unplannedfilm.com

Hey there, reader, you should go see Unplanned this weekend.

I am assuming you have heard of it already, but if you haven’t, Unplanned is based on the life of Abby Johnson. Abby is a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic who had her eyes opened to the reality of abortion, resigned, and became a pro-life leader.

The fact that her story is finally being shown in Canada is notable, and more controversial than it should be.

Initially, major theatres in the country wouldn’t screen it. Petitions were launched and finally a small number of theatres started showing…


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I love showing up late to parties, and in this post I am showing up quite late to the party that was the Catholic Twitterverse debating kids at Mass.

Fr. Michael White, pastor and author of Rebuilt (of which I am a big fan) several weeks ago made comments critical of small children making a fuss at Mass and of the parents who seat them at the front of the church and feed them cheerios, making a distraction for the pastor and liturgical ministers.

“I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly difficult it is to try and preach over…


Photo: Hian Oliveira via Unsplash

There is one piece of conventional wisdom that I have heard again and again from parish pastors: no big changes for at least the first year.

I don’t know the origin of this guideline, but it seems to omnipresent in its reach and almost omnipotent in its influence.

I have two big problems with this guideline. The first is this: what is defined as a “big change?” Like, are we talking about structural changes to the church? Or additions or removals of parish staff? Or are we talking about starting any new programs at all?

I had a discussion a…


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We continue to wade through so much filth in these days.

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court report came out, a 2- year grand jury investigation into sex abuse by priests in 6 dioceses since 1950. It contained revelations of abuse by 301 priests on over a thousand victims (they expect the actual number of victims to be much higher, but these are the victims who have come forward).

The details are pure evil. Satanic. Twisted.

They contain stories of priests who raped children and then proscribed them penance. Who marked preferred target altar boys with special golden crucifixes.

These were…


It seems to be a season of scandals in the Church lately and it makes me really mad.

Reading on the McCarrick scandal one day and the layers of ambivalence that made it possible the next, it makes you want to wretch.

Ralph Martin has a letter to discouraged Catholics worth reading. Among his recommendations are prayer for our pope and bishops, fidelity to Christ in our daily lives, and remembering that the Church is founded on him.

It’s great advice. I think another thing to remember is not to turn our eyes away from scandal. It is so ugly and enraging, but maybe our hearts need to break for this. (I was speaking with a friend recently…


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There are things you know and there are things you know.

Some of the best talks I’ve heard on spiritual matters are reinforcements of things I’ve heard before. It’s funny how we humans need to hear and re-hear things in order to let them sink deep into our hearts.

It reminds me of how the word “knew” in the Bible often refers not just to an intellectual knowledge, but to an intimate knowledge (i.e. referring to the act of marriage- Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain).

Anyways, here is something that I know, but I…


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I came across a recent article called Why the Church Doesn’t Need Anymore Starbucks.

In it the author tells a deeply personal story of pain and loss. Her husband died after a long and difficult battle with cancer, leaving behind 2 young children, and she opens up about how arduous the whole experience was.

And in that time of great trial and suffering, she relays how their faith in Jesus was all the comfort and strength she could ask for.

Praise God. What a gift it is to know him!

But for some reason she frames this experience against the…


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Do you ever feel like you’ve lost the narrative thread of your life?

My family and I made a trip to Martyrs Shrine on the weekend. It was the first time back in a few years, and as my wife and I approach our 10th anniversary I felt like we were due.

Martyrs Shrine commemorates the lives of the first missionaries to North America, Jesuits Sts. Jean Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Isaac Jogues & companions. These valiant and holy men paid the ultimate price in order to bring Native Canadians the message of the Gospel.

It’s also the place where God…


I wrote an article recently arguing for the need for parishes dedicated to evangelization and discipleship of young adults. You can catch that article here.

It drew some really interesting responses, positive and negative, prompting one of my friends to ask if I just enjoy lobbing grenades intro Catholic discussion groups. (Maybe I do?)

Maybe the most intriguing responses were from Catholic young adults who gave a sort of aching “AMEN!” to the post. I heard from faithful young Catholics how hard it can be to feel connected to their parish even when they desperately want to. …


I wasn’t always a disciple of Jesus. For a significant part of my young adulthood I was, practically speaking, a lapsed-Catholic.

During this time I felt the “existential vacuum” that Viktor Frankl talks about in Man’s Search for Meaning. I was wandering without a sense of purpose and meaning. I didn’t understand the crux of my existence. My identity was tied up in what others thought of me. My relationships were broken and left me wounded and wandering. I was restless and without a sense of lasting peace.

When I was 24-years old God intervened and revealed himself to me…

Josh Canning

Blogger and Founder of http://CanadianCatholic.net. Cofounder of http://uevangelize.org. Husband to Lisa and dad to 7 crazy kids. Views are my own.

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