The Priest as Bridge and Balm – UPDATED

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Over on the Dedicated-Catholic page of Patheos' symposium on the Future of Seminary Education, two more entries, and I think they're both exceptional expositions of both the challenges facing our new generation of priests, and the profound gift of opportunity that lies within those very challenges.Read Deacon Greg Kandra's remarkable and moving story (it made me cry) of Father Martino BaThong Nguyen, who was born in great deprivation in Vietnam and now serves in the Diocese of Savannah in … [Read more...]

Obama’s Malaise Speech – UPDATE

I have long-wondered whether President Obama actually understands anything about this country or the people who elected him. In 2009 I wrote:One senses that the nation is not alone in wondering -- that perhaps President Obama himself has no clue who he is, not as an American man, and not as The American President. For decades Obama has gotten by on elegance, a retiring demeanor and the ability to make people see their reflections in him. The first two are gifts; that last is a symptom of a … [Read more...]

Tumbling America and the Narrative Thrust UPDATED

America is in the process of tumbling: she has one party interested only in "remaking" America with or without the constitution's guidance; it is a party become so expert at political maneuvering that it no longer believes it actually has to lead, build consensus or compromise -- ever -- and another party that can't manage to stick a post into a hole and call it a goal. The Democrats and Republicans remind me of nothing so much as Jules and Brett in Pulp Fiction -- the Democrats alternately sly … [Read more...]

Katie Couric and the Gravitas Issue

Taking a break from his lengthy vacation Greg Kandra -- who during his long career at CBS spent some time toiling on behalf of Katie Couric -- argues that, despite charges of sexism, or Gail Collins' weirdly bar-lowering, denial-laden praise (which declared that as long as Couric didn't make it "worse" for women, she'd been a "total success") Couric was simply a bad fit for the anchor's desk, and that everyone seemed to know it but Couric herself, and Les Moonves. Noting with irony that the new … [Read more...]

Are you Happy?

When my Elder son was very small, and was trying to figure out facial expressions, he would ask me, or my husband, or the lady at the grocery store, "Are you 'appy?"He was missing his h's for a little while.Sometimes my husband and I will still tease each other with that. He'll see me looking pensive and ask "are you 'appy?"It's a sweet question, and it always makes me smile, for the warm memories of my son at such a young age. But sometimes I wonder if, rather than asking people … [Read more...]

The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

February is Black History Month, and to kick it off historian Dr. Pat McNamara brings us a fascinating story that thrilled and shamed me. What a remarkable family of faith existed in the sons and daughters of Michael Healy and Eliza Clark; they became priests, nuns and even a bishop emerging from their home in Georgia, where mixed-race children were called "slaves." But none of it came easily or peacefully in 19th century America:By any standard, the Healys were an impressive family. … [Read more...]

The Madness of the Mainstream Media UPDATED

If Michael Kelly and Tim Russert were alive today, they would be sickened and appalled to see the shambling madness that has descended upon their profession, most particularly as it manifests in the obsessive and whirling mania regarding Sarah Palin.When it gets to the point that Jonathan Chait has to marvel at his instincts to defend Palin, that's a measure of their madness.Let's begin at the beginning: on January 8, a madman in Arizona, listening to nothing but his own head--there is not a … [Read more...]


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