A Small-Town New Yorker

As a boy in the 1960s, I walked to school, knew my neighbors, could point out the building where my father was born and, a few blocks away, the place my mother grew up (they met at a parish social). I ran in parks with friends, hung out in the local boys’ club after school, played ball, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith & Fertility

With fertility rates dipping to almost one child per woman in Spain and other European countries, it’s hard to even imagine the future. Who will work and pay all those retirement benefits to the current and larger generation of workers? How can societies with declining populations maintain a . . . . Continue Reading »

In The Beginning

I’ve been working on a commentary on the book of Genesis, and the very first verse presents challenges. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The traditional rendering is on the outs these days. New translations shy away from the metaphysical atmosphere of an . . . . Continue Reading »

The February Issue Has Arrived

Hundreds of books have been written in an attempt to explain American exceptionalism, as Richard John Neuhaus notes in a major essay called “ Secularizations ” in the February issue of First Things . In recent years, however, the table has been turned, and the question of increasingly . . . . Continue Reading »

Rowan’s Rule

Rowan Williams is without doubt one of the most significant and learned theologians in the English-speaking world. Unfortunately, during his tenure at Canterbury, it has at times seemed that he has managed to get nearly everyone in that world angry at him, liberals and conservatives alike. As Rupert . . . . Continue Reading »

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

This essay by Richard John Neuhaus, who passed away January 8, 2009 , was originally printed in the October 2002 issue of First Things .I know it is a fact, but it is nonetheless hard to picture: Had he lived, Martin Luther King, Jr. would now be seventy-three years old. Everybody of a certain age . . . . Continue Reading »

The Persistence of the Catholic Moment

This essay by Richard John Neuhaus, who passed away January 8, 2009 , was originally printed in the February 2003 issue of First Things .In 1987, while I was still a Lutheran, I published a book titled The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Postmodern World . There I argued that the . . . . Continue Reading »

Putting First Things First

Richard John Neuhaus, who passed away January 8, 2009 , published this editorial in the first issue of First Things . “When in the course of human events . . . ” Thus Jefferson and his associates, evincing a “decent respect to the opinions of mankind,” began their explanation of what they . . . . Continue Reading »

Richard John Neuhaus, 1936–2009

Our great, good friend is gone.Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. . . . . Continue Reading »

“Father Forgive Them”?

The first word from the cross: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Christians call them the Triduum Sacrum, the three most sacred days of the year, the three most sacred days of all time when time is truly told. Maundy Thursday, so called because that night before he was betrayed . . . . Continue Reading »