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Ash Wednesday in Rome

Half an hour before sunrise on Ash Wednesday, hundreds of English-speakers from all over Rome will begin walking to the ancient basilica of St. Sabina on the Aventine Hill. They’ll start from student residences, from embassies to Italy and the Holy See, and from the Vatican. The Schwerpunkt, . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Rock and Roll

Rock and roll has a rebellious sound. I write that hesitantly, because there is really no such thing as rock and roll, in terms of having a permanent nature or ongoing essence. Speed, loudness, and distorted acoustical effects do not a musical genre make. Rock is a mishmash of various musical . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tribute to the Humble Hamentaschen

Remarks delivered at Princeton University’s 2014 Annual Latke-Hamentaschen Debate. Our semi-official second national motto is e pluribus unum, famously mistranslated by Sarah Palin as “out of one, many,” but correctly translated as precisely the reverse: “out of many, . . . . Continue Reading »

John XXIII’s Prophetic Encyclical

When Pope John XXIII is canonized this April, the honor will be long-awaited—and richly deserved. After serving as a model priest and prelate, he became an equally beloved pontiff, convening Vatican II and articulating the timelessness of the Church’s teachings. Among his most important . . . . Continue Reading »



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