Merry Christmas!

A Very Merry and Blessed Christmas to All! … [Read more...]

On Rigor

(The late David Foster Wallace's 2005 "This Is Water" Kenyon College commencement speech drones in my headphones and Rebel Without a Cause plays on mute in the corner; it is chilling to listen to DFW speak descriptively about suicide and I am arrogant to enough to find it all quite underwhelming, in a very comforting, soothing, and self-assuring way.)A young professor from Fordham showed up late to my talk in New York a month ago. He asked me a very serious question though, one of those … [Read more...]

The Apocalypse Returns With Feathers

Your flaky weekly apocalypse, in ten points. 1. The War on Christmas is in full swing again and sales are going well. It is expected to end on Christmas, if not a few days earlier. 2. Happy New Years! 3. Francis is declared to be the first gay, atheist, and only the third communist pope, by dozens of Catholics on Facebook. 4. Bill Clinton is reported to have auditioned for the role of Nelson Mandela in the forthcoming film, citing Toni Morrison. 5. Pat Robertson is suing Phil Roberson for … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty

I like to watch TV, which is why I don't own one. Plus, I watch plenty of television shows online, so having a television would at this point interfere with my television watching. Needless to say, I've never watched a full Duck Dynasty episode, although some snippets here and there, a quick Google search, and not living under a rock give me a decent general impression.I started watching Survivor this past year and really like it. I also like Project Runway, although I was recently put off … [Read more...]

Fear, Jealousy, and Paranoia: We Love to Wrestle

There can be good clean fun in the political give and take. The sport of politics can be as enjoyable as any other hobby, snack, or professional wrestling. Debate is fun for some of us, and the pleasure we take is in the debate itself, not the issues. I'd rather be interesting than right, sometimes.So I have a hard time taking an absolute position against politics in toto. Politics can be okay. It depends.But these days things are not so innocent and it seems to be getting worse. A lot … [Read more...]

The Harmonium Project Must Fail


The Harmonium Project is the name given to a group of students at Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS) who have made a radical choice. They've decided to live in Steubenville, OH, not by chance, force, or unfortunate accident, they have decided live in a run-down, smoggy, depressed and dirty town that they could just as easily ignore from their privileged perch on a hill that preserves the University from the streets and the people of town.Frannies vs. Townies.These students see … [Read more...]

¡No le aflojes! (from Things and Stuff)

(My first book of essays — Things and Stuff — was published in 2011 as something of an experiment. The result was, in many ways, premature. This past weekend, at a talk I gave at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas, I looked at it again and was surprised by its appeal. I think it outsold my Primer. Here is an essay from the collection that, in many ways, paved the way for the the Primer that I dedicated to my late Abuelito Rocha. I wrote this the day after he passed away.)¡No l … [Read more...]

Fr. Z Defies Pope Francis, With Merch

Fr. Z has stooped to a new low. He is selling cheap, bland, and ugly merchandise, generically built for quick and cheap profits, that does more than to merely invert or make light of paragraph 94 of Pope Francis' recent exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. Fr. Z goes further, by identifying himself, proudly, to be the very thing that the Pope decries when he wrote: 94. This worldliness can be fuelled in two deeply interrelated ways. One is the attraction of gnosticism, a purely subjective faith … [Read more...]

El Mensaje de Tepeyac

 El mensaje de Tepeyac nos recuerda hoy del abrazo materno de una Madre mestiza, la Virgen morena, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: la Madre de las Americas quien se manifiesta en forma milagrosa para relevar a su Hijo a un continente lleno de angustias y fracasos—pero también de alegría y gozo.Celebrar hoy la aparición en esa mañana tan hermosa es también reconocer que las Américas todavía sufren de una falta de reconocer y entender al mensaje Guadalupano comunicado en lo mas obvio: la … [Read more...]

Indiana Teacher of the Year Reviews the Primer UPDATED

Steve Perkins is the 2014 teacher of the year for the state of Indiana. This accolade is most impressive to me because he teaches Latin. The very concept that a classicist can be honored in the present regime of schooling is a surprise and a sign of hope and promise.He came across my book, A Primer for Philosophy and Education, at First Things, in Stephen Webb's theological review, and has begun writing a series about it at his blog. Like all good book reviews, he adds to the book itself and … [Read more...]