Monday, December 27, 2010

Rev. John F. Harvey, OSFS: 1918 - 2010

Thank you, Father Harvey, for your kindness, compassion, and friendship.  I was so blessed to know you, and now we're all blessed to have a friend like you in heaven.

UPDATE: A Memorial Mass for Fr. Harvey will be held in NYC on Saturday, February 19.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Alex Jones' Testimony

Alex Jones, a former Pentecostal minister, enters the Catholic Church.  This is Part 1 of his testimony.  The rest of the talk can be found on YouTube.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blues Guitar Chords

This guy is great: Marty Schwartz from  He teaches clearly and he's mostly easy to follow.  I've started following his video lessons on YouTube .

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Voice from Afar

Today, the Holy Father gave the title of "Blessed" to Cardinal John Henry Newman.  Here's a poem by Blessed Cardinal Newman entitled "A Voice from Afar", reminding us of the joy and rest he has in God's presence:

Weep not for me;—
Be blithe as wont, nor tinge with gloom
The stream of love that circles home,
Light hearts and free!
Joy in the gifts Heaven’s bounty lends;
Nor miss my face, dear friends!

I still am near;—
Watching the smiles I prized on earth,
Your converse mild, your blameless mirth;
Now too I hear
Of whisper’d sounds the tale complete,
Low prayers, and musings sweet.

A sea before
The Throne is spread;—its pure still glass
Pictures all earth-scenes as they pass.
We, on its shore,
Share, in the bosom of our rest,
God's knowledge, and are blest.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Conservatives of Colour

I love these guys and gals for speaking up!

Raheel Raza - Another Brave Woman!

Raheel Raza rocks! And she's a fellow Canadian! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yom Kippur

On this Day of Atonement, may our names be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

God is Love

This morning, I re-read sections 3 - 11 of Pope Benedict's first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est - God is Love. I'm currently reading St. Teresa of Avila's autobigraphy and I find that St. Teresa's description of the relationship between her soul and God is written in the language of eros - at least that's what it sounds like to me. Recently, someone reminded me that Pope Benedict wrote about eros in his first encyclical. I re-read the relevant sections of the encyclical this morning - beautiful stuff in there. Here are just a few short excerpts:

"True, eros tends to rise 'in ecstasy' towards the Divine, to lead us beyond ourselves; yet for this very reason it calls for a path of ascent, renunciation, purification and healing."

"The one God in whom Israel believes...loves with a personal love. His love, moreover, is an elective love: among all the nations he chooses Israel and loves her—but he does so precisely with a view to healing the whole human race. God loves, and his love may certainly be called eros, yet it is also totally agape."

"God is the absolute and ultimate source of all being; but this universal principle of creation—the Logos, primordial reason—is at the same time a lover with all the passion of a true love. Eros is thus supremely ennobled, yet at the same time it is so purified as to become one with agape."

I'm grateful for these reminders that God is not opposed to eros; rather, it is His gift to us, a means of drawing closer to Him through purification, and growth in maturity.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Go Granny, Go!

Yesterday morning, we got my Nana a wheelchair - specifically a transport chair. My Nana can still walk and she prefers to walk, but because she moves very slowly and gets tired quickly, we thought a transport chair would be helpful (my Nana is almost 98!). It used to be slow and difficult walking Nana down the long hallway to the elevator and then walking her to the car in the underground garage -now, getting Nana to the car is a breeze! Yesterday, I wheeled her over to the park near our building. There she sat for a while on the bench, and then she walked around for a bit. Afterwards, I wheeled her home. She says she's comfortable in the chair, and it's quite easy for me to move her in it. I really enjoyed the convenience of it and I think even she preferred getting around with some ease for a change.

I'm glad Nana still wants to try to walk whenever possible, but I'm also glad that some of her movement has been made easier!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

London, Baby!

