Category Archives: Culture

Knowing Thyself with Oscar Wilde

  Oscar Wilde, playwright, general wit, and deathbed convert to Catholicism, is notorious for his epigrams, sometime so clever that we simply read them, chuckle, and move on. But just this week I came upon one that stopped me in my tracks: “’Know thyself’ was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the […]

Entrepreneurs of Grace : How A Bracelet Business Encourages Prayer

Pope Francis is coming to visit us at the end of this month.  While exploring the website of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia – the event that originally occasioned his visit—I  “clicked” on the “shop” tab out of curiosity about what kind of merchandise I would find. Among the t-shirts, rosaries and commemorative […]

Mercy Enough to Go Around

Pope Francis issued a letter this morning that has caused quite a stir in the media. (It’s not long; go ahead and read it.) In the letter, the Holy Father said that, as part of the Jubilee of Mercy, all priests would be given “discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it.” The […]

Poll Reveals Catholic Base is Strong in U.S.

Public Religion Research Institute just released a survey of Catholics. The survey covers devout Catholics, ‘Christmas-and-Easter’ Catholics and (for reasons I don’t quite get) former Catholics. It attempts to quantify the effect that the so-called “Francis Effect” has on the Church’s own. How does the much-vaunted power of Pope Francis’ open-hearted approach to the papacy […]

Mumford & Sons Sing of Emmanuel in our Timshel

  If you are a Mumford and Sons fan, then you are probably familiar with the word “Timshel,” which is the title of the briefest song on their debut album: “Sigh No More.” If you are a Biblical scholar, or a student of the Hebrew language, then you would probably recognize timshel from the Hebrew […]

Esquire Writer Finds a World Hungry for a Priest

What difference does it make if a priest goes out in public wearing the outfit that proclaims his vocation? As it turns out, quite a lot, especially if you opt for the full Monty. In a recent Esquire article, a writer experimented with walking around Chicago in the uniforms of various professions, including the full-length […]

Lessons in Providence with Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert, Catholic, comedian, and general media personality, is on the cover of GQ’s September issue. But, more important than his literal and metaphorical image, is what he has to say, particularly what he relates in the interview he gives within the magazine. Many Catholics might question Colbert’s political stances, even his chosen mask, but, […]

Jim Gaffigan’s ‘Shiite Catholic’ Wife and the New Evangelization

In interviews, Jeannie Gaffigan says she and her husband Jim are not trying to evangelize. But in a postmodern secularist world, maybe evangelization has to be indirect. “The Jim Gaffigan Show” starring the comedian and produced by his wife, is about the life of a comedian living in New York with his “Shiite Catholic” wife […]

Josh Duggar, Sam Rader and Ashley Madison — Walking the Talk Is Everything

By now, if you’ve read the news at all, you know that a company called Ashley Madison, which marketed itself as a way for married men and women to meet people with whom to commit adultery (apparently they weren’t all that good at it), was hacked. Names, email addresses and other info for the site’s […]

Surprised by Pixar’s Joy

  Just recently, I saw Pixar’s Inside Out, and midway through I was surprised to find myself weeping. I don’t know if I have begun to weep more often and more easily, simply because I’m older, but if so, then that proves the storyline of the movie very deeply true. For it seems that as we’re […]


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