On Recent Trials & Sustained Hope

The last six weeks have been memorable, culminating in four days where Stephanie and mine lives have changed forever. As a part of processing what happened, I’ve decided to write down the events here.

Continue reading

Posted in General Site Info | Leave a comment

On Forgiveness & the Beginnings of the Journey for the Vagrant Catholic

It’s February 22nd 2015 as I start writing this, and we finished running a retreat for high school kids that weekend. A lot of things happened during the retreat, but none more personally powerful than seeing someone being in the exact same position I was in eighteen years ago. It brought me back to that fateful Saturday night in 1997 where I began a journey that has not yet ended, that will never end. In a life with many struggles, one remains the constant – the struggle to forgive. And in my case, to forgive one man for abuse. To forgive the man who should have protected me, should have guided me, but instead acted in physical and emotional betrayal.

The man I am speaking of is my father. Abuser of children, rapist of women. And now the time has come for me to share the start of my journey, my walk moving on from the weight of hatred. My journey towards living.

My name is Richard Morin, some people call me Rickard. And this is the story of the beginning of my journey “home”, the beginning of the Vagrant Catholic.

Continue reading

Posted in General Site Info | 1 Comment

On Canada’s Supreme Court’s Ruling Regarding Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down euthanasia laws, paving way for euthanasia and assisted suicide laws to be established by Canada’s Federal government. They have a year to do this, which is hardly what I would consider enough time to establish a loophole free framework for the deliberate ending of someone’s life. I’ve been trying to express my thoughts and opinions on this, but it’s been hard. I mean, it should come as little surprise that I am against euthanasia and assisted suicide, however my reasons are for very personal reasons, so personal that for once in my life I am having difficulties expressing myself. Some of these reasons and feelings are encapsulated by the photo you will see next:

Continue reading

Posted in General Site Info | 6 Comments

On the Catholic Church & the Societal-Wide Issue of Child Abuse

The outrage towards child abuse is understandable and just, because abuse is simply an evil act and a betrayal of trust. There is no way that these acts should be condoned, and this post is the opposite of being a defense of any abusive actions, physical, sexual, verbal. What this post is going to talk about though, is one thing I can’t stand. It’s the immediate reaction of “the majority of priests are pedophiles” and the reflexive statements about sexual and physical abuse, as if those are the norm. Especially when the crimes that some priests committed are being committed by others in positions of authority and trust, yet they receive little to no media attention.

Continue reading

Posted in General Site Info | Leave a comment

On the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

I covered the Immaculate Conception in a previous blog post, however something I didn’t touch base on is the perpetual virginity of Mary. It’s an interesting topic, one which causes confusion among Catholics and Protestants alike. When I first started studying this, I honestly thought “compared with Virgin births, deaths and resurrections, tongues of fire, burning bushes, mana from Heaven, someone remaining a virgin for the rest of their lives doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch of the imagination”.

Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics | Leave a comment

On Pope Francis & Customs Being Elevated to the Level of Doctrine

There has been much said regarding Pope Francis washing the feet of women and a couple of Muslims. There have been complaints from traditionalists that Pope Francis did not wear the traditional red shoes, and during a Mass he bowed during the Consecration rather than genuflect. They look at these departures and think that if those change, then other elements of the Faith will change. On the other side, some people see these action and hold hope that radical change is coming to the Church.
Continue reading

Posted in Catholic Spirituality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On the Journey to the Child Jesus

Several years ago, at the behest of a woman who I was interested in dating, I attended the Extraordinary Form (the “traditional Latin Mass”) at her parish. She attended the local Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter parish, while I was volunteering at a Life Teen parish in the East end of town.  I figured that I would visit her parish to see what it was like, and to expose myself to a different element of Catholicism (and to impress the girl, of course).

Continue reading

Posted in General Site Info | Tagged , | 3 Comments

On the Heart of a Missionary

When some think “missionary” they think of of people traveling, spreading the Gospel. Aiding the poor, the broken hearted in far away lands. Yes, this is one version, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is not always the case.

