“Gatsby,” great and otherwise

With all the attention being lavished on the new adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” I was reminded of a visit I paid to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grave a couple years ago — and my bemusement at finding there a bottle, a glass and a book (see above.) The grave, at St. Marcy’s Catholic Church in [Read More...]

Man spends four years writing out the Bible by hand

Wow:  A man in upstate New York has just about finished a task that was common enough until the invention of the printing press: Over the past four years, he has copied the King James Bible by hand, the Associated Press reports. Phillip Patterson, a 63-year-old resident of Philmont, N.Y., a town near the Massachusetts border, may [Read More...]

How is Catholicism like politics?

E.J. Dionne has some interesting answers in the Washington Post today, and draws insight from Fr. Timothy Radcliffe: The conflict goes back to competing reactions to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council inaugurated in the 1960s by Pope John XXIII. The relevant camps — Radcliffe describes them in his 2005 book, “What Is the [Read More...]

What about the pope’s last, unfinished encyclical?

His planned trilogy on the theological virtues will remain, it seems, incomplete.  Catholic News Service has some interesting background:  In December, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said that Pope Benedict’s fourth encyclical would be released in the first half of 2013. Treating the subject of faith, the encyclical would complete a trilogy on [Read More...]

Yes, it’s still Christmas

The lights are still ablaze in Princeton, New Jersey, where I stepped into St. Paul’s Church Thursday night and encountered the glorious scene above. The church was just lovely. Thanks to Msgr. Joseph Rosie, Deacon Jim Knipper and the wonderful folks at St. Paul’s for their hospitality and warm welcome in support of “Hungry and You [Read More...]

“Hungry” gets a little buzz

A few weeks back, I posted on the collection of homilies to which I contributed, “Hungry and You Fed Me.”  Now, The Times of Trenton has written about it, plugging an upcoming book signing (I’ll be there, so if you’re in New Jersey, come on by and say hello!): Fifteen homilists of various Christian denominations [Read More...]

Has fiction lost its faith?

That’s the provocative and sobering question that headlines this essay by Paul Elie in the New York Times Book Review this weekend: If any patch of our culture can be said to be post-Christian, it is literature. Half a century after Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Reynolds Price and John Updike presented themselves as novelists with [Read More...]

From the land that gave us Shakespeare…

…comes this: EL James’s best seller Fifty Shades of Grey has been named popular fiction book of the year at the Specsavers National Book Awards in London. [Read more...]

Meet the deacon novelist

Details, from Arkansas Catholic: In “I Hear Your Heartbeat” Deacon Larry Hatch’s recently released first novel, the reader is reminded that to receive forgiveness, one must first be willing to forgive. “Unforgiveness is the poison you drink hoping the other person will die,” said Hatch, who serves St. Agnes Church in Mena. The story follows [Read More...]

Day’s days: her diary reveals a spitfire saint

I’m working my way through Dorothy Day’s diaries, collected in “The Duty of Delight,“ and among all the mundane details of daily life —whom she met, what she prayed, when she ate—the woman being touted for sainthood by New York’s Cardinal Archbishop reveals a distaste, even a disdain, for some clergy. There’s this, for example, [Read More...]


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