Earlier this fall, the bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories released guidelines to help priests offer pastoral care to individuals and families contemplating voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. The guidelines were fully Catholic, comprehensive, compassionate and courageous, as detailed then by Peter Stockland in these pages.

Oscar Wilde famously said “to lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

Where I am able to organize things — in my parish, at the chaplaincy — we sing Advent hymns in Advent. But otherwise, Christmas concerts are the order of the day by early December. And so it was that last Saturday I had the privilege of attending the annual Christmas concert of St. Michael’s Choir School in the afternoon at Massey Hall, and then the Christmas pageant (“Gaudy” to employ the local nomenclature) at Massey College in the evening.

Beating the Christmas rush in Ottawa this year seems to mean wrapping up new transgender laws in time for the holidays. It’s hard to find anything merry about that.

There can hardly be a voter or politician who doesn’t believe Canada’s shamefully high rate of child poverty should be promptly reduced and eventually eliminated.

Fidel Castro is dead. Canada’s prime minister, whose father was an admirer and friend of the tyrant, is struck with grief, but it is not widely shared. Fidel’s death is an advance for Cuba. A more significant step forward will be when Fidel’s brother Raul, to whom power was handed over in 2006, follows his brother into eternity.

I call them the confessions of Sr. Immolatia. They are the words of a vibrant, spirit-led past parishioner of the Church on the Street.

One obvious failing of legalized assisted suicide is that Canada now recognizes a person’s right to receive a quick exit but fails to grant terminally ill people an offsetting right to humane care until their natural death.

Cardinal Willem Eijk of the Netherlands recently called on Pope Francis to write a major document on the growth of gender theory. Too many people, including Catholic parents, now accept that one can choose their own gender. Many Catholic school leaders in Canada have also bought into that idea.

The election of Donald Trump must have distressed Pope Francis. Or did it?

Prolonged solitary confinement of prisoners — torture according to the United Nations — has no place in a just penal system. Yet isolating inmates for lengthy periods remains common practice at Canadian penitentiaries. It must stop.