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  • When I was a kid I used to believe that no matter what monsters might be waiting for me just beyond my bed, as long as I hid myself completely under my blankets, and let no part of me hang over the side, not an arm, not a toe, they couldn’t reach me. I was protected, and I would be safe.

    I was reminded of this yesterday when the final episode of Serial dropped yesterday.  I listened to it pretty much as soon as it came out, roughly 4am here on the West Coast.  And before I started to...

  • Courtesy of The Colbert Report.

    As 'The Colbert Report' comes to an close (its final episode airs tonight, Thursday, December 18), America talks with our own Fr. James Martin, S.J., dubbed "The Colbert Report's Chaplain," about the good humor and effective evangelization of our nation'...

  • This week Jeb Bush made it official: He would like to be president. He starts out with weak poll numbers for such a familiar name, finishing behind Mitt Romney in most surveys of Republican voters. The lack of enthusiasm among conservative Republicans for another Bush has some analysts downplaying his chances. But if Jeb Bush can hold things together through an inevitable rough patch next January, when the Iowa caucuses will anoint a challenger to his right, he’ll probably win big in the...

  • Maybe Mother Clare Millea benefited from the low expectations that come with an impossible task. Whatever the case, the nun who heads the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus pulled off the apostolic visitation of all active nuns in the United States with a sense of aplomb and fairness. Kudos came from many places, including media that stood ready to pounce if anything seemed unfair.

    So why did Mother Clare succeed despite predictions she would flame out?

  • What a strange week it’s been in Hollywood. Tuesday night we actually had a thunderstorm. For those who don’t know Southern California, that’s like saying House Republicans think our country might have a race problem. Or Woody Allen is considering property in Malibu. Or the new Missal really seems to be catching on. (“Under our roof,” translators? “Under our roof”?)

    There was even lightning, for God’s sake.

  • The following note has just been issued by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State communicating Pope Francis’ congratulations to US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro for the historic decision by both Governments to establish diplomatic relations and with the aim of overcoming the difficulties between the two countries.

    The note also gives the first official insight into the direct role played by Pope Francis, the first pope from the Americas, and by the Holy See in...

  • David Domke is professor and chairman of the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. He teaches about political rhetoric, media relations and communication. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota.

  • The Apostolic Visitation Final Report has been awaited, variously, with expectation, fear, or indifference by both American women religious and the larger church. In our currently polarized ideological climate, some looked forward to a document that would expose the sisters’ waywardness and demand specific reforms. Others viewed such an outcome with deep dread. Still others were so alienated from any initiative emanating from the hierarchy that they had already resolved to ignore it...

  • Sister Mary Ann Zollmann, former president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, awoke at four this morning to watch on cable the announcement of the Vatican's long-awaited report stemming from the six-year apostolic visitation.

    Zollmann says she was heartened first of all by the collegial tone of the press conference, in which representatives of women's leadership groups in the church were invited to be present and take questions from the media about the contents of the...

  • The recently released Apostolic Visitation Final Report acknowledges the challenges of contemporary vocation promotion for women religious.