Peter Stockland

Peter Stockland

Peter Stockland is publisher of Convivium magazine and a senior fellow at Cardus.

December 25, 2013

Two very similar Popes

In its Christmas editorial, The Catholic Register reminded readers of their double reason to be joyful in 2013. For the first time in Church history, the editorial pointed out, Catholics are able to pray for not one but two legitimate popes as Christ is yet again renewed in our hearts. It’s certainly a surprising bounty worth reflecting on as the year ends. Even more, it is a gift to carry joyfully through 2014 and well beyond.

Anyone sifting around for Advent reading might consider the just-out apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis to lay alongside a strange and beautiful new book bearing Flannery O’Connor’s name.

Reading Evangelii Gaudium alternately with O’Connor’s prayer journal creates the sense of listening to a yearning yet joyful dialogue between two immensely gifted writers whose very habit of being is illumination of the Catholic soul.

It is not habitual — perhaps even unheard of — to praise a pontiff for his literary prowess. The job generally places far heavier emphasis on other gifts, talents and skills. Wherever he ranks in the pantheon of pontifical pens, however, there can be no doubt that Francis is the first to use the noun “sourpuss” in an apostolic document. More, he positions the word perfectly in his sentence to make it clear that it is us that he is concerned about.

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November 28, 2013

Where are we?

Two years ago, my wife and I were in her mother’s room at an extended-care facility when we heard another patient calling out plaintively. I poked my head out the door in plenty of time to see Madame Beaudoin moving up the hallway with halting walker-steps, calling out: “Where am I?”

November 14, 2013

Seeing is believing

Christmas came early to our house this year. Very early. Pre-Advent early.

October 31, 2013

Faith is on our side

In a third-season episode of the insanely good TV series Breaking Bad, students at chemistry teacher/ drug lord Walter White’s high school gather in a gym for a post-modern public grief ceremony.

October 17, 2013

Religion misunderstood

At a recent conference in Montreal on religious freedom and education, the principal of Loyola High School pinpointed the threat facing people of faith.

September 19, 2013

A model for success

Only in an age permeated with paradox could the victories of the gay rights movement present a model for religious believers in the public square. Yet whether one agrees or disagrees with what gay activists have achieved over the past 40 years, there is no doubt the strategic course they have followed has been wildly successful and worth emulating as a result.

September 5, 2013

Trudeau bang on

Being a Western Canadian who has lived for many years in Quebec, it is more natural for me to want to bury a Trudeau than to praise one.

August 22, 2013

Running on prayer

It is early Saturday morning deep in mid-summer and I am lacing up my shoes in the locker room at the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association before a long run. If someone were to look up the word “bliss” in a dictionary, my smiling face might well appear as the definition.

It is both proper and gratifying to see the success of World Youth Day in Rio as a massive, marvelous “yes” to Christian faith.