Sin is a dirty word. As an Evangelical Protestant we rarely spoke about it. I know that’s not the experience of all evangelicals—maybe not even the majority—but it was certainly my experience in an array of denominations, too. –Sin was something we knew about, sure. Sin was something for which we were all culpable. Sin was even preached about the occasional Sunday morning—or whispered about on at a mid-week Bible study. But it was always sin in the sense of, “This is what… Read more

Some nights make me wonder what the heck we pray for. Read more

I snuck out today, on my forty-minute lunch break, to spend some time sitting in church. It’s one of those stormy Canadian winter days and I almost regretted my decision immediately as the wind whipped up a squall of snow right in my face the second I opened my car door. Blustery is probably the word I’m looking for. The parish church closest to my work is beautiful. A massive stone structure it stands head and shoulders above the row… Read more

I’m utterly convinced that confession is the single greatest gift God gave to our weary world. Forgiveness of our sins, yes, but through confession. It’s the mechanism that makes sense of the salvation story in a way that I couldn’t have possibly imagined before becoming Catholic. Confession is an incredible gift. A gift that, as an Evangelical convert to the Catholic faith, has completely blown me away. Reconciliation with God To understand the Sacrament of Reconciliation requires a little bit of legwork up… Read more

While the association of Santa Claus with the birth of Christ—and the roots of the Christmas season—is tenuous at best there is a real figure behind the red-suited fat fellow and his name is St. Nicholas. You’ve heard of him. Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and St. Nick are often pseudonyms for the same guy this time of the year but while two are purely fiction the fact of St. Nicholas, as a real honest-to-goodness saint, is firmly grounded in history. And… Read more

It’s just after 5 o’clock on Saturday and I hustle, as quiet as I can, into the church. I sit in the new section, a 1,500sqft addition that squeezed the last bit of space out of our church’s tiny footprint–making space for our ever-expanding community of parishioners. At more than two thousand registered families we’re the physically smallest parish in our area, but also, by most metrics, the most vibrant. And that’s why I’m here, to speak after Mass about… Read more

The sometimes torrential flow of Catholics leaving the Church for Evangelical traditions can be baffling for the uninitiated. What would possess someone to leave the Catholic Church? With access to the ancient sacraments and a Church which traces its lineage and authority structure back to the Apostles would could possibly be more enriching? More attractive? It might confound those in love with their Catholic faith but I’ve had just these conversations and, likely, you have too. Likely you know someone—or several people—who… Read more

My gosh, this election. It’s been long, difficult, and ugly. I was hoping that the ugliness would finally abate now that all the votes are counted and the presidency is cast; I was hoping we’d struggle a little bit, maybe, and then get on with things. We’d be civil again. We’d find our way back together in spite of the dark, but… This ugliness. Throughout the election my social media feeds became something of a sad and sorry caricature of what… Read more

Hello, America. So, for whatever reason you’ve suddenly got your heart set on making the move to Canada. Your northern neighbour. The one you didn’t even really notice was there until you suddenly needed somewhere to flee for your life. Ah, it’s OK. One of the many things you’ll learn about Canada—and Canadians—is just how gosh darn forgiving and tolerant we are, as a rule. But, hang on, before you stuff your ever-depreciating American dollars into a nondescript duffel bag and hightail it… Read more

I’ve written before about the laudable Catholic practice of praying for the dead—and that the dead can pray for us, too. I’ve written as well about the incredible gift that the saints are; to know that there are holy Christians, in Heaven, praying for us right now is incredible. What I haven’t written about, and what I feel compelled to share now, is the incredible story of Padre Pio—and his incredible commitment to praying for us. First, a primer. That deceased Christians… Read more

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