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Claude Ryan Remembered

Par Alan Hustak le 1 février 2014

claude_ryan.jpgAlthough Claude Ryan died ten years ago  he remains a moral presence in Quebec. As a measure of his ongoing influence, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair and former Quebec Premier Jean Charest will take part in a seminar at the Newman Centre on Peel St. February 13 and 14 marking the 10th anniversary of Ryan’s death.

As well, the first volume of Michael Gauvreau’s two volume Ryan  biography is about to be published.

Imagine….

Par Beryl Wajsman le 23 décembre 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgImagine….
Close your ears to all the noise and hubbub for a few moments and imagine the following…
You go to a CLSC or EI or Revenue office and the civil servant you encounter actually tries to be of service…
You turn to  a police officer for help and they don’t automatically regard you with suspicion but go out of their way to help…
You go through your lists of things to do for you and find that at the top are things that you want to do for others…

A Christmas letter

Par Father John Walsh le 23 décembre 2013

father_walsh.jpgChristmas reminds us that many people cannot find a room in the Inn.  They are left out in the cold because we failed to invite them into -  not our home because there isn’t room for all of them -  but we could open our hearts to them. S rely there is enough room in our hearts for them.
It is truly amazing that when those who are out in the cold come out of the cold and into the warmth of our hearts, everyone is speaking the language of love and everyone understands each other. The many colors of their skin form a rainbow to celebrate the end of prejudice and hate.

JEAN LOUIS ROUX: 1923-2013 - Grand homme du Theatre

Par Alan Hustak le 29 novembre 2013

Jean-Louis_Roux.jpgJean-Louis Roux was a distingushed actor who was hounded out office as Quebec’s lieutenant-governor by Quebec nationalists within six months after he admitted he once wore a swastika in his teens while taking part in an anti-conscription demonstration during the Second World War. One of the founders of Montreal’s Theatre du Nouveau Monde  and former head of both the National Theatre School and The Canada Council for the Arts, Mr. Roux was also briefly a Canadian senator. “He was a great man of the theatre, an electrifying doyen,” recalled author Jan Martel.

About love

Par Jill Salomon le 8 juillet 2013

For some strange reason, I have not had a relationship in seven years. This last relationship was not even Salomon_Jill.jpga good relationship. It was on again, off eight months. It was with a man who could not communicate his thoughts or feelings. If ever he did, it was purely physical. Men are like that.

I was not one to constantly say "what are you thinking".  That is a very big mistake, as the answer is usually a frustrating..."nothing...why?."
I crave communication. I need to understand and be understood.  I think that is the basis for any good relationship.

Two Popes In The Footprints Of Two Saints

Par Father John Walsh le 8 juillet 2013

father_walsh.jpgIn the early Jesus movement a serious dispute arose between Peter and Paul.  Paul held that the new Gentile converts would not be required to be circumcised.  A Council was called in Jerusalem to address the problem.  In the letter to the Galatians commentators have described the confrontation of Peter by Paul as one where the sparks were flying.  The issues:  Are Gentile converts to be circumcised?  And what about following the Mosaic Law?

The pertinent record of the Council is found in the Acts of the Apostles chapters 10 and 15.

 

A SHOUT OUT TO YOUTH

Par Father John Walsh le 6 juillet 2013

father_walsh.jpgIt is time to take off the gloves.
I find you are amazing the world with your innovations, making incredible strides in so many fields of endeavour, and you are greatly respectful of all that is genuinely human.   You have created a new enthusiasm for the protection of our planet, you want creation to flourish, and you have a true desire for peace.   You are forging new roads where no one has travelled.  You want the planet to be sustainable.  You belong to this world.  You venture into the unexplored mystery of life on the planet earth and in the unfolding mysteries in the universes beyond our planet.   You are not shutting your eyes to the world around you.  You are secular, and that means, in its full sense, world-centered.

Life is short. Stand tall!

Par Jill Salomon le 26 juin 2013

Salomon_Jill.jpgA week of grey skies,, cold temperatures and rain in Montreal.  Not the best spring that we are having.   It has gotten to me. It has gotten to a lot of other people as well.
There are no backyard bar -b-que smells. The parks are empty. People are holed up in their homes, waiting for the Spring. The real spring.  The sunny skies and the terasses.  Walking up on the mountain. Strolling through old Montreal. Taking bike rides, motocycle rides, going up to the laurentians. Or just sitting on a park bench watching the people go by.