Continue reading

Posted in Catholic Spirituality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

On the Errors of Sedevacantism

I’ve been debating on if I should post this or not, because sedevacantism is a dangerous thing. “Sedevacantism” is the school of thought that the Chair of Peter is vacant. Basically, sedevacantists believe our current pope (Pope Benedict XVI) is not the current Pope, and is an anti-Pope. They usually say that Blessed John Paul II was not a real Pope, and they deny his canonization was valid. Pope Paul VI? Pope John XXIII? Not real Popes. Vatican II? Not a valid council.

They claim to be Catholic, use Catholic materials to prove their points. They take a narrow view of Church history and of Church documents, selectively taking things and try to prove their point. Or, they’ll bombard you with documents and text with no historical context. Overall, there’s a risk in talking about the topic because for some people it’d be better they weren’t exposed to this stuff because it would either cause them scandal to think that Catholics would actually believe in sedevacantism, or even worse people would actually be fooled by their rhetoric.

I had a conversation with a sedevacantist a few weeks ago though, and I think posting some of my responses outweigh the cons I listed above. For all I know the readers of this blog will eventually encounter these kinds of people, so by reading this they can be prepared. Also, in the process of talking to him, I explained how we who follow mendicant spirituality view the documents of Vatican II, and how they are in-line with existing Church teaching. Also, it gives me a chance to talk about mendicant spirituality and Holy Father Francis*, which as this blog progresses people will come to see my love for both of those things (the mendicants and Francis).

Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics | 5 Comments

On “Doubting Thomas” & Why He’s a Hero to Us All.

After every Easter we hear the same story; the story of Thomas (“The Twin”). “Doubting Thomas”. And every year we hear in sermons/homilies about how Thomas doubted. And every year I get annoyed.

What gets lost in this is what happened after the encounter. People tend not to dwell on what happened after this, as the Gospels don’t cover it. As you can imagine, Thomas was a man with convictions. Yes, he had doubt. But look at how forceful he said “until I place my hands in his wounds!”. He had passion, convictions. After Christ came and showed him the wounds, the doubt was removed. But his drive remained. Thomas was as motivated as ever. And now, he had something to prove, he wanted to show that he did believe. So Thomas went out and spread the Gospel like the remaining Apostles. And like the remaining Apostles, he reached Sainthood. But it is his journey to Sainthood that is interesting. A quick check on Wikipedia shows that Thomas died in Mylapore. For those who don’t know, Mylapore is located in India.


For Thomas to die in India, he needed to travel there. In the first century. The distance between Jerusalem and Mylapore is 4775 kilometers.

4775 kilometers.  2967 miles.

No cars back then, no planes. They had donkeys, but donkeys can be a pain in the ass sometimes, so Thomas probably walked a good chunk of it.  Maybe took a boat for some of it.

Let us consider that the average human walking speed is 5 km/hour. At 4775 kilometers, if my math is correct, it would take 955 hours to travel at that speed uninterrupted. There’s 16 functional hours in a day (assuming people sleep for eight hours), so if my math is still correct that’s around 59.68 days of walking. That’s pretty much two months of walking in some harsh conditions, as apparently the Middle East is not a cakewalk weather wise. 60 days of travel, all while spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. All while he was under persecution and faced death. Of all the Apostles, it could be said that he may have been targeted the most, as those who knew he doubted before would think he would doubt again.

But Thomas stood firm, and he walked. He the walked 4775 kilometers, he spread the Gospel. And he traveled to India.

The crazy thing? If you DON’T count sleeping, 4775 kilometers at 5 km/hour……it’d take 39.79 days. Round up…..and that’s 40 days. The amount of time Christ Himself spent in the desert.

I have no qualms with people who have doubt, provided they apply themselves. Doubt can get you to ask questions, can get you to search for the Truth. But some ALWAYS ask questions, and are never satisfied with the answers. At some point you need to look at what you received, and if you received the right answer, if you received the TRUTH as Thomas did….it’s time to act. And when doubt is removed, it can propel one to greatness upon that action.

Every Easter season when you hear this Gospel, try not to focus on Thomas the Doubter. Try to see a man who asked some questions, and upon receiving the Truth did great things. He received his proof, he received the Truth and Light, and that was enough. Try to see a man motivated to do the right thing, and man who believed and set out on foot to prove that he believed.

Try to see a man to emulate, a man to follow. A true hero and role model for what he did after the Gospels.

Saint Thomas “The Twin”, Patron Saint of India, pray for us.

Posted in Catholic Spirituality | Tagged , , | 2 Comments