Michael Dougherty

The spirit of the Oblates

They came for the Lord and they served us, from Europe and across North America they came. To this "great, big, broad land 'way up yonder" O God! How they stuck on us all.

Culture wars and religion

Back in the late 1940s, Father Henk Huijbers and other young Oblate missionaries made their way to the Yukon from places then as far afield as war-torn Holland.

Yearning for a new road

The 1956 all-white Chevrolet station wagon with a 265-cubic-inch engine and a four-barrel carburetor glistened. My father knew what I could afford and after asking around had located a suitable vehicle.

Time to play

Small snow pellets hit my face as soon as I opened the side door of the CYO Hall the Sunday before last. I had just climbed up the stairs after our crew of volunteers finished the cleanup following the afternoon soup kitchen.

A civilization of love

In May of 1940 the "Phoney War," following the September 1939 invasion of Poland, abruptly ended. The battle for France raged.

We are losing our moral compass

A profound darkness enveloped me. The cloudy night cut off even the bright orienting starlight that a moonless African night could offer. Fortunately my guide's accustomed eyes kept me from wandering into the ditch alongside the village road in Botswana.

Eastern door opening

If everyone showed up, our daily, hour long French conversation class at McGill University had only eight people and the instructor around the table.

Treasure expanding horizons

Laudo, laudas, laudat, laudamus, laudatis, laudant. Conjugating Latin verbs struck fear in my heart.

End times, axial times

The events of last week - the Boston Marathon bombing; the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, and the earthquake that rocked Sichuan, China - all contributed to the anxiety of a young mother I know.

Why did I wait so long?

Earlier this week, signs went up in the corridors of F.H. Collins Secondary in preparation for Earth Day.

back to our food future

The basement of the IDEA Centre a few doors east of the Osborne Village strip on Wardlaw Avenue in Winnipeg drew a steady stream of people on the distribution days of the Agassiz Food Co-op.

a passion for change

Widespread concern for Nelson Mandela's health across our planet, but particularly in South Africa, has lessened with doctors' assurances that his condition is steadily improving in the face of his most recent medical challenge, pneumonia.

as long as his heart beats

Francisco Coz Xep, a 65-year-old Mayan elder, had never left his native Guatemala before last Sunday. Though he told me that he lived in "la zona fria," the cold zone of his country, the temperatures here in the Yukon far exceeded his experience.

Resistance and renewal

This winter's snows and rains in the heartland of our continent have brought the Mississippi River back almost to its normal navigational channel depth from the dramatically low drought levels of last summer.

An en route meditation

Spring break has triggered an exodus from the Yukon.

a promise is a promise

His brusque behaviour and bluster sent warning flags up immediately. He rebuffed attempts to welcome and engage him in conversation. A hardened, aggressive stance clearly signalled that something had gone wrong for him somewhere.

Doing more with less

Last Tuesday night more than 20 people gathered in Hellaby Hall of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral.

may we be co operators of truth

Some days stand out. My memories as a young child mostly revolve around personally significant days like birthdays, Christmas, major family gatherings and the like. One of the first "I remember where I was when.

love and play have deep roots

Trail Ridge Road cuts across Rocky Mountain National Park in north-central Colorado.

awakening consciousness

Back in the fall of 1968, I returned from my first trip to Mexico to resume my undergraduate studies at St. Louis University.