NCR Today

Canadian cathedral installs solar panels -- inside stained glass


From The Montreal Gazette:

A different kind of trinity is emerging at Saskatoon's newest cathedral, where the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is combining art, technology and faith in a stunning and environmentally-friendly project.

The Holy Family Catholic Church, a $28.5-million cathedral under construction in Saskatoon's northeast, has solar cells embedded in the large stained glass windows that will be installed this spring.

The cathedral could be the first church in North America to use photovoltaic cells in a stained glass installation, said cathedral building committee chair Jim Nakoneshny. The University of British Columbia used the combination in a library.

Back in 2009 I wrote an NCR story for my Mission Management column about the use of solar power by the Diocese of San Jose, Calif.

German bishops express a desire for dialogue with their theologians


Some 144 German Catholic theologians, along with a handful of colleagues from Austria and Switzerland, recently issued a public declaration calling for reforms on matters such as celibacy, women priests and homosexuality. The list of signatories represents roughly one-third of Germany’s professors of Catholic theology.

The letter also touches upon lay participation, styles of leadership, the liturgy, and the legal culture of the church. In some ways, it lays out an agenda for public debate when Benedict XVI visits his homeland in September.

Benedictine sisters celebrate 75-year anniversaries


Some people make it five years in the same job. Others celebrate when they’ve stuck it out for ten.

For Sisters Lillian Harrington and Rosaria Schaefer, those anniversaries were just waypoints.

In a jubilee Mass and reception packed with friends, admirers, and awe struck observers yesterday, the two Benedictine sisters celebrated something most of us can’t even begin to comprehend: their 75th anniversaries as vowed women religious.

Our treatment of prisoners says a lot about us


It seems to me a measure of the quality of our society is how we treat men and women in jail.

I was in a courtroom a few weeks ago when a jailed defendant asked for a different court-appointed lawyer. The judge scolded him, calling him a whiner who is never satisfied.

The judge treated him disrespectfully, as if he were already found guilty -- and that’s how the public defender, who is young and inexperienced, had been treating him already. That’s why the defendant wanted a different lawyer. He didn’t get one.

This was a very small event. The defendant wasn’t dying for lack of medication. The defendant hadn’t been beaten by arresting officers.

But he had been waiting in jail twenty months for his trial and the charge was a sex offence -- which carries the “ick” factor for everybody. He was very scared that a jury was going to find him guilty if he didn’t mount a strong defense.

Layoffs, new clothes, and shopping ethically


On Sunday right after Mass, I headed out to do the one thing I dread more than going to the dentist: shopping for new clothes. Dante got it wrong when he described the various levels of hell because he left out shopping malls.

I so hate this activity that I put it off until my clothes are either so uncomfortable or, as is the case this time, I’m starting a new job.

A digital examination of conscience?


Granted, personal “confession” has been in decline. There are no lines in front of confessionals on Saturday afternoons like there were in the days of my youth.

So, someone is trying to revive confession -- with digital assistance. There’s a new app for the iPhone that helps Catholic penitents with an examination of conscience, tailored to a person’s age, gender, state in life, etc. It’s apparently the rage, and is #25 among top sellers in Apple's iTunes App store.


Subscribe to NCR Today


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017