Volume 1, No. 3

July 2012

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Comment Magazine - Volume 1, No. 3


Publisher's Letter: Days of Faith

By Peter Stockland

Convivium is not an expressly political magazine in the narrow sense of process, strategizing and marketing that has come to define what we think of as politics. But it most definitely does concern itself with the polis—the city—with that shared space where the common life of citizens is lived out.

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Letters to the Editor

"Coren Interview Stirs Memories," Kathleen Toth, Abbotsford, B.C. "Faith and Father de Souza," K.D., Toronto. "Stop the Seige Mentality," David Holmes, Calgary.

Repairing the Divided Discourse

By Garnett Genuis

Former PMO staffer Garnett Genuis sees Convivium as the chance to disagree engagingly.


Small Talk

By Raymond J. de Souza

Our editor-in-chief looks at leisure, literature, and the PM's painted birthday suit.

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The Conversation: We Formed a Beautiful Community

By Thomas Rosica

Ten years ago, in July 2002, World Youth Day national director Father Tom Rosica and his young staff welcomed the world to Toronto. The guest of honour was no less than Pope John Paul II, who presided over what would be the last World Youth Day of his lifetime. For six days, an estimated 850,000 young Christians from all over the globe sang, prayed and celebrated their faith in public. Looking back on one of the largest outdoor events ever organized in Canada—from which Salt + Light Television was ultimately formed—Father Rosica recalls in a conversation with publisher Peter Stockland the spirit that began to transform a city, a country, the Church. "It moved," he says. "It did move."


Showing a City How to Love

By Mel Lastman

Mel Lastman, then Mayor of Toronto, remembers World Youth Day, his encounters with Pope John Paul II, and how a Catholic priest tried to bless the ham—in Hebrew!


Apocalypse & Gloria

By Brian Dijkema

In the blackness of a southern Ontario summer storm, Brian Dijkema sees the light of Christ.


For the Love of the Church

By Lorna Dueck

Journalist Lorna Dueck looks back at how Toronto's World Youth Day changed her "echo chamber".


Out of This World

By Anne Leahy

For Anne Leahy, Canada's ambassador to the Holy See, World Youth Day 2002 was a true "we event".


Humility & True Wisdom

By Kevin Newman

Renowned Canadian broadcaster Kevin Newman learned a heartfelt lesson in faith from World Youth Day.


Catholics Like Me

By Kris Dmytrenko

After almost missing World Youth Day 2002, Kris Dmytrenko found within it faith, community, and calling.


Lear, Cordelia & The Cross

By Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter asks his literary friends, The Wrinklings—and Convivium readers—to decide whether King Lear is a Christian play.


The Relatively Good Life

By Travis D. Smith

Travis D. Smith ponders the introspective essays of Ray Robertson's Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, written following the novelist's period of suicidal depression.


The Tale of Two Nazanins

By Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay

Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay's new book, written with Toronto writer Susan McClelland, is the true story of two young women who shared a first name—and an implacable commitment to life.


Working to Make the Gospel Living

By Scott Roy

The most effective evangelization is living what you believe with conviction, says Scott Roy. We make Christ present through work and deed, not by soapbox preaching.


Sharing Witness Shoulder to Shoulder

By Kyle Ferguson

While the streets of Montreal were full of protesters and shattered glass this spring, Kyle Ferguson joined a procession that cut through the heart of the city, boldly proclaiming love, joy, and faithful witness.


From Sea to Sea

By Raymond J. de Souza

Father Raymond J. de Souza finds Quebec students going forward to the past.

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In the Current Issue

Our current issue's look back at World Youth Day 2002 is more than just a nostalgic remembrance of what was. It is a call to what the polis, the shared space of the city, can be when faith in our common life is the operating principle.

From July 23 to 28, 2002, the city of Toronto was transformed by hundreds of thousands of young people—Catholics, yes, but also children of many faiths—from around the world. As Mel Lastman, mayor of Toronto at the time, tells us in his inimitable way, many Torontonians initially feared that the youth would be pests. They ended by following the kids into coffee shops to hear them sing, to experience the love they generated. The polis was made vibrant in a way its inhabitants could never have imagined.

Welcome to the third full issue of Convivium—available only by membership in the community.

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What's a Convivium?

Great question. Convivium means living together. This project brings together citizens of differing convictions and religious confessions to contend for the role of faith in our common life.

Convivium is published by Cardus, a registered Canadian charity. Our project exists to serve our common good, starting with articulating and protecting a place for faithful citizens.

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