From the Provinces

Poor Omaha. I’ve been noticing my adopted hometown cropping up more and more frequently as shorthand. Fargo is “out there” (or, more accurately, “up there”) as a place of unimaginable isolation. Buffalo represents postindustrial irrelevance made all the more poignant by the . . . . Continue Reading »

On Being a Pallbearer

Recently, I served as a pallbearer for my grandfather on my mother’s side. I had never served as a pallbearer before. I have served as a Lutheran pastor in many funerals in the past fifteen years. I have been a son at the burial of my father. I have attended hundreds of burial services. But . . . . Continue Reading »

Apply to Be a Junior Fellow

So, if you look up higher on this page, you’ll see that First Things is beginning its search for next year’s Junior Fellows .Want to apply? These are one- or two-year internships for young writers and scholars interested in religion and public life. The positions offer the opportunity to . . . . Continue Reading »

John Cardinal O’Connor

Rocco Palmo over on Whispers in the Loggia reminds us that this week , January 15 to be precise, was the eighty-eighth birthday of John Cardinal O’Connor. Of course the fifteenth is also the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., who, had he lived, would now be seventy-seven years old. They were . . . . Continue Reading »

Poets Who Kept Guard of the City

Poetry, the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski explains, springs from the negotiation poets routinely make between “the real, tangible world of history” and the imaginary. History is not a benign abstraction for the Poles. This was painfully true in the twentieth century, yet out of Poland’s . . . . Continue Reading »

“Dad … I’m Pregnant”

“I was hoping she was expelled from school or into hard drugs”¯Nothing, it seems, could be worse in parents’ eyes than having a teenage daughter get pregnant. Especially when it’s going to last for nine months. But as a New York Times headline announced last month, after . . . . Continue Reading »