Singing Aquinas in L.A.

When I was a child in parochial school, we began each morning with ­daily Mass. My mother worked nights, and no one in my family was an early riser. I inevitably arrived late to church. The nuns stared disapprovingly as I slipped in among my more punctual classmates in our assigned pews. This . . . . Continue Reading »

The Three Necessary Societies

Rerum Novarum (1891) begins with this sentence: “That the spirit of new things [revolutionary change], which has long been disturbing the nations of the world, should have passed beyond the sphere of politics and made its influence felt in the cognate sphere of practical economics is not . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Look at a Tree

Across the road from my house, presiding over a patch of lawn between my parish church and the old schoolhouse, there is a chestnut tree. I cannot say that the tree is particularly important to me; days can go by without my looking at it or taking any thought of it. And yet, if I turn my attention . . . . Continue Reading »

I Like It at Home

“All my brothers went West and took up land, but I hung on to New England and I hung on to the old farm, not because the paint mine was on it, but because the old house was on it—and the graves.” That’s what Silas Lapham tells a Boston journalist in the opening scene of William Dean . . . . Continue Reading »