Women's History: Drexel, Connelly, Addiss?

March is Women's History Month, and a good time to introduce you to the sorts of formidable women who made (or are making) enormous differences to the lives of many, but who frequently go unmentioned in the mainstream. Today I am going to introduce you to three of them. Interestingly enough, the first two hail from the affluent Philadelphia Society of the 19th century -- one was heiress to a fortune -- and the other is a modern woman of boundless energy, imagination and great warmth. Because … [Read more...]

Holy Eucharist, Humility and Flannery O

My column at First Things this week looks at the story of Father Augustin Escobar, the California priest who recently had his priestly faculties suspended for concelebrating Mass with a Presbyterian minister. As few details had yet emerged as I was writing, I stuck to the question of closed communion There exists an odd double-standard concerning Catholic observances and almost any other ritual. Culturally nuanced and sensitive Americans would never presume to attend a Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, … [Read more...]

Lenten Reading: Jesus and Jewish Roots of the Eucharist

It's that time of the year again. As Ash Wednesday approaches (it's later than usual this year, and am I the only one who feels likes she's missing it and needs it to begin?) I'll be suggesting books that may enhance the Lenten journey. Foremost in my recommendations will be this book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. It is foremost because the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, and it is so poorly understood by so many -- even among Catholics -- that I can … [Read more...]

Stars and the Excess of Clarity

Spent some time stargazing a while back, when I couldn’t sleep. No telescope, just the naked eye, a dark neighborhood and a willingness to wonder. I was digesting a bit of Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, and it had stayed with me through evening's pass – the sight of the stars, the early, wise writings of a monk. Does the fact that we can no longer see the stars have anything to do with our loss of wonder? These things, the stars, and all creation - they are more splendid, … [Read more...]


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