometimes it looks like this:

A mother sits across from me sobbing, her shoulders heaving up and down as she surrenders to the anguish that she carries for her child. I move out from behind the barrier of my desk and sit beside her, offering a tissue.

Time gets it right, and wrong, all at once

It is splendid indeed that Time magazine made Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” for 2013. The Pope has captured the imagination of the world and has breathed new life into the Catholic Church.

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Open up and let God into our lives

I just can’t do it in my own. We vain humans have such difficulty admitting that.

Mandela inspires a hope for progress

Reflecting on the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as the first black president of South Africa, American scholar Rob Nixon wrote: “Between 1964 and 1990 he was absented from the political present, yet remained a pre-eminent inhabitant of South Africa’s past and future. He lived on the cusp of time, embodying a people’s hope, yet monumentalized on a scale ordinarily reserved for the dead.”

Packing up family memories

Emptying the house I grew up in, after the passing of my mom, has been one of the most difficult, rewarding, surprising, touching and inspiring times of my life. It was so fitting that this emptying culminated in November, the month that starts with us remembering those who have died and ends on the eve of Advent.

Is politics suffering from a death of character?

Writing in The Death of Character, James Hunter argues that character is frequently associated with words like honour, reputation, integrity, manners, duty and even manhood. Character, he argues, is always associated with an explicitly moral standard of conduct oriented towards work, building, expanding, achieving and sacrifice on behalf of a larger good.

Jesus embodies true sense of selflessness

Selflessness. That most admirable quality seems to be fighting extinction in our me-first society.

Religious voice is essential in euthanasia debate

A few years ago I interviewed then Bloc Quebecois MP Francine LeBlanc. In 2010 she introduced a bill in Parliament to legalize euthanasia. At that time there didn’t seem a snowball’s chance in hell of it passing, but the introduction of the bill was at least a chance to talk about the issue.

Ignatieff’s honesty sets his apart from other political memoirs

In his Songs of Innocence William Blake wrote: “The strongest poison ever known / Comes from Caesar’s laurel crown.”