THE MORGENTALER TRIALS: CLAUDE-ARMAND SHEPPARD AND THE SPIRIT OF LAW

Par Beryl Wajsman le 18 juin 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpg

Much has been written about  Morgentaler’s  acts and his convictions that affirmed collective dignity and individual freedom for all women in Canada. This is as it should be. This was  paramount.
But the legacy of the Morgentaler trials in Quebec was greater than that. We are affected by them to this very day. They were profiles in courage and conscience. Profiles of a doctor who challenged the  law of our land, and his lawyer - Claude-Armand Sheppard - who changed the life of our law.  And not enough has been written about that.

Bridging The Secular Divide

Par Father John Walsh le 9 juin 2013

father_walsh.jpgMcGill University was the site of a two-day Seminar that gathered people from all over Canada to discuss and debate how religion can or must bridge the growing divide between religion and secular society.   Persons from a myriad of religious faith traditions were represented and each took an active role in contributing to the Canadian religious mosaic and expressed varied views of how religious people are investing time and energy to dialogue with the secularization of society.


Dare to dream! Thoughts on Commencement 2013

Par Beryl Wajsman le 9 juin 2013

Wajsman_Beryl_bw.jpgSome of you will be graduating this month. You go forth at a time in history of great danger as well as great opportunity. You are surrounded by far too much sham and drudgery, but also by noble acts of selflessness and courage. So these thoughts go to the class of 2013.
You will soon be leaving the comfortable world of academe for the much harder school of life. It’s waiting for you. Just there in the early morning. What you leave you should always remember. Keep these years of study and searching warm in your hearts, and remember the lessons of effort and striving. It is the truth you looked for. Never forget that goal in all your endeavors. It is pre-eminent of purpose.

Un silence rempli d’éloquence

Par Louise V. Labrecque le 7 mai 2013

Labrecque_Louise_bw.jpgLe silence des musulmans dit modérés a de quoi laisser pantois. Il vient un temps où il faut cesser de s’accouder à la fenêtre, pour enfin prouver au monde notre « extraordinaire vision ». En effet, aucun vœu pieu ne fera l’affaire : ce qu’exige maintenant tous les états éclairés de la communauté internationale, ce sont des preuves, des données tangibles, empiriques, irréfutables, exprimant hors de tout doute que l’Islam est bel et bien une religion de paix. Et si nous sommes un tantinet pressés, voire clairement agacés, c’est que la farce a assez durée : nous sommes las de ce scandale fondamental laissant croire en une paix puisant hypocritement son eau à la source des pires barbaries, du terrorisme, de la haine perverse et mortifère.

Why do meds cost so much?

Par Dr. Mitch Shulman le 17 mars 2013

shulman_mitch.jpgDrug companies can’t charge whatever they want. The highest price they can charge is actually set by a federal institution.  Before we begin though, there’s something you should know about me. For 16 years I held medical positions of increasing responsibility in 2 international research- based pharmaceutical companies. I bring you an insider’s perspective very few people have.


 

Tom Flanagan and Death by Political Correctness

Par David T. Jones le 16 mars 2013

jones_david.jpgThus Tom Flanagan’s musing, off topic response to a Q&A, regarding whether viewing (not creating, circulating, let alone participating/implementing) child pornography/pedophilia justified a prison sentence has destroyed his career.  Virtually instantly CBC dropped him as a commentator and the University of Alberta announced his retirement.  So toxic is his name that reportedly an article he coauthored on a totally different political topic was withdrawn from publication--even when Flanagan offered to remove his name from the article.


The Papacy Part III: The Church in Quebec

Par Father John Walsh le 11 mars 2013

father_walsh.jpgAttention has been riveted on Rome since the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.  The possible election of Cardinal Marc Ouellet, a native of Quebec, may even distract Quebecers from the reality of the Church of Quebec which was recently addressed by the Assembly of the Bishops of Quebec.  The title of their letter to Catholics in Quebec is entitled, Catholics in a Pluralist Quebec (January 2013).  It serves as a reminder that the Catholic Church is essentially a grass-roots church.  The Church is built upon the lived experience of faith expressed in local ecclesial communities, commonly known as parishes. 

