The Culture We Live in


A Field Guide to American Houses: The Definative Guide to Identifying and  Understanding America’s Domestic Architecture by Virginia Savage McAlester Food/Clothing/ShelterOf the well-known basic physical needs, “shelter” generates the most durable artifacts. You can see clothing from Colonial America in museums, and there are ways of finding old recipe-books, but you’ll almost never see a person wearing two-hundred year old pants, and you’ll certainly never find and eat leftovers of such age … [Read more...]

This Is What We Do, Panel Edition

This past Saturday Fare Forward held a panel discussion in Washington, DC on Will Seath's article "This Is What We Do", published in the most recent issue of FF. The piece was a profile on Chris Currie, a local official in Hyattsville, MD who has been a lead player in building up an organic Catholic community in this streetcar suburb. In particular, Currie helped to save a parish school, St. Jerome's, and has facilitated young Catholic families moving into the area, creating a community life c … [Read more...]

Happy Feast of St. John the Baptist

In the Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican Churches today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, when we recall the birth of St. John and his role as a forerunner to Christ. Above we've inserted a clip of Ut Queant Laxis, one traditional chant from this feast day. The words, sung in Latin, translate this way: So that your servants may, with loosened voices, resound the wonders of your deeds, clean the guilt from our stained lips, O Saint John. Below is a text from St. Augustine's se … [Read more...]

Learning to Watch Movies

There’s a scene in the 2010 film Of Gods and Men in which a group of monks sit down for a meal. They are film’s protagonists, living in Algeria during the 1996 civil war. As French foreigners, they have the option to leave, and much of the drama revolves around their decision to stay despite the risks to their lives. The monks sit down to a “last supper” at which they both celebrate their community and struggle for the strength to face the coming danger.The camera slowly moves from one monk t … [Read more...]

Jesus and the Art of Presence


A poignant article rippled through my social media sphere three weeks ago. In "The Art of Presence," David Brooks describes a family’s lessons on how to support those who grieve or, as he says, “how those of us outside the zone of trauma might better communicate with those inside the zone.” Brooks calls for "a sort of passive activism. We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness ... But what seems to be needed here is the art … [Read more...]

Death, Diversions, and the Credo


 In the face of death, Tocqueville and Pascal saw two paths toward despair. Pope Benedict XVI offers a third way of confronting mortality The French writer Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote, “[M]an comes from nothing, traverses time, and is going to disappear forever into the bosom of God. One sees him for only a moment, wandering, lost, between the limits of the two abysses.” Throughout history, most philosophers, theologians, and psychologists have, with Tocqueville, agreed that m … [Read more...]

Privilege, Repentance, Forgiveness


Identifying privilege offers insight into grace and allows us to take responsibility for both our own responses and the needs of others.Since graduating from college, I have received countless emails asking alumni for donations, most of which I have ignored. After the umpteenth solicitation, I started to think about why I should “give back” and reflect more deeply. “What benefits had I received from my elite education?” There were some obvious answers: social prestige, higher income, intell … [Read more...]