Of Many Things
December 9-16, 2013
On Sept. 26, 1957, America mailed a check for $50 to Room 362 of the Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. The check was made out to “Senator John F. Kennedy” and represented payment in full for an article he had written about the ongoing crisis in Algeria (10/5/57). There is no evidence that Senator Kennedy cashed the check; he was, after all, fabulously wealthy and Kennedys prided themselves on the fact that they never carried money.
December 2, 2013
I well remember the first time that a book made me cry. It was December 1992, on one of those long, gray winter afternoons when the world seems unbearable. For reasons I don’t recall but I surely thought were dire, I’d had enough of life, at least for the day. So I skipped the class on the history of Canada with Dr. Mary Wickwire, footslogged across the dank, windswept campus and climbed the stairs to my dorm room, 8 feet by 12 feet of white painted...
November 25, 2013
They say that tragedies come in threes. This was certainly the case in 1963 for America, by which I mean the magazine and the country. That year marked the passing of three great men, each of whom was beloved in these pages and throughout the world beyond. The Jesuit among them, Father John LaFarge, made a profound and lasting contribution to this magazine.
November 18, 2013
Gram and I had an annual ritual, one we enacted every summer from the time I was 4 or 5 to the time I was 10 or 11. It rarely varied, though sometimes my younger brother would join us. On what was usually a fine, bright blue day in July or August, we would set out from my grandmother’s home in Hyannis, Mass., and undertake “the grand tour,” as she called it, a drive through next-door Hyannisport.
November 11, 2013
Thanks be to God, this has been an autumn of firsts for America. In September we published a groundbreaking interview with Pope Francis; in October, our 56-page special issue on women in the life of the church marked the first time that we published an issue written entirely by women—except for the last page, which was by John W....
November 4, 2013
At press time, just 36 hours have passed since Shane Victorino’s bottom-of-the-seventh grand slam sent the Boston Red Sox to the 2013 World Series. That lone exuberant voice you heard yelping late Saturday night in Westchester, N.Y., where I was staying for the weekend, was mine. In Westchester, as in Manhattan, I am “a stranger in a strange land,” as Moses once said, a lone Bosox fan among the countless minions of that diabolical “other,” a certain...
October 28, 2013
In this issue America examines some of the personal, political, liturgical and social-justice issues that are most relevant to Catholic women today. We have asked several writers to consider those aspects of faith and church that sustain them, as well as those aspects that challenge. These articles provide a glimpse into the ways in which the experience of women in our church and our world continues to evolve.
October 21, 2013
‘War Without End,” Bishop Robert W. McElroy’s spot-on and heartfelt account of the conflict in Afghanistan, was undoubtedly among the finest articles we’ve published in recent years. It just so happens that the Catholic Press Association agreed, including “War Without End” on its short list of the best analytical writing of 2011.
October 14, 2013
The Society of Jesus and China have a long and complicated history, one that goes back to the very beginnings of the order. One of the co-founders of the Jesuits, the great St. Francis Xavier, died during his attempt to reach the Chinese mainland. Thirty years later, in 1582, Matteo Ricci, S.J., succeeded where Xavier had failed, bringing the Catholic faith as well as Western science, mathematics and astronomy to the Eastern world.
October 7, 2013
Some say it all started with Bill Clinton’s feel-your-pain politics, others with Oprah’s daily pseudo-psychology. Still others say it began with MTV’s “The Real World,” the first in that ingeniously banal and now omnipresent genre called reality television.