Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit

Fridays are usually for music; but my nephew showed me this delightful bit of British nonsense the other day, and it's too good to keep to myself. Meet the crime fighting duo of the Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit! … [Read more...]

Six Pilgrims (Plus One) Along the Camino de Santiago

An old friend of mine from the Newman Center community at Stanford has begun a blog detailing a pilgrimage (currently on-going) along the Camino Santiago in Spain. The pilgrims include members of her family, including her husband who is only going along for the first week (he's the "plus one"). You can follow the whole story at Six Pilgrims Plus One: A Camino Journey. … [Read more...]

Elizabeth House: How Charity is Done

Elizabeth House

In the last couple of days I've seen lots of stories about a "Home" for unwed mothers in Tuam, Ireland that operated from 1926 to 1961. I use scare quotes around the word "Home" on purpose, as you'll understand if you follow the various links above. What struck me was that the horrors of the "Home" in Tuam were ultimately due to charity gone horribly wrong. The goal, to support unmarried mothers and their babies, is a good one. Treating them like human refuse is not. As a bit of a palate … [Read more...]

The Long and the Short of Infinite Regressions

Father and Son *

One of my favorite philosophy bloggers is James Chastek at Just Thomism. I find his posts more challenging than Ed Feser's (one of my other favorites); Feser's usually going out of his to explain Thomism (and Scholastic philosophy in general) to those outside the tradition, while Chastek's posts are more usually reflections or even meditations on something he's been pondering. As such they take longer to read and appreciate, and far too often I don't make the attempt. I've long thought that I … [Read more...]

The Pope is a Tolkien Fan!

Now this is simply too cool for words: Pope Francis used Frodo and Sam as an example in a message to Catholic educators while he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Billy Kangas has the story (and what Billy says about Tolkien goes for me too, except that I'm sure I've been at it longer). … [Read more...]

Books in the Mail

Got two books in the mail, today: The Lion's Gate, by Steven Pressfield Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, by Ed Feser I've read three of Pressfield's historical novels; this new book is a look at the Six Day War drawn from mostly from around four hundred hours of personal interviews conducted by Pressfield with people who were involved. It sounds fascinating. And Ed Feser is increasingly well-known in philosophoblogging circles. He's a scholastic … [Read more...]

Fr. Robert Barron on Bart Ehrman

A couple of weeks ago, on my post "Why Catholicism", a commenter said that I clearly hadn't read Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities, or I'd know better. I replied that I didn't regard Ehrman as a reliable authority, and after another exchange or two dropped it. I'm not a biblical scholar, I'm simply a layman who's been doing some reading, and I don't have all of the relevant facts at my fingertips. Fr. Robert Barron, on the other hand, does; and just recently he wrote a piece about Ehrman's … [Read more...]

On Wodehouse, Wooster, and Jeeves!

The New Yorker has an article on Bertie Wooster, his valet Jeeves, and their creator, P.G. Wodehouse. Give it a look! … [Read more...]

Religious Education Congress


So I didn't get any fiction written last week; Jane got the flu, and then I spent Saturday (prime fiction-writing time) at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, which is the big yearly archdiocesan shindig here in Los Angeles. "Congress," as it is familiarly known, has a certain reputation for heterodoxy in the wider Catholic community, as indicated by a number of tweets I saw last Friday; but I'm pleased to say that the only Catholic heterodoxy I encountered personally was … [Read more...]