Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

John Paul II's “Beloved Krakow”

Several years ago, Father Raymond de Souza, one of my fellow faculty members at an annual Kraków-based summer seminar on Catholic social doctrine, made a trenchant observation about the city John Paul II used to call “my beloved Kraków.” Kraków, Father de Souza observed, was the city where . . . . Continue Reading »

Thin Places

Several years ago, my son Christian and I, along with our friend David from Brazil, made a pilgrimage to Skellig Michael. Skellig is the Irish word for “rock,” and Skellig Michael is a rocky mountain island jutting 700 feet out of the icy waters of the North Atlantic, just off the coast of County Kerry in western Ireland.

The Saints and All of Us

Written from Rome: Amidst all the Sturm und Drang of Synod-2015, something genuinely new in the life of the Church began, and it shouldn’t escape our notice. For the first time in two millennia, an entry in the liturgical books will now read, on the appropriate day, “Saints Louis and Zélie . . . . Continue Reading »

A Family of Saints

If there was one serene moment amidst all the ecclesiastical discord at the recent Synod in Rome, it was when Pope Francis canonized Therese of Lisieux’s parents, commending them to the faithful:The holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin practiced Christian service in the family, . . . . Continue Reading »

The amazing, and now Venerable, Father Al

At an inch or so over five feet and weighing, I would guess, something on the underside of 100 pounds, Sister Winnie, a soft spoken Filipina, is not your typical dinner speaker. Yet a few weeks ago she held a room full of Washingtonians spellbound with her story – which is also the story of a largely unknown American of whom the Church in the United States should be very proud. Continue Reading »

What Romero's Beatification Means

Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated by a right-wing sniper while celebrating Mass in 1980, was raised to the altars in a magnificent beatification ceremony in San Salvador this May. Romero’s beatification was full of notes of reconciliation, which seemed to mark the official . . . . Continue Reading »

It's Vespers Somewhere

Growing up as the son of a Baptist minister I confess that my attitude toward alcohol was, at one time, less than positive. Drink was associated in my mind with drunkenness. Like most late-Gen X/early-Millennial evangelicals, my attitude changed. In fact, even my parents now enjoy a glass of wine on occasion.What I regret most about this upbringing is not the absence of adult beverages. Having an aversion to these things as a teenager may well have saved me a host of troubles. What I regret is not having been initiated in a positive manner into the enjoyment of fine drink by older and wiser men, for the culture and community in which we learn to drink affects us well into the future. I had to stumble around, so to speak, and find my own way. Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles