A good day for this book: Voices of the Saints

voices of the saints

I happened to be talking to Julie Davis -- who is the primo go-to person when pondering any book, because I do believe she may have read them all! -- about what collections of "lives of the saints" we would recommend. I have a few that I like a lot, and they're all well-known award winners: Father Jim Martin's My Life with the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell's My Sisters, the Saints and Robert Ellsberg's All Saints. And I've always liked Lisa Hendey's collection for Catholic Moms.Julie … [Read more...]

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Talking with Matthew Bunson: Sherlockian and Catholic Scholar

CPA 13 Bunson

One of the loveliest moments of my career occurred in Pittsburgh, during the 2011 Catholic Media Conference, when Dr. Matthew Bunson strolled up to me and wondered if I wanted to get a cup of coffee. I did, and our conversation was a delightful and unusually frank first chat between strangers.Matthew Bunson wears many hats; he is Senior Correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor and a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and serves as editor of The Catholic Answer magazine, … [Read more...]

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Part II The Chanting Coffin-Maker: Mother Dolores & Agape

Dolores and Don

In Part I of my interview with Mother Dolores Hart, she shared an insight that struck me as being profoundly important to our understanding of the vagaries of love: "all love relationships don’t end at the altar".What is love but a means to an end, the end being to become for each other a model of God? Not an idol, nor an icon/image but a model that helps us to know more fully the depths the Creator's love for each of us.Ponder it: here were Dolores Hart, beautiful young actress and Don … [Read more...]

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Wherein K-Lo Wonders if I am Committing Sacrilege

KLO

She looks so sweet, doesn't she? Smart, and nice and soft-spoken. And I've met Kathryn Lopez and she really is all of those things, plus she is a completely down-to-earth, authentic sort who would "give you the shirt off her back", as the saying goes, if she can help you out.So, when someone like this says, "how about I interview you, regarding your book" you think, "well, this will be lovely; a piece of cake! I'll have a gentle afternoon burnishing my ego and tra-la-ing my way through the … [Read more...]

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“All love relationships don’t end at the altar!” – Part I

As a rule, when it comes to interviewing celebrities, Tony Rossi is our go-to guy, around here. Last week, though, he could not work into his schedule an opportunity to talk to Mother Dolores Hart, the actress-turned-Benedictine-nun who was the subject of last year's documentary, "God is the Bigger Elvis", and this year's best-seller, The Ear of the Heart. Mother Dolores is currently missing her cloister while she makes a major promotional tour in support of the book, and I had the opportunity … [Read more...]

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PRISM: Political Theater, fast change, Snowden idolatry – UPDATES

Part of my morning ritual involves logging into Twitter to see what people are talking about -- to get a sense of the mood of things.Today, the mood was unnervingly manic and whirling; it gave me a sense of vertigo -- really of chaos. There are simply so many scandals, so many stories, so many concerns, solutions, opinions. People railing on the scandalous garbage leaking out of the State Department. The submerged Benghazi story. The getting-lost NSA story; the becoming-distant IRS story -- … [Read more...]

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Strange Gods Now on Kindle and my Sally Field Moment

Color me very grateful for the interest in Strange Gods and I have felt a little helpless when emails and social media messages asked when the book would be out on Kindle. The answer, finally, as of right now!I'm also grateful to folks who have been very kind in their assessments of the book, although I do have to admit that Terry Nelson from Abbey-Roads blog -- one of my favorite blogs, I don't link to enough -- gave me a start. I happened upon it this weekend and read: "At first I thought, … [Read more...]

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“The Whole World in Her Hands”: A Gyno-Maniacal War on Men? – UPDATED

shutterstock_61345183 (1)_War on men

My First Things column this week draws on the coarse and destructive hook-up culture that has been not only embraced by women but is in some ways being driven by them:Writing for The Atlantic in September of 2012, Hanna Rosin argued that the “hookup culture” so prevalent on college campuses and in the lives of young adults is “an engine of female progress—one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.” She wrote:To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the ex … [Read more...]

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Catholicism and Nationalism Do Not Really Mix – UPDATED

The neighborhood where I grew up was a block of "mutts", and my own family boasted Irish-Italian-English-Scots-German muttage, but if you asked any of us "what are you?" the answer, our answer would have been "Catholic" and our Catholicism precluded all of our other labels, including "American." Our culture was American, yes, but it was first-and-foremost "Catholic". We didn't have a flag hanging out the door, but we had a Saint Jude on the doorstep, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the kitchen. … [Read more...]

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Interviewing John Thavis: Inside, under and atop the Vatican

John Thavis

After receiving an advance copy of John Thavis' timely new book The Vatican Diaries, and enjoying it immensely, as I relate here, I emailed a few questions to Thavis -- the "retired" former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Services who is currently back in Rome covering the impending conclave, and even blogging at his own site.Since I am so highly recommending his book -- and I really urge you to pick it up as soon as you can, and read it as a lead-up to all the conclave coverage -- I … [Read more...]

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