Francis and the Bishops

From Web Exclusives

A Catholic bishop recently became the first member of the hierarchy known to have met with Kim Davis. According to her account, the bishop thanked her for her courage, told her to “stay strong,” assured her of prayers, requested hers in return, and gave her and her husband rosaries. A few days . . . . Continue Reading »

Teaching the Family

From First Thoughts

Love Is Our Mission, a preparatory catechesis on family tied to the Catholic Church’s upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, begins exactly as it should: with Jesus revealing that being ­created in the image and likeness of God means being created to offer others the gift of ourselves. Continue Reading »

Christmas in Harvard Square

From First Thoughts

Christmas in Harvard Square is the first recording of the St. Paul’s Choir school, the only Catholic boys’ choir school in America. Led by Mr. John Robinson, a former assistant from Canterbury Cathedral, the boys take their music and their faith seriously. Continue Reading »

The Domestic Church

From First Thoughts

Here’s something shocking that the bishops said about marriage—not the bishops in the Synod in Rome right now, but the Fathers of Vatican II. In Gaudium et Spes, they said that the task of being a father or mother is a munus, a Latin word that means service, gift, duty, and office. Continue Reading »

Suffer the Children

From Web Exclusives

The discussion preceding the synod of bishops on the family has ignored the most vulnerable party in divorces and remarriages: children. In so doing, it mirrors the discussion of sex and marriage in western culture more broadly, which focuses on the gratification of the desires of adults—however legitimate—while paying no attention to the needs of children. Continue Reading »

Advice for Grad School Students

From First Thoughts

It took me five years of graduate school to realize that my study is a vocation. My thinking about this was prompted by finally reading A.G. Sertillanges’s The Intellectual Life, which along with Josef Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture and Elizabeth Corey’s “Learning in Love” make essential reading for anyone considering graduate work or a career in the intellectual world. Culling insights from those thinkers and from my own time in graduate school, I thought I would offer some thoughts for those beginning graduate school. Continue Reading »

Richard John Neuhaus, Father

From the January 2014 Print Edition

I did not think I knew much about death. In high school, my headmaster reminded us constantly that young though we were, we were destined to die. Death was an abstract fact of reality for me, mainly a reason to pursue now what mattered most in life. And then I saw Richard John Neuhaus die. At the end of October five years ago, he began to feel sick. The young people who worked for him at the magazine lived with him in a townhouse on East 19th Street, where we had daily evening prayer and Saturday dinner together. On All Saints’ Day, a Saturday, my colleague Amanda Shaw and I took him to the emergency room at St. Vincent’s Hospital after dinner. We got bored, and at one point I read to him about conscience from ­Newman’s Grammar of Assent. At another point I heard a clinking outside, only to discover a cowboy dressed in full chaps, boots, and spurs (this was the West Village, after all). Six hours later, he began to reach for his IVs, impatient to leave. Amanda pleaded with him to leave them in until the nurses came, which, she assured him, they would do in just five minutes. Moments later she heard: “It’s been five minutes.” Continue Reading »

Sermons Anglican and Catholic, Parochial and Plain

From Web Exclusives

The small oratory at Littlemore”dark but warm, dominated by red damask hangings that exude Victorian piety”is the room in which John Henry Newman was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Newman is most famous for that act, and that is why the Catholic Church celebrates his feast day today, on the anniversary of his reception, and not on the day of his death, as is customary. Those of us who have followed in his footsteps from evangelical Protestantism through Anglicanism into Catholicism revere him. For us he is a guide and patron who spurred us on and captures what we thought and felt with prose, intellect, and holiness to which we can only aspire… . Continue Reading »

Francis in Dialogue with the World

From Web Exclusives

“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” So begins the most recent papal interview, this one with Eugenio Scalfari, founder of the Italian paper La Repubblica, with whom Francis had already had an exchange of letters. If you look at that sentence as it stands, it sounds a bit incongruous… . Continue Reading »