The Papacy – Part II: Who Is Knocking On The Pope's Door?

Par Father John Walsh le 3 mars 2013

Will the next Pope be from the Americas, Europe, or Africa?  Speculation is growing exponentially about who the future occupant of the papal residence will be.  More so for us in Quebec with the mention that a Canadian Cardinal, a Quebecker, Marc Ouellet, is in the running!  The other names on the list are several in number and not known by many outside of Italy or South America or Ghana.  The choice will be made shortly but while waiting I recall a priest I knew as a teen-ager, Father Wally Sutton.  

The Papacy: A Time Of Decision

Par Father John Walsh le 12 février 2013

father_walsh.jpgMomentous occasions and defining moments are not everyday occurrences.  The sudden stepping down from the Chair of Saint Peter by Pope Benedict XVI was a worldwide surprise.  It was unexpected and unsettling.  The Papacy is in a time of transition and of decision.
No one can predict the future and Benedict himself disclaimed limbo, so we are confronted with the challenge to discover new images and new metaphors to describe our present experience.  I happily recall the words of Pope John XXIII who, in his opening address at the Second Vatican Council, situated the Church at a new dawn, in need of an “aggiornamento,” an updating and a renewal of the Church. 

On Grief

Par Kristy-Lyn Kemp le 9 février 2013

Krista.jpgIt has been said that the grieving process is one of several steps, such as denial, anger, and acceptance. Although there is no prescribed time frame for each given step, this has always seemed far too neat and tidy. One can experience many of these emotions at once, and just because a person is considered to be over a given stage does not mean that feelings of anger or denial cannot come creeping back long after it was thought that such emotions had been conquered. Similarly, to accept the death of someone is not to be healed; it does not mean that the grieving process can be done away with.

Blood Is Being Shed Everywhere

Par Father John Walsh le 2 février 2013

father_walsh.jpgThe Vietnam War, in the late 1960’s, was the first time that war was transmitted via television into our living rooms.  We had to judge whether or not the shedding of the blood of another human being was acceptable.  Had we forgotten fratricide in the biblical story of Cain and Abel?  

What about the jealousy of blessing in the intrigue of Jacob and Esau?  In the end, the American people confronted their beliefs and values and eventually judged that the war had to be terminated.

 

A Question of Time

Par Father John Walsh le 2 décembre 2012

Many years ago I entered a dialogue with the children during a Sunday morning Eucharist.  I asked the children if they could make a sentence with the word time in it.  One little girl blurted out, “time flies.”  I thanked her.  Then another girl, with her hand waving in the air, and somehow to her mother’s premonition and chagrin, said, “My mother kept saying, hurry up or we won’t get to church on time.” 
The congregation chuckled.  Then, at the very back of the Church, a young man of about eight put up his hand.  I walked down the length of main aisle and escorted him to the center of the aisle.  I asked him to cup his hands around his mouth so everybody could hear his sentence.  In a booming voice, he said, “We’re wasting time.”

Paramours in Power

Par Robert Presser le 16 novembre 2012

Presser_Robert_new.jpgYou would have to live in monkish isolation to have missed the most recent Washington sex scandal involving the ex-CIA director David Petraeus and his biographer, PaulaBroadwell. This is far from Washington’s greatest infidelity scandal, nor is it it’s most consequential.  What makes it exceptional is that the main actor, General Petraeus, resigned from his CIA directorship right at the outbreak of its becoming public, rather than waiting for the situation to evolve, the contours of the crisis to develop and at least make an attempt to ride the waves of public opinion to potential salvation.

The Books

Par Chloe Landry le 28 octobre 2012

Landry_Chloe.jpgWritten for Quebec Library Week


To the people of the world,

For thousands of years, we have existed. For thousands of years, we have lived in harmony. For thousands of years, we have stayed silent. Progress, though, has put pressure on our existence. The doubts of our value in this world have forced us to take a stand.

Tony Loffreda - The Rainmaker

Par Beryl Wajsman le 19 octobre 2012

Loffreda_Tony.JPGIn business and the law a rainmaker is someone who brings in important clients. Keeps the money flow coming, and in a big way. But there are two aspects to rainmaking. And it is not everyone who can pull it off with grace and effectiveness. RBC’s Tony Loffreda may be first among equals.
Leaders come in two categories. Insiders and outsiders. A few, a very few, manage to be both. We have all met rainmakers whose sole concern is money. Whether it be a  businessman,  banker, lawyer, they are people who focus all their energy on a constant round of power breakfasts, meetings and presentation. They may be charitable with their money, but frankly have little time left to give of their talent. These are the insiders.

