“This Undertaker Buries the Bodies Nobody Else Will Touch”: MEL Magazine

profile: "People say to me sometimes, ‘We don’t go to you because you bury those people’ – the poor people,” Peter Stefan tells me in the second-floor office of his Worcester, MA funeral home. “I say, ‘Then don’t come. We don’t need you.’ You bury who you bury.” That statement might serve as a motto for Stefan, whose weathered appearance seems wholly apropos for a man who, for 41 years, has made a living burying those whose bodies have nowhere else to go – AIDS patients in the ’80s and ’90s; … [Read more...]

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What Might Apology and Amends to LGBT People Look Like? I’m at Vox

doin' my thing:On June 26, while flying back from a trip to Armenia, Pope Francis told a reporter that he agreed with Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany: The Catholic Church owes an apology to gay people. The Pope's comments were short but rambling — not as deft and pithy as his well-known statement from an earlier airplane interview, "If [gay people] accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?" — but even the best apology is only a beginning. Good apologies allow us to live to … [Read more...]

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The Three Theological Virtues And How They Will Help You Cope With Turning Into a Lobster

more riffing on The Lobster from me: Last week I saw The Lobster, an extremely sad and violent romantic comedy about a world in which, if you don’t find a romantic partner within 45 days, you’ll be turned into an animal. It’s sort of “Why Our Culture Desperately Needs Spiritual Friendship: The Movie.” I hesitate to recommend it to you guys, because it was really hard to watch, partly because it’s so bleak and partly because it’s bleak specifically about loneliness and feeling like there’s no pla … [Read more...]

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“The Lady, Or the Lobster?”: I review a brutal new romcom/satire

seriously, this is tough to watch, but ferocious (also I sort of spoil the very end, because this otherwise-excellent movie has the one ending I hate most): I hesitate to recommend that you see The Lobster, since this romantic comedy about a man facing transformation into an arthropod is just too painfully realistic.The Lobster, written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, is brutal and hilarious, with satire so sharp it could cut your wrists. The movie is set in a world where anyone who … [Read more...]

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A Short Review of “The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement”

Going into this book I knew basically nothing about the beguines--not even how you pronounce it. (BEG-een, BEY-geen or buh-GEEN, according to dictionary.com.) All I really wanted from Laura Swan's short popular historical survey was an introduction to a vocation that has been almost entirely forgotten: laywomen, sometimes itinerant but sometimes living in communities from two or three people to a miniature city of over a thousand women, ministering to their neighbors and developing a unique … [Read more...]

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Architecture and Human Dignity: Love and Urban Planning

An email from Rosary Abot (this is a glorious name), in response to the person who asked me about city planning and vocations. I am skeptical of "urban planning" as a concept (who will save us from our solutions? how likely is it that people who specialize in urban planning will have the same priorities as e.g. the children of the poor?) but this thing sounds fascinating. I haven't had time to listen yet but I'm passing it on to you all in hopes that you will find time before I do: Eve - Lucien … [Read more...]

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“Christian Love and Kinship Outside Marriage: Thoughts from a Gay Catholic”

My talk at Calvin College is available at Livestream and YouTube (below):I thought this one went well. Oh man though, I'm so glad I got new glasses about a week after this was filmed. Look at how far I have to push these down the bridge of my nose to read. … [Read more...]

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