30 March 2013


As many of you know, I am a Franciscan. Last June, at the Sacred Music Colloquium, I met another Franciscan, but he was from a branch of the order that I was unfamiliar with: the Franciscans of the Immaculate. I was very interested in this branch of my Franciscan family because it follows anew the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi through, as Bl. Pope John Paul II described him, the "St. Francis of the 20th century": St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe. St. Maximilian Kolbe believed that the future of the Franciscan Order lay in the unlimited consecration to the Immaculate.

28 March 2013

Thy Will Be Done

A friend e-mailed me today, and in the e-mail this friend had written: “I believe, based on what it says in the Bible, that it is His will that you be well.  I'll continue to pray for complete healing for you Russell.” Now I very much appreciate receiving e-mails from friends telling me that they are praying for me. However, after receiving quite a number of such e-mails, I am beginning to become concerned that some people do not quite have the correct intention to their prayer.

Before I explain my concern, let me say that I may have misinterpreted what this friend was saying, but similar sentiments have been expressed to me a number of times, so I’d like to explain my concern without singling anyone out.

Intercessory prayer is very important. God has many wonderful graces and displays of His love for us, but He will not give them unless we ask for them. Much of what God wants to give us, He does not give because we don’t ask for it. However, what if we ask for something that He doesn’t want to give us?

20 March 2013

PowerSurge III

Some people would like to know how I discovered I had lymphoma, well here’s the story:

Getting Ripped with Lymphoma, Elite FTS

Should be a follow up article on Monday.

19 March 2013

Patriarch Sviatoslav in Edmonton

In relation to my last post, I want to tell a quick story about Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk coming to Edmonton last June (technically, he doesn't have the title "Patriarch"). There was no way I'd miss a chance to assist at a Pontifical Divine Liturgy with the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. I, of course, went real early to pray. OK, I really went early to get a good seat that would give me the possibility of receiving Communion from His Beatitude. It turned out that he didn't distribute Communion to the congregation, but I'm very glad I went early, and not just to pray.

Ecumenical Patriarch

Having Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at Pope Francis' Inaugural Mass is a very significant event; however, I have a bit of a problem with the language used in the media. You often hear that Constantinople split from Rome in 1054, but really, Constantinople and Rome split from each other. Equal blame should be placed on both of them. We should also keep in mind that unity was achieved, at least on paper (actually, they didn't use paper until Gutenberg came along because they considered it a Muslim invention), with the Council of Florence in the middle of the 15th century, which led to the Uniate Churches in the 16th century.

18 March 2013


The citizens of the United States of America have a major problem: What do they call themselves? Most of them don’t realize they have this problem, but those of us that live in the other American countries can see it quite clearly. Of course, I’m from Canada, and it seems many Canadians don’t see this problem as clearly as all the American countries south of the U.S.A. The reason many Canadians don’t see this problem as clearly is that we’d almost be the 51st state if it wasn’t for our loyalty to the Crown that our neighbours to the south rebelled against.

13 March 2013

White Smoke

I was planning on writing a blog post today about my hopes for the Church and the papacy. Not much point now since I’m glued to the live feed from the Vatican’s YouTube channel to see what all the white smoke is about.

I was going to sarcastically explain how the media doesn’t have a clue and how the use of the terms liberal and conservative are quite WRONG in this context. The correct terms are orthodox and unorthodox, and if you think that unorthodox might be good, or even possible, the only two options with unorthodox are heterodox and heretical. And, by the way, one of the main reasons for the papacy is to maintain orthodoxy, which has happened for the last 2000 years despite some men becoming pope that weren’t planning on doing that at first.

10 March 2013

Novena Starts Tomorrow

I would like to ask you to join me tomorrow, March 11th, in beginning to pray a novena to Blessed John Duns Scotus that I be healed from cancer. There is the possibility that I might be healed because of this novena or prayers through the intercession of Blessed John Duns Scotus that you may pray after this novena. Such a healing could even happen in a way that would fulfil the criteria necessary to be used in the canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus. These are very real possibilities; however, there is also another very real possibility. There is the possibility that I will not be healed.

If this last possibility happens, I will not be disappointed, and I ask that you not be disappointed either. What will most likely happen then is that at the end of my treatment, my cancer will go into remission. After at least 10 years of remission, and maybe even more than 15 years of remission, I will have a relapse. When I do have a relapse, I'm going to start this all over again, and ask you to pray the exact same novena to Blessed John Duns Scotus.

02 March 2013

Why Me?

I have been told that many in my situation ask in desperation, “Why Me?” With this present illness and with my former one, I never directly asked this question. Although, with my former illness, I indirectly implied this question by living in a delusional world that rejected the pain of reality. That’s probably why I was able to cope for so long, went so long without being diagnosed, and why I’m still here today.

Due to my mathematical and logical way of thinking, combined with an almost unbearable compassion for others, I’ve often said that it was a very good thing that I have schizophrenia because 1 in 100 people have it, and if I didn’t have it, some other person in my group of 100 would have it, and he or she may not have been able to handle it as well. This, of course, was after I was hospitalized and began to actually handle it and became aware of this statistic. (I believe schizoaffective disorder would fall into this statistic. They did have me reading a lot of literature on schizophrenia.)

01 March 2013

My Heroes

When I was young, my hero was Mozart, followed by Elvis and then Pavarotti. When I was 14, John Lennon became my hero followed by Ozzy and then John Bonham. Once my faith became more mature, my hero became Karol Wojtyła who was later joined by Dietrich von Hildebrand.

In the last couple of months, my heroes have changed again. They are now the people that shovel my drive way and drive me to the cancer clinic. It's much nicer to have heroes that I personally know; although, I've sometimes felt like I personally knew Karol Wojtyła.

No Rum. Please!

Yesterday I had my first cancer therapy (antibody and chemo), which went very well. It only took 7 hours instead of 8 because they didn't have to stop it for side effects or reactions. It went so well that next time they're going to give the antibody to me faster. I wasn't even nauseous but was hungry afterwards.

My mom bought me some ginger-ale and other stuff for people who are nauseous. I asked her if she got any rum to go with it, otherwise I probably won't drink it. What I really wanted was one of those deluxe hamburgers from Burger Baron with everything.

Did You Hear I Had Cancer?

I've never been much of a hockey fan, but I know some of you are, so I'm sure you'll appreciate that I have NHL (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma).
I've always wanted an FL, particularly one between 1960 and 1964. In 1960, Harley-Davidson improved the look of the Duo-Glide with a two-piece stamped aluminium fork nacelle that shrouded the headlight. Of course, in 1965 the Duo-Glide became the Electra-Glide, which meant that an ugly box to hold the battery took the place of the beautiful oil tank. Unfortunately for me and my family, the letters "FL" have more meaning than Harley-Davidson's complicated, and sometimes meaningless, model nomenclature. For us it means: Follicular Lymphoma.