You may have read Randy Boyagoda’s fine biography of Richard John Neuhaus, our fearless founder. You may know that First Things was begun in 1990 to explore questions of religion and society in the English-speaking world, and that the print journal comes out ten times a year. You might even have known Fr. Neuhaus personally—sometimes it seems that every second person above the age of forty did (and his memory is still very much alive in our offices here in the Flatiron District).
But you may not know that, today, we’re not just working on putting out a print journal ten times a year. I’ve been working here for two years now—first as a junior fellow and now as the assistant editor—and I can attest that we’re firing on a surprising number of cylinders:
The print journal continues to be a primary focus, of course (see our literary editor’s remarks here on the wealth of good and diverse writing to look forward to), but aside from that we’re also working to develop our website, www.firstthings.com, especially by building up our Media page, where we post videos of all of our events.
We’ve started putting on Intellectual Retreats across the country to give professionals a few days of retreat and immersion in the great texts on a particular topic (next one’s here in NY in August on the theme of “Love and Friendship”), and we are always thinking about how to improve and expand them.
We have cultural events (art openings, book talks, concerts, and the like) in our editorial office at least twice a month.
We are revivifying our First Things reading groups across the country (called ROFTERs groups. If you’d like to start one, or want to improve yours, email firstname.lastname@example.org), and trying to get some groups for college students started.
We’re partnering with a number of organizations and putting on lecture series far and wide.
It’s quite an undertaking, and it’s growing by the day. But our plans can only be as big as your generosity. Please consider making a donation today to help us expand and diversify our reach in the public square.
Bianca Czaderna is an assistant editor at First Things.