Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa has recently decreed a ban on eulogies during funeral rites conducted inside the church. Trying to explain this edict, the archbishop is reported to have said that the purpose of the funeral is “not to praise the deceased, but to pray for them.”
Imagine a spiritually nourished parish without a priest but rather two nuns! Such a reality exists in the village of Ventanillas de Otuzco near the city of Cajamarca in Peru where two members of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception from New Brunswick now live and work.
Rita Coumont and Muriel Buckley
The village is known for its necropolis of carved niches in the mountain side which predate the arrival of the Spaniards by hundreds of years or more.
The Ventanillas or “Windows” – ancient tombs in Otuzco
My daughter Naomi phoned me in May and said “Daddy, take me to Peru!”I had been a part of the Oblate missions during the 1970’s, an experience that profoundly marked my persona. We agreed to a 5 week travel agenda, including some typical “tourist” spots and some visiting of friends with whom I still had contact.I mentioned to Fr. Nicanor Sarmiento OMI that I would be traveling to Peru and he insisted that I visit his hometown of Lares, a 4
Most Christmas seasons we sing the carols from memory and enjoy the simple tunes which make them so easy to sing along without paying a lot of attention to the words. One favorite is “O Little town of Bethlehem”:
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
The song almost puts one to sleep, it evokes those warm fuzzies of tranquility and peace – but while it speaks about the town of Bethlehem of old, the current reality is anything but peaceful and hopeful.
I still find the topic of abortion to be difficult to understand, partly because there doesn’t seem to be a typical case by which all others could be evaluated. Each situation is as particular as to the individual(s) involved. In discussing this recently I went back to an article I wrote for New Catholic Times in 2008, to see where I was then and perhaps to consider what I have since learned on this topic.
John was a former Jesuit, quite renowned in the Toronto area as a retreat director. In retirement he settled on the Island and it was through my sister-in-law Jane, who was visiting with Mary McCann, that I first met John and his wife Lynn. I later met John again in a discussion group that was viewing a series of lectures by Brian Swimme on the Cosmos. I felt a strong attraction to John – his words came from a depth of spiritual peace and wisdom, and not having had an elder brother I imagined that this could be my elder sibling of choice. Good fortune came again to me when I found myself with John in a discussion group which met all last year.
On November 14, 2011 I received an early morning phone call from a friend in Nanaimo, Gilberto Mayen – a member of the F.M.L.N. of El Salvador, now living in Nanaimo. Gilberto asked if I could help with a translation from Spanish to English, but when I asked him when
he replied “Today, this morning”. I tried to explain to Gilberto that this gave me very little advance warning, I had not even yet had breakfast (for being a retired folk sometimes my morning schedule is somewhat relaxed). Gilberto pressed saying that a visitor to the Nanaimo campus of Vancouver Island University (formerly known as Malaspina College) needed a translator. Gilberto continued to press ” Felipe, it’s Aleida!” I asked “Who?” and Gilberto clarified with great excitement “it’s Aleida, the daughter of Ché!
Thinking about life and death and its mysteries. On June 30, 2012 we received news from England about the sudden death of my first cousin Andrea Clarke. She is the daughter of my Uncle Michael and Aunt Beryl, Michael being the younger brother of my mother.
I wish I could say more about Andrea – being that she is my first cousin and we share 1/2