“It Was the End of Solo Singing”: I revisit a monarchist’s epic about the Spanish Civil War

for the University Bookman: When Eric Hobsbawm suggested that the period 1914–1991 could be called “the short twentieth century,” he not only defined an era but separated it from our own. Few conflicts are as emblematic of that final modern century than the Spanish Civil War; the familiar English-language writings on the war can seem remote from us, Orwell and Hemingway. If you want to see what’s only too contemporary in the Spanish clash of ideologies, turn to a novel by a man of the Spanish Ri … [Read more...]

“Meet the Monks Who Spend Their Lives Praying for Ireland’s Priests”: Crux

feature: Prayer, reparation, and praising God are the focus of a new Benedictine priory in Ireland, which focuses especially on reparation for the sins of priests.“It was never our predetermined plan to come to Ireland,” Silverstream Priory’s Father Benedict Anderson, O.S.B., told Catholic News Agency. “But we believe that, through circumstances that we could never have foreseen, Divine Providence placed us here to play some sort of role, however modest, in the life of the Irish Church. … [Read more...]

“To Fast Again”: Eamon Duffy

says a lot of important things: The ritual observance of dietary rules—fasting and abstinence from meat in Lent, and abstinence from meat and meat products every Friday, as well as the eucharistic fast from midnight before the reception of Communion—were as much defining marks of Catholicism before the council as abstention from pork is a defining characteristic of Judaism. The Friday abstinence in particular was a focus of Catholic identity which transcended class and educational barriers, uni … [Read more...]

Take Me to Church–But Not the Ones that Hurt: Starting a Book Project

Hey y'all. This is all in the very, very first stages, but I'm talking with a publisher about the possibility of doing a book of essays by Catholics who were badly mistreated by their churches or by Catholic communities or institutions, but who continue to practice the faith. My working title is Wounded in the House of a Friend, so that gives you sort of the idea. I'm looking for a wide range of experiences--there are so many different sorrows--and a wide range of genres, from personal memoir to … [Read more...]

A Survey of “Missionary Kids”–Fascinating Even if You’re NOT a Parent

but maybe especially interesting for parents seeking to raise their kids as disciples. Missionaries' children aren't the only ones facing some of these pressures. Just some really powerful words here about faith and its challenges: You may wonder why I ran this survey. I am an adult MK and, like so many others, “wouldn’t give it up for the world.” In my full-time work, I teach and mentor MKs of all ages and, perhaps most importantly, advocate for them with the missions that send them … [Read more...]

“We can’t help ourselves,” part 2: “Why a former Catholic and a current Catholic *don’t* like Catholicism”

Alicia de los Reyes and me: Alicia: You said you love the Church, but you don’t necessarily like Catholicism. When I was Catholic, I liked being Catholic, but I didn’t love every aspect of the Church or of going to Mass. What are some aspects you don’t *like* about the Church, but stick with anyway? Eve: Hmm, this is a good question. It’s hard for me to sort out stuff I don’t understand from stuff I dislike (which maybe says not-great things about my intellectual vanity!) but the top two thi … [Read more...]

Quick and Cheap Reviews of Quick and Cheap Movies

Or, a quick fix of slick flicks.Devil's Pass: Found-footage Dyatlov Pass Incident investigation. Some fun Russian scenery; very nice twist at the end.Kill List: An aging contract killer goes in for One Last Job and things predictably go haywire. An unexpectedly emotional film; you can feel the regret and confusion of the characters, and their relationships are sharply-drawn. Also very twisty in the back half, with the final twist an especially nasty one. Much better than it had to be, … [Read more...]