THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Ten Years Later

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It has now been ten years since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was released. The movie remains in many ways a cultural barometer of the way Christianity is perceived in America, for better and worse. From the moment Gibson announced his intention to make The Passion, his personal life . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacred Rhythms

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She was known as “the Little Piano Girl” from East Liberty, Pittsburgh, and grew up to be one of the first ladies of jazz. But the story of Mary Lou Williams, from child prodigy to world-class artist, is not just about jazz.Born in Atlanta in 1910, Mary Lou’s family suffered from . . . . Continue Reading »

John XXIII’s Prophetic Encyclical

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When Pope John XXIII is canonized this April, the honor will be long-awaited—and richly deserved. After serving as a model priest and prelate, he became an equally beloved pontiff, convening Vatican II and articulating the timelessness of the Church’s teachings. Among his most important . . . . Continue Reading »

Chesterton’s Pursuit of Holiness

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When G.K. Chesterton died in 1936, his achievements were recognized the world over. Msgr. Ronald Knox called him “a prophet in an age of false prophets.” The New York Times described him as “the most exuberant personality in English literature.” George Bernard Shaw said he was “a man of colossal genius,” and Pope Pius XI hailed him as “a gifted defender of the Catholic Faith.” Continue Reading »

One Teacher’s Lesson of Love

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Wright’s Law is only twelve minutes long, but it has been viewed almost two million times on YouTube and Vimeo. Director Zack Conkle begins the documentary in the classroom of Jeffrey Wright, his former physics teacher at Louisville’s Male Traditional High School (now co-ed). Announcing a “test question alert” as a robot might, the innovative Mr. Wright immediately commands the attention of his students. Just when we think the film is going to concentrate on Mr. Wright’s gifts as a teacher, however, it shifts focus. . . . Continue Reading »

Forgiveness and Spiritual Freedom

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Among the highlights of his unfolding papacy is Francis’ emphasis on the sacrament of reconciliation. The confessional is not a “torture chamber,” he has said, but a welcoming place, where we ask for and receive forgiveness for our sins. But there is another, equally important, element of Christianity that is vital for a healthy spirituality: the ability to forgive others. . . . Continue Reading »

St. Peter Faber: Model for a New Reformation

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On Tuesday, Pope Francis canonized Fr. Peter Faber, SJ, one of the great figures of the Catholic Reformation; and by doing so, gave us a key to understanding his own approach to the new evangelization, and a model for spreading the faith in modern times. Peter Faber is little known today, but Francis’ announcement should change that. . . . Continue Reading »

Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch

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When Donna Tartt published The Secret History in 1992, many believed she would become the best American novelist of her generation. That prediction may well have come true, though not in the way most expected. For after the appearance of The Secret History—a riveting tale of murder and betrayal at an elite New England college—Tartt waited ten years before she published The Little Friend. Now, after another decade, Tartt has published her most acclaimed book yet, The Goldfinch… . Continue Reading »