The National Catholic Review

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  • With Labor Day behind us, campaigns are ramping up for the 2014 general election, and NPR’s Marilyn Geewax notes that the economy may not be the chief concern of voters: "That’s right. Gallup pollsters asked voters what was important, and the No. 1 topic turned out to be...

  • Georgetown University (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

    Over at The Jesuit Post, Jason Welle, S.J., offers some well researched thoughts on the value of rankings for Jesuit colleges and universities, finding the typical U.S. News & World Report determinations missing something.  

  • With the new academic year underway, I thought it time to dust off and share one of my favorite essays of all time.

    About ten years ago, in a "best of" collection, I came across the essay "Why Literature?" by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa (recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature).  I was preparing to teach high school English and needed an anchoring text, something that would frame the importance of the novels and short stories I would assign. I needed to justify what I...

  • Following up on yesterday, wherein I considered the place of an academic inaugural address (essentially a  commencement speech at the beginning, not the end, of college), I remembered a speech from Professor Jacob Neusner that was basically just that.

    Included in Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History (edited by William Safire), Professor Neusner in 1991 offered a convocation at Elizabethtown College. The speech addresses many of the themes I mentioned yesterday, for...

  • Goethe’s last words were “Mehr Licht” (more light). Mortally wounded, John Wilkes Booth muttered, “Useless. Useless.” John Belushi begged, “Just don’t leave me alone.”

  • The New York Times’ Upshot site explores one of those nifty-sounding political theories that can easily be taken too far. In “The Growing Blue-State Diaspora,” Robert Gebeloff and David Leonhardt write, “residents of many traditionally liberal states have moved to states that were once more conservative.

  • I viewed Janos Szasz’s strange and prize-winning film The Notebook the same week that Israel’s invasion of Gaza, allegedly to punish Hamas for aiming rockets at Israel, reached its ugliest pitch. As this is written 1,650 citizens of Gaza, mostly civilians, including 500 children, and 64 Israeli soldiers have died. In some photographs a Gaza neighborhood is nothing but a pile of rubble. Targets have included homes, schools, power plants, water filtration stations, U.N....

  • Americans love a good commencement address. Every year, as graduation approaches, we return to our favorites from years past, bestowing some speeches a reverence akin to scripture or Lincoln's encomium at Gettysburg. Steve Jobs at Stanford (2005) and J.K. Rowling at Harvard (2008) are just two examples of addresses that have reached...

  • Very Rev. Monsignor David L. Toups, S.T.D., is the Rector and President of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. He assumed this post in 2012, and was subsequently named as a monsignor, after serving as pastor at Christ the King parish in...

  • “In a selfish world, they epitomize selflessness and compassion.” (New York Times, 9/17) Who’s that? It’s rough out there. Maybe he’s taking about well-trained, kindly policemen.

    One of the remarkable cultural developments within the American Catholic Church during the last few years is the emergence of women religious in the public consciousness in a way never before experienced.