Although Fr John and I were priests of different generations – he was ordained in 1966, I in 1991 – one thing we had in common was an experience of profound joy, when in March 2013, we witnessed the election of the first Pope from the global South: Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, now universally known as Pope Francis.  In his recent encyclical letter on fraternity and social friendship, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis proclaims:  

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

At a recent diocesan catechetical conference, I was talking with two of the speakers, Mike and Louise.  Mike was reading a book called “Multiple Intelligences”.  Apparently, just as there is “intellectual” intelligence to help you understand concepts, there is also “emotional” intelligence, “spir

The Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Those of you who have participated in the Scouting movement are no doubt familiar with this motto.  Along with “do a good deed each day” and “do your duty to God and the Queen”, it is one of the moral principles on which a good Scout’s life is founded. 

Back in the 1990s, the Canadian bishops issued a pastoral letter on the economy.  After consulting with various experts, and seeing the suffering of their people, they crafted a statement reminding political and economic leaders of their responsibility towards the poor, the unemployed, and all wh

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, our readings speak to us of banquets and feasts.  In the first reading, we hear Isaiah’s promise of “a feast of rich food and well-aged wines” for all peoples and nations.  The Psalmist describes God as a Good Shepherd: One who leads us to abundant pastu

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Most of us can relate quite easily to BOTH sons in the parable Jesus tells in today’s Gospel.  There’s a part of us that is spontaneously generous and wants to say “Yes” to everything – but when the chips are down, and we have to confront our very real limits, we don’t always deliver the goods. 

Today’s Gospel is a most challenging text indeed.  The versions in Matthew and Luke’s gospels differ significantly.  In Luke’s Gospel, it is “when Jesus was praying alone” that he turns and asks the disciples these questions about his identity.  I wondered – if Jesus was supposed to be alone, wha

A faithful priest, an inspired teacher, a wise mentor, and a true gentleman

Dear friends – chers amis – cari amici di P. Bertoli:

We come together for Mass in order to be nourished – at the twin tables of God’s Word in Scripture, and the table of the Bread of Life which is the Eucharist. Because it appears in all four Gospels, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes – and the Bread of Life discourse that follows it in the Gospel of John – is a frequent homily topic in these summer months.  

Blessed are your eyes that see, and your ears that hear!

“Listen!  A sower went out to sow.”  Thus begins the wonderful series of parables told by the great teacher, Jesus of Nazareth – stories which, two thousand years later, are still being told as we gather to be formed by Jesus, who is the Greatest Story ever told!  As we gather in the midst of thi