May 2006

Anglican update

The Anglican Church throughout the world continues to lurch through its current crisis over sexual issues, and it was recently brought to my attention that there has a new development: the release of the St. Michael Report regarding the blessing of same-sex unions.

The Vatican, condoms, and AIDS

Both the mainstream media and the blogosphere have been abuzz lately with the rumoured possibility that the Vatican will make a declaration stating that it would be possible for married couples to use condoms in the case where one of the partners was infected with HIV, so as to prevent transmission of the virus.

For myself, I simply can't see such a declaration being made. My reasons are both dogmatic and pragmatic.

Bloody squirrels

Our Internet connection at the parish has been down for the past few days (it was already becoming spotty before that), and we’ve had to call a technician to take a look at things. I’m actually writing this from the hospital computer.

Our current theory is that a squirrel chewed through a cable. And don’t laugh! They’ve been known to do such things, apparently — one of our schools just this week had to cancel a day of classes because a squirrel had chewed through a power line. He must have gotten the shock of his life.

Marriage preparation

Welcome to all couples preparing for marriage. This page is particularly meant to help Catholics prepare for their wedding. Each priest does things a little differently, of course, so be sure to check with yours regarding what I’ve got here. Of course, if I’m the priest who is presiding your wedding, pay close attention! :-)

Marriage preparation takes place in 4 parallel streams: (1) legal preparation, (2) ceremony preparation, (3) pastoral preparation, and (4) preparing the party and honeymoon.

Legal preparation

Parishes that can change the world

I was recently asked to outline what I thought a truly vibrant parish would look like. I thought a lot about how to answer that, and I realised that whatever answers I would come up with would be necessarily coloured by whatever latent or overt vision I had of the Church.

The Church was born on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 gathered in the upper room. The presence of the one Holy Spirit in the hearts of all those believers united them, taking them from being a mere gang of individuals to being one Body.

My vocation story: Beginnings

Some time ago I was asked to respond to a set of interview questions regarding my vocation to the priesthood (a number of priests in the diocese are being interviewed in this fashion). The purpose is to help find ways to encourage priestly vocations in general. I thought I might share my answers here — perhaps it will help someone else discern how God is calling them. These first two points are in a section of the questionnaire entitled “Beginnings”.