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Hawthorne’s Daughter

In 1891, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, daughter of the novelist ­Nathaniel Hawthorne, was received into the Catholic Church. She was forty years old. Within a few years of her conversion she conceived a heroic ministry to destitute cancer patients at a time when cancer was believed to be contagious. She . . . . Continue Reading »

“Must be the Recession”

One thing that I’ve heard from several people when I mention the surge in Dominican vocations (and the surge of many dioceses and orders male and female) is “Oh, it must be the recession.” Truly, I have not met one religious who set aside marital joys, self-determination, and wealth . . . . Continue Reading »

Dismantling the Cross

Generally speaking, there are two principal vocations in the life of the Catholic Church: marriage on the one hand, and celibate priesthood and religious life on the other. Both are expressions of conjugal love. In the normal calling of marriage, an individual binds himself for life to another human . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope Francis and the Hidden Path to Holiness

Five years ago the Catholic Church had a Year of the Priest, and now Pope Francis has declared a Year of Consecrated Life. To mark this year, he has issued an Apostolic Letter, building upon Vatican II’s decree on religious life, Perfectae Caritatis (1965), and St. John Paul II’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Vita Consecrata (1996). While everyone seems to have a concept of the priestly ideal, the unique charism of consecrated life, especially for men, is more obscure. In particular, religious brothers tend to have lower profiles than do priests and nuns. Continue Reading »

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