Vivre en plein milieu du peuple

Par Father John Walsh le 19 octobre 2012

father_walsh.jpgUn jour j’ai rencontré Sœur Hélène Préjean, l’auteur du livre Dead Man Walking et consultante majeure du film du même nom, dont Susan Sarandon à obtenu un « Oscar » pour le rôle de la religieuse.  J’ai pu l’interviewer à la radio et j’étais surpris quand elle me disait que la vie à Nouvelle Orléans cote « suburbia » était une vie tranquille.  Mais, un jour elle a déménagée l’autre cote de la ville, quartier pauvre, et le premier soir quelqu’un cognait à la porte.  Elle ouvre la porte et une femme me poussait de cote et entrait brusquement, un homme la suivait avec un couteau à la main.  La surprise qu’elle me révèle : ce soir-là mon Dieu a changé complètement. 

Dieppe : un épisode terrible, mais pour le Canada, une force unificatrice

Par Bernard Amyot le 19 octobre 2012

Amyot_Bernard.JPGLe 19 août dernier, les Dieppois et de nombreux Français ont commémoré le 70ème anniversaire du raid de Dieppe.  
Le 19 août 1942, des milliers de soldats canadiens ont combattu avec grand courage dans le cadre de ce débarquement mémorable, mettant ainsi la table pour les opérations du Jour J et l’Invasion alliée de Normandie plus de deux ans plus tard (Opération Overlord).  Les Français se souviennent encore vivementde ce raid et continuent de le célébrer, bon an mal an.  Les Canadiens devraient, a fortiori, se souvenir avec autant de ferveur des énormes sacrifices de leurs compatriotes.

Yoga gets off the mat and tries to help part of the world

Par Beryl Wajsman le 19 octobre 2012

backbend.jpgMany people think yoga is a discipline practiced by those privileged with the time and means for proper instruction and a certain degree of self-absorption. Somewhat removed from the harsh realities of life that beset most people. It is of course not that at all. And for for the past several years, adherents to a certain school of Yoga have set out to demonstrate just that.
The Global Seva Challenge, a program of "Off the Mat into the World", adopts a cause every year and hundreds of yoga instructors around the world adopt personal projects to raise money for the goal. This year the Seva Challenge is to help victims of sex trafficking. 

 

The Not So Perfect Martini in New York City

Par Robert K. Stephen le 19 octobre 2012

nycmartini.jpgMartinis and Kraft Dinner have much in common. One can spend hours comparing techniques, add-ons, personal preferences and anecdotes and reach no conclusions as to the ultimate Martini or bowl of Kraft Dinner. Do you like your Kraft Dinner, milky, cheesy, al dente and with chopped up hot dogs in it? Do you like a gin vs. vodka Martini, dirty Martini, with lime twists or with or without vermouth? Do you like to eat your Kraft Dinner right out of the pot with a soup spoon or in a bowl? Would you like your Martini shaken in front of you or be content to hear it be shaken twenty feet behind you? Do you want it stirred or shaken? All these questions are deep and serious worthy of contemplation by both philosophers andprobably not wine writers who should keep their snouts out of Martini stemware.

Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini: Candidate for Papacy forged new alliances between Catholics and Jews

Par Father John Walsh le 30 septembre 2012

carlo_martini.JPGThe death of a retired Cardinal has made headlines throughout the world.  The headline of the New York Times was "Cardinal Carlo Martini says Church 200 years behind."However, the headline didn't capture his prophetic voice as a reflection Jeremiah knew when he wrote:  “When I found your words, I devoured them, they became my joy and the happiness of my heart."



Twas The Time Before Idiocy

Par Peter Anthony Holder le 21 septembre 2012

Many years ago, during the Nixon administration in the U.S., Vice-President Spiro Agnew once called the press “the nattering nabobs of negativity.”
Perhaps that chestnut of a phrase, which was actually penned in a speech for the Veep by William Safire, could be applied today to the folks who wish to reign over language and culture with the sanitization that is political correctness.
How else could you explain the idea of taking a poem that is a Christmas classic, written by Clement Clarke Moore back in 1822, and changing it for the sake of appeasing today’s sensibilities of removing anything a child might see or hear that has a negative connotation?

