The National Catholic Review

Faith in Focus

  • January 5-12, 2015

    When I arrived at Fordham University in the fall of 1951, I automatically signed up for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. That I would eventually go into the United States Army had been long understood. The Korean War was raging. Since I felt I would inevitably be drafted, I wanted to enter on my own terms and to be an officer, and the program would take me through college before sending me abroad. Besides, the army was in my blood.

  • January 5-12, 2015

    I know a Jesuit whose father worked at the same company for 56 years. A friend and mentor just retired after 35 years at the same company, and my father has only recently begun to decelerate after practicing orthopedic surgery for almost 40 years.

  • December 22-29, 2014

    I am the son of a florist, so I was reared to accept that there are no tin flowers. And even the least of them are like rainbows or sunsets: worthwhile natural deities. I worked side-by-side with my dad for 25 of the 50 years he spent in his tiny flower shop in a tiny Philadelphia neighborhood called Paradise. When my pop was in his shop taking care of his customers, he was truly in paradise. He taught me that flowers speak to the verities of the heart and...

  • December 8-15, 2014

    In late December 2009, on a sunny Florida afternoon, my 81-year-old mother stepped across my sister’s kitchen, caught her foot on the hem of her pink bathrobe and fell onto the ceramic tile floor. She landed with sufficient force to break her right hip instantly, the hip opposite the one she had broken 10 years earlier and that had been successfully repaired.

  • December 1, 2014

    ‘I can no longer cope with the loneliness. At this point the future could not look any blacker.... I kept thinking I could work my way out of this horrible depression that grips me, but I can’t do it. Please forgive me if I have hurt you....”

  • November 24, 2014

    On June 11, 2001, the U.S. Government executed Timothy McVeigh in the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. Six years earlier, on the morning of April 19, 1995, the ex-Army soldier and security guard had parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. Inside that vehicle was a bomb. At precisely 9:02 a.m., the bomb exploded, killing 168 people and injuring several hundred more.

  • November 10, 2014

    Sitting a few feet from the great bronze sculpture of the four evangelists lifting up the murdered archbishop, I read on the red marble slab over Archbishop Óscar Romero’s tomb the phrase Sentir con la Iglesia, generally translated as “To think with the church.”

  • November 3, 2014

    Some said that their houses “exploded” when the 20-foot-high storm surge hit. Parents and children were torn from one another’s arms. The boats and nets used by the people to earn a living were gone. For days there was little food or water.

  • November 3, 2014

    When we left Virginia a year ago for Northern Michigan—driving 19 hours with two kids and two cats—I vowed I would never pack a box again. My husband and I are academics, but we must rival military families and missionaries in frequency of relocation. I have lost count of our moves.

  • October 20, 2014

    I was a seminarian in Rome when Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was elected Pope John XXIII. More than five decades later, I found myself in Rome once more, on April 27, at the canonization ceremony that celebrated Pope John’s holy life, as well as that of Pope John Paul II. I was one of 800 priests distributing Communion that day, and the experience offered me the chance to reflect on what these great men have meant to the church.