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to London. It was jam-packed with sight-seeing - not a moment was wasted! Here's a quick list of what we covered during our eight day visit:

Double-decker tour of city
Thames Cruise
Mass at Westminster Cathedral

London Eye
Covent Garden Market
Piccadilly Circus
Trafalgar Square
Leicester Square

Dinner at Maze (Gordon Ramsay)
Tower of London
Chapel of St. Peter Ad Vincula
All Hallows by the Tower
British Museum (Rosetta Stone, Reliquary of the Holy Thorn, etc.)
Madame Tussaud's
Daytrip: Warwick Castle/Stratford/Oxford/Cotswolds

British Library (Lindisfarne Gospels, Magna Carta, etc.)
Sherlock Holmes Museum
National Portrait Gallery
Westminster Abbey
Local Pubs

Tyburn Convent
Performance of Henry VIII at The Globe

Dinner at the Cinnamon Club (Indian food)
Marks & Spencer’s
Buckingham Palace
Big Ben
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Riding the Tube

My friend also made it to the Inns of Court and the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, while I went to the British Library, the British Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery.

Please check my Facebook account for photos!

I'm still not fond of flying, but I LOVE visiting new cities. I hope to get back to London one day because there's so much more to see (believe it or not!). I'd also like to see other parts of England (and Ireland, Austria, etc., etc., etc.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A cool refreshing summer drink!

Watermelon Sunset

Put the following ingredients in a blender - the quantity of each ingredient is up to you:

- watermelon chunks (seedless)
- freshly squeezed lime juice
- sugar
- crushed ice
- rum ("Sailor Jerry" is good)

Blend together a good long time until frothy and pour into a tall glass.
Enjoy!! :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Catholic Professor Attacked

The perpetrators were eight Islamic extremists who used an axe, knives, and a petrol bomb. The Professor lost his lower right arm below the elbow. While Professor T. J. Joseph is recovering in intensive care, his family has chosen to forgive his attackers. (h/t: The Anchoress)

Our theme-song for the last two weeks

The Truth will set you free...

...but, in this life, you will probably be persecuted and mistreated first:

Fired for being faithful: Catholic teacher dismissed over homosexuality discussion (by Thomas Peters - American Papist)

UPDATE: Dr. Ken Howell Reinstated!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Daze

Right now, downtown Toronto is experiencing a power outage while all of Toronto is experiencing a heat-wave! I’ve been enjoying some time off since last Thursday and I go back to work on Wednesday. A belated Happy Canada Day (or Dominion Day, if you prefer) to my fellow Canadians, and a belated Happy 4th of July to my American friends!

The week before last was also a short week because the University closed down as a safety precaution during the lead-up to the G-20 Summit. My kind boss said I could use those two “work-from-home” days as additional vacation days, and I happily used the four-day weekend to visit friends in Ottawa – a lovely time with wonderful people (I particularly enjoyed the cute little kids)! :)

From all I can make out, the non-peaceful protesters at the Summit were as annoying and obnoxious as they usually are during these events. At least three police cruisers were set on fire, store fronts were destroyed, and the heavily fortified police presence was criticized for not doing enough on the first day of the Summit and for doing too much on the second day. I felt a little sick to think of all of this happening in my city.

I wonder why the G-20 leaders don’t just video-conference OR hold their meetings out in the desert or in the Arctic circle or on a remote island – some place where thug-protesters can’t be bothered to go because there’s nothing to destroy and they won’t get so much attention.

On a happier note, I’ve been enjoying my current time off right here in Toronto – watching the fireworks at Harbourfront on Canada Day, having tea with my favourite Professor, visiting an old friend for dinner, shopping in Chinatown with Mom, and spending time with Nana.

I’m also planning a trip to London later this month! I’ve never been, and I’m quite excited about it - please pray for safe travel!

Oh yes! We also experienced a 5.0 magnitude earthquake on June 23rd - the epicentre was about 85 kilometres north of Ottawa, and people felt it all the way down to Ohio. For some strange reason, I did not feel it at all, even though other people in my office building felt it. Sometimes, I'm incredibly unobservant...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ayaan Rocks!

