Posts

Head to the Mountains

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  We (foolishly?) went to the mountains last week with five kids, including a colicky eight-week-old who has been crying most of the summer. It was hard. Very hard. Yet, the best things in life are hard. It turns out that little babies thrive on mountain air.  I may write more about our little adventure. But for now, if interested, here are two videos highlighting our Jasper adventure. Hiking, sweating, burning, freezing, eating too much ice cream, and even a bit of glamping. Enjoy!

The Crowds of Edmonton

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E-Book Free (July 10-12 Only) - Disconnected: The Broken Path

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  Can you spare a quick second to give me a hand with something? July 11th or July 12th. Because... I'm running a FREE promotion for the e-book version of Disconnected: The Broken Path. So...if you can, I'd really appreciate you hopping over to Amazon and downloading an e-copy (even if you've already bought the paperback). Again, it's totally free. I don't get paid a cent either (but it does help with the Amazon algorithms leading up to Prime Days). Feel free to tell your friends/family too. Links USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09VZJ2HHB Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09VZJ2HHB Thank you everyone for your continued support!

Well... that was a school year

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The school year is finished. It was one I shall not forget for a long time, try as I may. Within the first two weeks of the school year masks were re -mandated, I was placed on a 10-day close-contact quarantine, and a province-wide vax mandate was announced. I thought I was done. By October school divisions joined in the fun of the province vax mandate. My own division announced that unvaccinated teachers were to pay for weekly testing, or be, ahem, removed from their positions. Stay safe everybody. The day they announced this was the same day my wife made another announcement. That is, she told me she was pregnant. That was, uh, a little overwhelming. Other tidbits followed this, such as Trudeau stating he wanted to deny EI payments to unvaccinated people, or that my bishop said he would not lift one finger to help unvaccinated Catholics - the same day he had a letter begging for money for his annual appeal. In December I took the plunge and took a one-month unpaid sabbatical from wor

The Evolution of Synods

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First, as brought to my attention on Facebook by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski (h/t Fr. Z ): " The Vatican has released a document on "the spirituality of synodality." (NOT making this up.) Two important sentiments emerge: “It is not enough to have a synod. We must be a synod.” “The point of entry must always be ‘situatedness’.” And this image was included in the document. Ponder its self-conscious profundity. It is, as it were, the master key to... "the beyond of the Spirit." * * * Give me a second to sort out where we're at with synods right now: 1st Step - To demonstrate our synodality, let's have a synod. 2nd Step - Now we need a synod on synodality. 3rd Step - Each diocese must have a synod on the synod on synodality. Current (4th) Step - We are a synod. Future Steps   ? -                      We need a synod on the synod on the synod on the synod on synodality           All are welcome to be synods           Trads are not synods           Synods are

The Cost of Making the NHL

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So, you've failed your childhood dream of making the National Hockey League? Now what?  There is only one thing to do: Live out your dream through your child! WARNING: Living out your dream through your child can be expensive. Here is the cost of one year of hockey for a 10-year-old so that you he can, some day in the future, have a miniscule "shot" at the NHL... * * * To begin, your child will need to play on the AA travelling team. Local hockey teams are for bums. Got that? Bums. Scouts don't have time for bum players from inferior bum leagues. So sign up your child at the higher price. Well, first pay $60 to try out for the team, and then sign up. Actual registration, insurance, and jersey rentals will take an extra $800-1000 - if you're lucky and have a good fundraiser system (be prepared to work a few bingos). No big deal. Now you're ready to go! Have a fun year! But wait, there's more. The AA team, for some unknown reason, requires green equipment

Wendell Berry and Youth Fiction

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Back in the fall my wife made a passing comment to me. "I got this book from the library. Hannah Coulter. I think you might like it." Little did I know. This innocent remark has packed quite the punch. I was introduced to the world of Wendell Berry , and subsequently into Wendell Berry's fictional world of Port Williams. I haven't looked book. If you are unfamiliar with Wendell Berry's works, he is perhaps best known for his essays on preserving true farming, community, rural living, and all things common sense. However, he is also an accomplished novelist. So much so that you could swear his fictional Port Williams, and all its residents, are real.  Little did I know: Part 2. In the fall, as I was reading Wendell Berry, I wrote my first book. Disconnected: The Broken Path . It is a novel for ages 10 and up, and imagines a day when the internet crashes, and people are forced to live (or survive, I should say) in the real world.  Looking back, I see just how much

Those Nostalgic Hard Times

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  Last year we went on an epic family vacation . At least it was epic to us, seeing as we don't get out much. We hit up the Rocky Mountains and spent a glorious week and a half camping.  I love the mountains. I frequently dream about the mountains. When I'm not at the mountains I want to be at the mountains. But I also could never live at the mountains. It sounds like some tragic Shakespearean love story. However, you may as well bury me in an abandoned mine a mile below ground if I were to live by the mountains, cause that's how my head would feel without an open prairie sky to look at. Nevertheless, the mountains are the best place to visit. They called us over last year, and we gladly obliged.  It was hard. Very hard. Borderline too hard. At the time our four children were ages 1-9. The daily temperature hit well above 30 degrees C (which is a nightmare for Saskatchewanians). There were long drives, troubles with food (never expect me to remember to pack frozen meat at 4

The Greatest Evil to Befall a Soul, Except Sin, Is...

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I once went to a look-out spot which presented a stunning view of the Saskatchewan River. However, before I could get to the actual look-out spot, I had to stroll pass a fenced-in storage area. At that moment, there happened to be a deer within the fenced in area. Amused, I stood and watched. The deer looked up and saw me, and then utterly freaked out. In desperation to escape, he started ramming himself against the chain-link fence. With great violence he smashed his body towards the metal, harder and harder, all to no avail. Not wanting the animal to kill itself (which it surely would have), I quickly went out of sight. What happened afterwards? I imagine the deer calmed down, remembered where it was, and sheepishly walked out of the fenced in area by using the massive opening just a few feet away. * * * The deer story provides an example of what, according to St. Francis de Sales, is the greatest evil to befall a soul (besides sin). He is speaking of disquietude . Disquietude is as

"You're Not a Mother Yet!"

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  Some eleven years ago my wife Becca and I entered a church on a fine Sunday morning. It was Mother's Day, and the local K of C were passing out carnations to all the moms. It was sort of a big moment for us. You see, Becca was obviously pregnant. There was no hiding the fact. It was her first Mother's Day as a mother. We approached the man passing out flowers in the back foyer. I asked for a carnation for Becca. The man looked at Becca, at me, and then back at Becca, before shouting, "You're not a mother yet!" No carnation for Becca. Whatever. This man was a nut, and certainly didn't represent the church we were attending. The blame is on him.  I can imagine this man as the Gospel is read by a priest:  A pregnant Elizabeth comments to the pregnant Mary,   "Why am I so honoured, that the  mother  of my Lord should come to me?" The man shouts out from the pew: "She's not a mother YET!" Never mind.  We are approaching another Mother'