August 1-8, 2016
Somewhere around a quarter of a century ago, I found myself sitting down at a table in my high school gym to take the A.P. English IV test. I had an extraordinary teacher for that class, so I should have been ready; but I had spent months obsessively rereading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 , with the occasional break for a Tom Clancy novel, and so was blindsided by the essay question: “Many famous novels feature a close relationship between a protagonist and his/...
July 4-11, 2016
In the 1970s, when feminism got loud and national and had something approaching traction in the United States, it claimed that it would “do politics” and “do business” with a new focus. The focus would be people, not processes or power. It would be the vulnerable, not the usual recipients of government or corporate largesse.
Today, confusion reigns where feminism is concerned. There are living witnesses to its earlier promises, but these are to be found, ironically, among grass-roots...
June 20-27, 2016
What’s so great about a Jesuit education?
It’s a fair question, given the bills that parents and students face these days. That’s not to say that Jesuit colleges are more expensive than comparable institutions of higher learning. The cost of tuition, room and board also varies widely from school to school. Still, the price tag for any Jesuit college might prompt anyone to ask: Is it really worth it?
It’s also a common question for people unfamiliar with Jesuit education:...
June 6-13, 2016
How should we treat the illustrious figures from our country’s past who have lost their shine? That was a question that roiled universities this past school year as students protested the relics of racism on campus and sought to obliterate the names of men whose deeds now seem objectionable or even heinous.
Inside and outside academia, the protests at Yale, Princeton and other colleges spurred controversy and often criticism. “Too P.C.” was one charge. “You can...
May 16, 2016
Living in New York City in the 1990s, it was easy to know what the cardinal archbishop was thinking regarding current events. A distinct memory from that pre-Internet age was that it seemed as if The New York Post and The Daily News had regular features screaming out, “Card Sez…” followed by a provocative quote from Cardinal John O’Connor in bold letters on the tabloids’ front pages.
Over the past few years, I’ve been reminded of one quotation in particular. In...
May 9, 2016
Among the signature moments of Reggie Jackson’s baseball career is one he would rather forget: a ninth-inning showdown in the 1978 World Series against the Dodgers’ reliever Bob Welch. The Yankee slugger had earned the nickname Mr. October for his World Series heroics against the Dodgers the year before, including one game where he hit three home runs on three consecutive pitches, and Welch was just a 21-year-old rookie who couldn’t throw much beyond...
May 16, 2016
My family attended Mass recently in the annex of a Lutheran church on the outskirts of a Colorado town near where we live. We entered through the side door, as if entering an underground. It read, “Light of Christ.”
“As Catholics,” the homily there began, “we are a sacramental people.” After that, and a bit more of a preface, the preaching took the form of a tender letter to a young woman who was receiving...
May 2, 2016
D ivorce! Catholics!
Needless to say, the 263 pages of “The Joy of Love” (“Amoris Laetitia”) treat a great deal more than these two topics. Here in the United States, we should pay particular attention to those sections that intersect with several of the deepest cracks in the foundations of our marriage and family lives, even a few topics that cause many to squirm.
First, it will come as a great relief to everyone who worries especially...
April 18, 2016
‘Coarsened” is a word you’ve probably heard more and more frequently in the past few years. It’s most often applied to the state of public discourse in our country, particularly in the political sphere.
Lately, some of our political candidates have been calling one another names, using schoolyard taunts and shouting over one another during televised debates. There have even been articles written that used insights from child...
April 4-11, 2016
Love him or loathe him, people can’t stop talking about Donald J. Trump, almost always in hyperbolic terms.
As I write this, Mitt Romney has just uttered his very unlike-Mitt Romney cri de coeur about the intolerable impending fate the Republican Party is about to meet if Mr. Trump becomes its presidential candidate. Now that the unlikely may become the inevitable, Republican leaders are in full-throated cry that the end of...