Tradition!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 Written by

In the popular musical “Fiddler on the Roof”, the central character Tevye ponders the question of why we do the things we do: “That, I can tell you in one word... Tradition."

“…we have traditions for everything... how to eat, how to sleep, even how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl... This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, ‘how did this tradition start’? I'll tell you … ‘I don't know’. But it's a tradition! Because of our traditions, everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do."

Even in contemporary society, tradition governs much of the way we live our lives. At Christmas, for example, tradition dictates the way our families celebrate the holiday - what foods we prepare, how we decorate the tree, when the presents are opened, etc. It doesn’t stop there. Countless things in our daily lives are ruled by tradition – from how we mow our lawns to when we do our laundry; from when and where we take our vacations to who sits where at the dinner table...

Transitioning to Ordinary Time

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 Written by

A Reflection from the Liturgical Art and Environment Committee

We just celebrated the Church’s great feast of Pentecost with all the signs of spring-turned-summer. Resurrection - Ascension - Pentecost are unified into the one mystery. Pentecost concludes our Paschal Mission. The journey we began so long ago in ashes (Ash Wednesday) is finished in the fire and wind of God's spirit - the inspiration for the symbolic flames that greeted all entering the welcoming space.

We now transition into Ordinary Time (which will take us all the way to the end of November) with two solemnities: first the feast of the Holy Trinity; and second, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)...

Flores de Mayo

Thursday, May 24, 2018 Written by

The month of May is a reminder to many Filipino Catholics to be thankful for the bountiful harvest, not only for staple foods and fruits, but also for the flowers of many colours and fragrances. This is also the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Filipinos’ close relationship with Mary is reflected in numerous celebrations around the country, but nothing tops the Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) which is celebrated everywhere...

When Mother’s Day Becomes Real

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Written by

I realized many, many years ago that all of those beautiful creations that we, as children, made for Mom for Mother’s Day never really survived much past, say 10 days, after the event. Maybe I dreamed that somewhere my Mom would have a hope chest cherishing and keeping all of those treasures. Now it was by no means a traumatic realization. In fact, most years my supposed “treasures” were about as artistic as, well, off-white paint. I knew in her heart Mom treasured the gifts and the efforts but she knew and I knew even more that my name wasn’t Van Gogh. 

And so countless Mother’s Days passed with phone calls and overly sweet Carlton cards and the annual Prayer over the Moms at the Mass. It’s the day, as a priest, you get more hugs than Christmas Eve. 

But this year was different...

Passing on the Faith

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Written by

When Jane and I were expecting our first child, we began looking at how we’d like to pass the faith on to our children. We started by considering things that helped us as we grew up.

One thing I remember is my dad reading from a children’s bible or bible story every night after supper. As a child, I thought it was terrible. My friends got to go out and play a whole 5 minutes before I did! Oh, the injustice. But by the time I was a teenager, I had a pretty decent knowledge of the major stories throughout the bible. It was a great foundation for my relationship with my loving God.

My Little Pity Party

Thursday, May 3, 2018 Written by

So, about a month ago, I chipped one of my teeth. After a short period of mild panic, I called the dentist and got an appointment for him to check it out. Sure enough, I would need a couple more appointments to get the problem (and a few other minor issues) fixed. I guess that’s what I get for not visiting for a few years.

Well, after a bit of waiting, the time had finally come – my week of appointments. This morning, I got myself to the dentist office for Part 2 of the appointment series – finishing the fixing of the tooth. After a freezing job that left one side of my face feeling nothing, and yet ridiculous at the same time, and an hour and a bit of holding my mouth open, it was all done. I stood up from the chair and went to go talk to the dental office receptionist. That’s when my personal pity party began...

Phase 7

After my One Dark Night, my attitude to life changed and I became more focused on prayer to God for peace and guidance. I phoned my good friend Lorne to give him the good news. His Mom said Lorne had moved to Edmonton to attend a 2 year Certificate Music Program to train as a vocalist (singer). With no hesitation, I asked for Lorne’s phone number in Edmonton. After speaking with Lorne, I drove to Edmonton to get more information and get a tour of the Grant MacEwan Performing Arts College. I picked up an application form and planned to attend the Program...

Of Lives and Fishes

Friday, April 20, 2018 Written by

It’s been a few years now since my Mom passed away. She was quite excited with my role in the design and construction of the Cathedral as volunteer Chair of the Building Committee. Sadly, she never got to see the finished building. I actually interviewed for my position here as Facilities Manager a few days after her funeral.

She died in 2011 at the age of 89, some 6 years after Dad, who had lived to 92. Like many other young women of that depression/wartime generation, she trained as a school teacher after leaving home. Through her position in a one-room country schoolhouse, she met and subsequently married my father. They raised 8 kids while farming 3 quarter-sections of land - practically a hobby farm by today's standards...

This Easter season has been full of twists and turns. I went to the Easter Triduum at the Cathedral, and it was absolutely beautiful. The Easter vigil will be a highlight of the year, with breathtaking music and an awesome experience of our faith community. It was an absolute joy to see the congregation huddle around the baptismal fount to welcome twenty-six new members into the church.

But this past week has also been spent meditating on the mystery of God’s ways. Amongst the joy of the Easter season, the celebrations of God’s mercy for us, we mourn and lament the tragedy of the Humboldt Bronco hockey team. We light the Easter candle and finally sing Alleluia, while simultaneously offering prayers of sorrow and devastation...

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