John Lynch-Staunton

Par Alan Hustak le 23 août 2012

John_lynch.jpgJohn Lynch-Staunton was the amicable Canadian senator who played a crucial role in the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive-Conservative Parties and served as the Conservative Party’s first interim leader for four months until Stephen Harper won the leadership  in  2004.  Before Lynch-Staunton was named to The Senate by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1990 he had been a Montreal city councillor and vice-chairman of the City of Montreal’s Executive committee when Jean Drapeau was Mayor. 
Lynch-Staunton was 82 when he died August 17 of a heart attack while on vacation in the Alberta foothills.

 

105: The New 85 Westmounter Lucille Pacaud

Par Alan Hustak le 19 août 2012

Lucille_Pacaud.jpgLucille Pacaud joins an exclusive club next Monday (Aug 27) when she celebrates her 105th birthday. Only about  100 women in Quebec have reached that age. Not many of them who have are  as alert as the woman affectionately known to her friends as  “Auntie Lou. “It’s a hell of a nuisance,” she said about her birthday as she thumbed through  some letters that she wrote in 1926 which she hadn’t seen in years.  “I am a little bit  frightened and  amazed  that have outlived all the friends of my generation. There is so much to remember and so much to forget.”   The secret to living so long she says, is to “walk, to keep walking everyday.” Pacaud retired from her job as a volunteer at the Montreal General Hospital six years ago shortly after she moved into Fulford House.

Perfidy! The United Church betrays "Bearing Faithful Witness"

Par Beryl Wajsman le 17 août 2012

So,  in the face of a world of horrors, the General Council of the United Church of Canada chose to vote a boycott of products produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank because the Council claims that the settlements are the primary impediment to a two-state solution. Reasonable people can debate the settlements. But where is the Council's concern over Hamas' thousands of murders of their own people as well as Israelis? Where is the Council's concern over the utter failure of the Palestinian Authority to stop suicide bombers operating from its territory against Israel? Where is the Council's concern over Palestinian children being taught anti-Jewish, yes anti-Jewish not anti-Israeli, hate in PA schools from textbooks paid for in part by Western foreign aid dollars? Whether or not one supports the settlements, to announce that they are the major impediment to peace is a travesty of truth.

Reverend Msgr. Barry Egan-Jones 1932-2012. “God’s publicist,” priest promoted Jewish Christian dialogue.

Par Alan Hustak le 30 juillet 2012

IMG_2664.JPGBarry Egan-Jones was English-language director of public relations for the Roman Catholic diocese of Montreal for 25 years before he was named administrator of St. Patrick’s basilica in 1996 where he was given the daunting task of completing the $2.5-million restoration of the historic downtown church.  He started the Catholic Times diocesan newspaper, was on the CBC’s regional advisory council and was the commentator for the national broadcaster during Pope John Paul’s 1984 visit to Canada.  Urbane and socially well-connected, Rev. Egan Jones also conducted part of his ministry writing pointed letters to the editor.  He was 80 when he died of a heart attack on July 25.

Leo Leonard, a.k.a Clawhammer Jack : last of the urban horsemen.

Par Alan Hustak le 18 juillet 2012

6899727.jpgLeo Leonard, affectionately known as Clawhammer Jack, was an authentic urban horseman who maintained a horse palace in the heart of  Montreal’s Griffintown  neighbourhood for almost five decades.  A third generation Irishman, Leonard was a horse whisperer and a former caléche driver who lived in the same neighbourhood just below the Bell Centre for almost all of his 86 years. He held out almost to the end against developers  who wanted his property for office and commercial space and for affordable and subsidized housing. He died on July 5 several months after finally moving out of Griffintown.

Notes from the Sinkhole of our discontent

Par Joel Ceausu le 18 juillet 2012

 

I held my son’s chocolate peanut-butter ice cream slathered hand and looked at that nice strip of fresh black bitumen over the former sinkhole that opened up on Ste. Catherine St. last week and wondered like many others in our city, what if?
What if it happened in front of my house? What if it swallowed a car? What if some protesting window-smashing “anarchist” had taken a journey down that rabbit hole?

 


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