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The Awkward Christian

If a hoarsely chanted version of the “Hot Pockets” jingle means anything to you, that’s probably a sign that you are a fan of the stand-up comedy of Jim Gaffigan. Clean, Catholic, and hilarious, Gaffigan—who writes his material with his wife Jeannie—has impressed many by his ability to . . . . Continue Reading »

How TV Execs Realized Nuns Were Bae

Nuns are having a moment in the media. Lifetime television recently conducted extensive studies to identify the unmet desires of its viewers and found that what young women want is—more Christian programming. The network responded by creating the reality series The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns to follow five surprisingly relatable young women—Stacey, Claire, Christie, Eseni, and Francesca—in their discernment to be Catholic Carmelite nuns. Continue Reading »

Celebrity and the Absence of Faith

In Christopher Beha’s excellent debut novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder?, writer Charlie Blakeman nearly laughs when Sophie, his ex-girlfriend and a Catholic convert, says she plans to save the soul of her dying father-in-law, an atheist: “I don’t think I knew a single person who would have spoken in that way about saving someone’s soul,” ­Charlie observes. “The religious people I knew talked about their faith apologetically. It was an embarrassment to their own reason and intelligence, but somehow a necessary one.” Continue Reading »

Stephen Colbert and the Southern Catholic Charism

Forgive us if we pack the streets around Ed Sullivan Theatre next spring, searching the sky for plumes of white smoke. True, the transition from David Letterman to Stephen Colbert hardly calls for a conclave, and the future of the Late Show has little to do with the life of the Church worldwide. Even so, it feels like a momentous occasion for Catholics, who despite constituting the largest religious body in the country, usually search in vain for signs of communion in popular culture (that second-largest religious body—lapsed Catholics—offers a more populous field of celebrity ambassadors). Continue Reading »

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