Author Archive for Terry McDermott

The Elderly Who Are Isolated and Abandoned
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The Elderly Who Are Isolated and Abandoned

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As I walked through the lobby of the assisted living facility, I saw him again – the elderly gentleman whom I had greeted three hours earlier. Had he been there all morning? I wondered. I was on patient rounds in the building that day, visiting the residents that staff had identified as needing to be […]

Advent: Waiting Like Mary and Joseph
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Advent: Waiting Like Mary and Joseph

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I have just finished my annual routine of climbing into the attic and hauling out the box that stores our much-used Advent wreath. Candles? Check. Prayers? Check. Matches? We’ll need to get more of those. Like most families, the season of Advent falls right in the middle of a very busy time. School, work, extracurricular […]

The Family that Prays the Rosary Together
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The Family that Prays the Rosary Together

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“It seems to me that a principal cause of the loss of faith is the dropping off in the practice of the family rosary … the abandonment of the family rosary is a main reason why so many Catholics have lost the faith…. the Church of the future is going to consist solely of those […]

Young in the Spirit: Spiritual Strengthening for Seniors and Caregivers
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Young in the Spirit: Spiritual Strengthening for Seniors and Caregivers

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According to Statistics Canada, the years between 2010 and 2031 will see an accelerated rate in the aging population since this is the period when all baby boomers will have turned sixty-five. By the year 2036, between twenty-three per cent and twenty-five percent of the population will comprise of seniors aged sixty-five and over. The […]

On Unemployed Youth and Forgotten Elderly
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On Unemployed Youth and Forgotten Elderly

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There’s a great line in the book: Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know, by Diane Moczar. In writing about the downfall of Rome, she quotes an historian’s description of the Roman Empire before its demise: “a terrifying sluggishness of the whole population.” For me, this phrase denotes aimlessness, a lack of motivation and initiative, a […]

The Pope Francis Effect: Why I'm Having a Tough Time
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The Pope Francis Effect: Why I’m Having a Tough Time

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I have a confession. I’m having a tough time adjusting to Pope Francis. I admit that I’m a B16 fan girl and I’m still getting over Pape Bene’s understandable departure. It’s like when your best friend moves far away and no matter how hard you try, you can’t help but compare all your other friends […]

Ten Suggestions for Being Contemplative in a Busy World
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Ten Suggestions for Being Contemplative in a Busy World

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I sat in my kitchen on the morning of Labor Day, watching and listening to the activity around me. My husband and I, along with our three youngest children, had arrived home on the previous evening from a three-week vacation in Newfoundland and this was the first time that the family (nine of the ten […]

How To Be A Crazy (for Christ) Catholic
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How To Be A Crazy (for Christ) Catholic

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Do you make the Sign of the Cross and bow your head in prayer before eating at a restaurant? On Ash Wednesday, do you walk into work after lunch with an ashy smudge on your forehead? When asked by your colleagues what you did on the weekend, do you say you went to Mass? Do […]

Am I Dumb Because I Have Eight Kids?
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Am I Dumb Because I Have Eight Kids?

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The Guardian U.K. recently published an article entitled Should we care that smart women aren’t having kids? The piece was based on the work of Satoshi Kanazawa, a London School of Economics psychologist who conducted research on the link between intelligence and maternal urges and wrote the book The Intelligence Paradox based on his findings. […]

To Wear or Not Wear: Church Veils and Mantillas
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To Wear or Not Wear: Church Veils and Mantillas

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If you do an internet search for “church veil” or “mantilla”, you’ll come across many websites dedicated to wearing a piece of lace covering on your head during Holy Mass. You’ll also find many blog posts and articles that ask the question: should I or shouldn’t I wear a mantilla? The reasons for veiling are […]

Empowering Our Youth to Make a "Mess"
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Empowering Our Youth to Make a “Mess”

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In one of his World Youth Days homilies, Pope Francis told the throng of enthusiastic young adults that he wants “a mess”. “I want trouble in the dioceses!” he exclaimed. The participants embraced his words, reacting with the customary jubilation we have come to expect every time the Holy Father addresses the crowds. The Holy […]

Posing Nude: A Symptom of Illness in the Church
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Posing Nude: A Symptom of Illness in the Church

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The nude photograph of Agnieszka Radwanska has caused quite a stir inside and outside of the Catholic Church. Agnieszka is the fourth ranked world tennis champ who posed naked for ESPN Magazine. When the photo went public – and viral – she was dropped from the Polish Catholic youth movement, Krucjata Mlodych (Youth Crusade), where […]

Remembering the Martyrs of Compiegne
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Remembering the Martyrs of Compiegne

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During the period between 1789 and 1799, France was deep in the throes of revolution with forces of change advocating for democratic reforms. With the downfall of the monarchy in 1792, the Committee of Public Safety became the governing body. From September 1793 – July 1794, France lived in the period famously known as The […]

When Gay "Marriage" Affects Your Family
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When Gay “Marriage” Affects Your Family

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On June 26, 2013, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down in a five- to- four decision by the United States Supreme Court. Gay activists south of the border were overjoyed. Here in Canada, it was just another marriage equality day since our Supreme Court redefined marriage with the passing of the Civil […]

Helping Our Children Discern Their Vocations
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Helping Our Children Discern Their Vocations

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When I grow up, I’m going to be a priest and a policeman.” “I want to be a nun who rides horses and sings. Can a nun have babies?” “Mummy, when I grow up I’m going to marry you.” I smile as I remember these statements made by some of my children when they were […]

What are You Grateful For?
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What are You Grateful For?

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The question stared back at me from the email sent by a nurses’ professional group where I hold membership. I read it on a wet, dreary morning as I fretted about having to go to work. I wondered aloud when I would ever win the lottery. Still feeling sorry that I wasn’t an instant millionaire […]

How Does the Internet Affect Your Relationships?
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How Does the Internet Affect Your Relationships?

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There we were, my husband and I, lounging around the living room, facing each other but not looking at each other. He was transfixed on his laptop, ear buds in place, watching something on Netflix. I was glued to my laptop, working on business stuff. Over in a corner of the kitchen, two of our […]

Enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Our Family
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Enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Our Family

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For a parent, there is nothing more humbling than understanding that God has entrusted us with the care of his precious little ones.  Nothing in life makes us realize the enormity of our responsibility as well as the reality of our inability as when our newborn is first placed in our arms.  It is the […]

Our Imperfect Family Rosary
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Our Imperfect Family Rosary

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When I was growing up, my immature self believed that the family rosary was something that had to be endured. Through no fault of my parents, the nightly ritual was anything but idyllic. My siblings and I were called into our parents’ bedroom where we knelt facing the crucifix.  My older brother and I would […]

They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
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They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love

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If you’re of a certain age, you’ll recognize the title from an old folk hymn; we sang it repeatedly at Folk Mass in the 70’s and early 80’s.  While the song itself is no longer popular, the message behind it is timeless. I was contacted to see an inpatient at one of our busiest hospitals.  […]

Defending the Catholic Faith
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Defending the Catholic Faith

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Like many faithful Catholics, the resignation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI left me feeling uncertain and deeply saddened.  For a few days, I felt a little weepy and the wet, slushy weather fueled my winter blahs. With a heavy heart, I went to work each morning as a visiting nurse in the community.  On one […]

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If Only . . .

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We’re a peculiar bunch, we humans.  Most of us never seem to be satisfied with our lot in life.  No matter how good or how bad, we instinctively reach out for something more. As someone who wears many different hats in a 24-hour period, I hate to admit it but I am guilty as charged.  […]

Child-Like Faith
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Child-Like Faith

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I teach the First Communion class at my parish in a large room in the basement of the church.  For safety reasons, I ask the parents to come downstairs after class and pick up their child.  I tell the kids that if they don’t see their parent, they have to stay with me and we’ll […]

A Mother's Prayer
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A Mother’s Prayer

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I stood by helplessly and watched as a text message received by one of my older children instantly transformed a situation that showed much promise into a state of uncertainty.  My child was visibly disappointed and frustrated.  All I could do was give a reassuring hug and offer some words of consolation.  Throughout my work […]

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