SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr Michael Rennier

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May 15, 2020
In many a parish, it’s a grand honour for the girl chosen to crown the Blessed Virgin at the May Crowning. In recent years in our parish, we’ve expanded the tradition to include the rest of the children as well. Each child is encouraged to arrive with a hand-picked flower from the garden at home.
November 21, 2019
During homilies, I occasionally tell an amusing story to illustrate my point. I deliver a line I find particularly jocular, only to look up from my text to be greeted not by laughter but by blank stares. Crickets. The gentle sound of a baby wiggling in embarrassment. The fact is, connecting with parishioners and delivering
October 24, 2019
I had already celebrated a Mass that morning, so when I assisted at a funeral in a neighbouring parish, I did so in choro. This means I wore my black suede loafers, cassock and fascia. The fascia is a silk belt with fringe.   On my way, a passerby stopped me on the sidewalk to
September 19, 2019
In Epiphany parish, where I’m the parochial administrator, reports are streaming in of children chanting Kyrie Eleisons while playing with toy blocks, warbling the Agnus Dei from the branches of trees they’ve climbed, and even putting their baby dolls to bed with the lullaby of a gentle Sanctus. You see, we recently completed our second
August 15, 2019
As a High Church Anglican who climbed fairly high up the candlestick, I developed a great appreciation for the ancient Church at prayer. It was catechism by incense, rood screens, gorgeous vestments and ad orientem Masses chanted from high altars that scrape the heavens. What a shock, then, when I was finally received into the
June 06, 2019
I recently learned how to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Often referred to as the Latin Mass, it uses the Missal of 1962, which in the period after the Second Vatican Council was on the verge of extinction. Then, in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, an apostolic letter granting permission to all
April 04, 2019
In post-World War I Paris, everyone loved the poet Pierre Reverdy. The Cubists and Surrealists tried to make him their own. Modigliani painted him (pictured); Coco Chanel may have dated him. But in the end, Reverdy belongs to no one. He desires to remain unknown. “Let’s go somewhere else where no one looks at us,”
January 17, 2019
In the year 1866, Gerard Manley Hopkins feels like an exile. He’s publicly announced his intention to convert to the Catholic faith from his native Anglicanism and the news has dropped like a lead weight in the environs of Oxford. He’ll have to leave, of course. Catholics aren’t allowed to make a success at Oxford,