Michael Dougherty

Stardust hope

The night before last, walking up to an evening meeting in Takhini, I took a shortcut across a field. There, out from under the glow of street lights, I was bathed for a few minutes in the light of the waxing moon.

unity demands understanding

Six thousand and eight hundred is the frequently cited number of languages existing in our world today.

Black swans and Night Dragons

Yukon College social work students crowded into the room behind the main dining hall at the Cultis Bay camp of the Kluane First Nation on the southeast side Kluane Lake.

Bumpy road ahead in 2013, 2014…

In early 1983 the Canadian government, under the controversial Canada-U.S. Test and Evaluation Program, allowed the United States to begin testing an early generation of unmanned stealth weapons over the North.

of old prophecies and new beginnings

We had driven 60 some kilometres out from the island town of Flores, Guatemala, in Lake Peten Itza to the ancient site of what had been one of the largest and most powerful city states of the Classic Period Maya: Tikal.

a season to rediscover compassion

A visit earlier this week with a Yukon elder spending a few days in Whitehorse General Hospital reminded me just how much we owe the generations preceding our own.

Dreaming of a green Christmas

Christmas baking began to fill metal boxes in my childhood home in late October. Placed high on shelves in our den out of reach of small hands the cookie layers were separated by wax paper.

the strength to be nonviolent

I can't remember when I first heard my father referred to as the "Bull of the Bottoms" but I can certainly imagine how that nickname might have come about.

seven generations forward

That our lives touch and are touched by those around us cannot be denied. That even applies to a hermit I once crossed paths with at the Catholic Worker farm in Tivoli, New York.

awareness action alternatives

A light buoy marks the mouth of the Bay of Amatique. This body of water separates the southern tip of Belize from Guatemala.

the price we pay for war

On a Saturday afternoon in late September of 1944, two Nazi officers visited a sawmill in Budapest, Hungary, where Eva Pinter worked. They announced to the director that the 20-year-old Fraulein Pinter would not be coming to work with them on Monday.

come home america

The U.S.

Masks and disguises

A couple of Septembers ago on the third Thursday of the month, a circle of chairs had formed in the well-used CYO Hall below Sacred Heart Cathedral for the regular meeting of the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition. It always begins around 5 p.m.

They didn’t know they were poor

When we drove up to my Jesuit prep school's father-son dinner in my father's battered service truck with the name Dougherty's Service and a Phillips 66 logo on the side, I wanted to be someone else.

Truth must not be compromised

Frances Murphy's hearing might be failing but at 96 years of age her memory and sense of humour certainly are not. My father's youngest sister represents the last living thread with this generation from that side of my family.

ignorance and arrogance hamper debate

St. Louis, Missouri, in August can be singularly unpleasant.

a drought of ideas

Heading west from the eastern seaboard of the United States I first saw evidence of the major drought devastating corn and soybean crops around Chillicothe, a city in south central Ohio.

A different kind of poverty

The good ladies of the Community Mennonite Church of Markham welcomed me to their Thursday mid-day bible study group last week.

navigating the shifts

Religious women have played a key role in the Yukon from the days of the Gold Rush. Early on the Sisters of St. Ann, at the urging of Father William Judge SJ, came to Dawson City.

No dash to the finish line

A thick mist rose off the Lac des Trois Montagnes, blanketing the cabins surrounding this lake that is tucked into the Laurentian forests a couple of hours north of Montreal. Though only 3 a.m.