This evening I had the pleasure of hearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak at the Indigo Bookstore at Bay and Bloor. I can only say once again that I admire this woman's courage, insight, and sincerity. Although Ayaan still considers herself an atheist, she's right up there with Camille Paglia in my book!

Thank you, Ayaan, for having the courage to speak out. I pray your bravery will lead you further and further into the Truth, and that you will be an example to many, many others. I pray that I too, as a Christian, will learn to show as much courage as you in witnessing to the Truth!

Update: Another must-read about Ayaan by Mark Steyn in

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is coming to town!

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of the books Infidel and Nomad will be interviewed at Indigo Books, at Bay and Bloor in Toronto, on Monday, June 7th, at 7:00 p.m.

I like how this lady handles herself. Watch her calm, cool responses during this 2007 interview with a smug Canadian reporter. I don't know if Ayaan has come to a deeper appreciation of Judaism and Christianity since this interview, but I greatly admire her courage all the same!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

High Tea & Sympathy

This afternoon I joined a friend for High Tea at the King Edward hotel in downtown Toronto. The day was wet and chilly - altogether lovely for sitting indoors, sipping Earl Grey tea, and munching a variety of delicate finger sandwiches. The sandwiches, scones with jam, and several light pastries were elegantly presented on a three-tiered platter. We sat comfortably for a couple of hours, enjoying the offerings and sharing our plans for the summer.

Looking around at the other tables, I observed that afternoon tea appears to be a "chick" thing. Not one man was visible in the vicinity, with the exception of the waiter who came by periodically to refill our teapots with hot water. All the tables were occupied by two or more women, earnestly engaged in conversation like ourselves.

The coffeeshop is a comfortable place one comes to think of as a "regular" hang-out, whereas the tea-room is more suited for special occasions. Well, catching up with an old friend was definitely a special occasion, and High Tea at the King Edward was a lovely treat. I'm glad we went.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Redemption comes through the Jews

An article defending the Catholic Church by Mr. Sam Miller, Jewish businessman.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Alleluia! He is Risen!

Christ is risen and the demons are cast down,
Christ is risen and the angels rejoice,
Christ is risen and life is freed,
Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become
the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and power forever and ever.

from St. John Chrysostom's Resurrection Homily (click link for full text)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Great Silence reigns on earth

"Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . 'I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead...' "
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 635)

For the full text of this ancient homily for Holy Saturday, click here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

"But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed."

Isaiah 53:5

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Inner Voice of Love

I've started reading Henri Nouwen's book The Inner Voice of Love - A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom. Henri's writings have always moved me. He shows a raw vulnerability through which the Holy Spirit gently and soothingly speaks.

I remember in late summer, 1996, Father H. and I were planning to invite Fr. Nouwen to speak at the following year's Courage Conference. Then, before we'd had a chance to compose an invitation letter, we heard that Henri Nouwen had suddenly died of a heart attack. It was September of that same year. Fr. Nouwen was only 64.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from a chapter entitled "Stay With Your Pain":

It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people who will take it away. But when you can acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God's healing.

God does not want your loneliness; God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there. You have to own your loneliness and trust that it will not always be there. The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart.

Henri lays it bare.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In Her Own Words

Here's Ann Coulter's take on her University of Ottawa experience.

I hope she files that Human Rights Commission complaint, if only to highlight what a hoax those commissions are in the first place...

On a happier note, apparently the Harper government is taking steps to close down the branch offices of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions in Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax! (h/t: Kathy Shaidle)

Seraphic Book Launch!

Last Thursday evening, I had the pleasure of attending Dorothy Cumming's book launch at the Duke of York pub on Prince Arthur Avenue. Dorothy's book Seraphic Singles: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Single Life has been published by Novalis and is available for purchase here.

