Maureen Mullarkey is a painter who writes on art and culture. Her essays have appeared in various publications, among them: The Nation, Crisis, Commonweal, Hudson Review, Arts, The New Criterion, First Things, The Weekly Standard, and The Magazine Antiques. She was a columnist for The New York Sun.

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Weddings, Papal and Otherwise

From Maureen Mullarkey

Marrying forty strangers chosen as if by a casting director for theatrical expedience—magnified by the pomp and panoply of St. Peter’s—extends the celebrity life of the papacy on the illusory chance that showboating is a stay against demoralization. We are all dancing with the stars now. But ultimately, that dance ends like any other, in exhaustion. Continue Reading »

Calvary, the Movie

From Maureen Mullarkey

The movie Calvary is a stunning meditation on the Christian story. If you have not already seen it, you might want to save this until later. Every review is a spoiler to some degree. But this is less review than reflection on a film, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, that rises to the power of the 1951 Diary of a Country Priest. The earlier French film, adapted from Georges Bernanos’s novel by the towering Robert Bressson, has had no equal until now. Continue Reading »

Sheen Center Pre Partum Blues

From Maureen Mullarkey

Across the nation, old mills, factory buildings and processing plants have been repurposed as some combination of studio, exhibition, or museum space. Hundreds arts-related renovations stamp the landscape of post-industrial America. Following suit, the Sheen Center is an archdiocesan monument to post-Catholicism. Continue Reading »

Last Rites; Last Responses

From Maureen Mullarkey

The last days of August. It is time to let be. Time to lie in a hammock and take bribes. Read. Doze. Plan the rest of my life. Anything except trawl for words at a computer. Girl on a Swing in Central Park. New York Historical Society.But first, let me post the last of the comments that came in . . . . Continue Reading »

A Correction

From Maureen Mullarkey

An eminent liturgical scholar, Joseph Jungmann, S.J., dedicated himself to writing a comprehensive history of the Mass in 1939. Beginning work on the text in earnest around 1942, he called The Mass of the Roman Rite  “a child of war.” Continue Reading »

Extreme Unction: Responses

From Maureen Mullarkey

The hour of death is a time unto itself, unlike any other. The conceptual framework of Extreme Unction bowed to the profundity of that distinction. Anointing of the Sick—certainly in contemporary practice—erases the harrowing particularity of death. Continue Reading »