I had the distinct honour of being the second person in the world to have a copy of the book signed by the author! The inscription reads: "To Tina: The second one I've signed! Thanks for years of support. Grace & Peace, Dorothy Cummings, aka Seraphic."

It was a very pleasant gathering. The pub setting was cozy and I indulged in a hearty meal before the reading. The attendees were a friendly, sociable group and I noticed that several of us enjoyed a warming beverage before and during the book launch. I think the crowd consisted primarily of blog readers, acquaintances, and friends of Dorothy (I don't mean to use that last phrase euphemistically, although I'm sure chaste Catholic persons with same-sex attraction are among Dorothy's large and varied readership).

Dorothy, dressed in a lovely powder blue dress boldly accessorized with orange shoes and matching orange lipstick (please see her site for photos), read a variety of interesting and memorable selections from her book, including a poignant one entitled "The Cross That Singles Bear". This was one of the entries that first got me interested in her blog a couple of years ago.

Dorothy is now married and living in Scotland (although she travels back to Toronto for occasions such as these), and she continues to blog frequently. I recommend both her site and her book. Her writing is witty, insightful, and engaging, and her blog topics cover everyday life as well as a variety of current issues and events.

Here's an outline of Launch Day, in Dorothy's (Seraphic's) own words.

Coming out of the blogging closet...

I think it's time to stop using a pseudonym. Henceforth, I shall sign my posts as "Tina" and not as "Belloc". I'll change my profile setting too, so that all previous posts will also be signed "Tina".

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ann is Coming to Canada!

Ann Coulter will be in Canada this week! She'll be at the University of Western Ontario on Monday, at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday, and she'll be at the University of Calgary on Thursday. (Please click on above links for updates from Kathy Shaidle's site.)

Alas, I won't be able to attend Ann's two Ontario gigs, but I will be keeping her and the organizers in prayer...

Predictably, some people are getting their knickers all bunched up over Ann's visit.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quotable Quotes

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."

So says Hamlet to Horatio in Act 5, Scene 2 - and so said my Boss to me over lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant on Spadina Avenue about eight days ago.

I had just been telling her about a previous work experience where I'd made a somewhat impulsive but, I believe, correct decision about leaving an organization because of the administration's treatment of their employees (I had just seen my supervisor at the time dismissed without notice or cause, and I'd seen others treated this way too). It was the only time I'd ever left a job without giving two weeks' notice and without having something else lined up. I figured if they could dismiss such a nice lady as my previous supervisor without notice or cause, then I could also resign without notice. It was my own small way of protesting the ways things were run.

Providentially, a friend of mine who did freelancing work for publishing companies soon put me in touch with one of her employers who was looking for someone to do permissions work. Thanks to my friend's thoughtfulness, I had work all lined up for me upon my return to Toronto. It was an ideal situation because, during that first year back in Canada, I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and have some income while working from home.

In all truth, I probably would have been heading home in the next six months any way because of my father's passing and my consequent desire to be available to my Mom and Nana. My circumstances prompted me to come home sooner, which was better for all of us. Eventually, I found full-time work at my alma mater where I'm currently blessed with another excellent Boss (thank you, God!).

I do believe Divine Providence saw the good intentions in my actions (however impulsive and heedless of the future they may have been) and blessed me through my freelancing friend's thoughtfulness, and also through the great generosity of other kind and loving friends.

Indeed, "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."

Or, as St. Paul puts it in Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Go Canada!!

Fourteen Olympic gold medals, a really exciting final hockey win, inspiration, and admiration!

I admit, I'm not much into sports, but I did enjoy that final hockey game! I also loved Virtue and Moir's ice dancing, and I was touched by the closeness of Alexandre Bilodeau and his brother Frédéric.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Help Haiti

The Anchoress has provided a list of various charities that are helping relief efforts in Haiti.

Venerable Pierre Toussaint, please pray for the people of Haiti.