Telling National Review What I’m Thankful For

Over at National Review, they asked a few folks to share what they are truly thankful for, in the Year of Our Lord, 2014. Given my grouses about the holiday, my answer might surprise some:This Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks to God for the lives of my in-laws, one a daughter of Sicily and the other the son of immigrants. They are either approaching age 80, or on the other side of it, and 2014 has been the first year either of them have had to deal with a serious health issue. As ever, they … [Read more...]

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Absent Grown-Ups: Over-sexed and Material-Worlded to Death

My column at First Things today is about what creates grown ups in the world, and what happens to the world when we resolutely refuse to be raised into it:A psychotherapist friend once confessed to me that she still makes each of her five grown children call her on rainy nights, to tell her they are safely at home. “So many mothers run away from their children or put them in nurseries or go out to work,” Dorothy Day noted, “because they can’t stand . . . the suffering that such love entails … [Read more...]

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Francis Focuses on Family Formation Over Family Illiteracy

Good news!Putting Families First at Top of Pope’s Curia Reform AgendaHalfway through their meetings, Pope Francis and his council of cardinals have addressed many different themes, but the formation and care of families is a top priority in upcoming discussions.Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi revealed in an Oct. 2 press briefing that, so far, the council has reflected on the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council and the upcoming Synod of Bishops.But Father L … [Read more...]

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Abuse cover-ups about more than a “clergy culture” – UPDATED AGAIN!

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)Over on Facebook, our friend James Martin, SJ noted that the National Catholic Reporter, in a long editorial, applauds Archbishop Jose Gomez for his public disciplining of Cardinal Roger Mahony:Gomez's words are a direct contradiction of the weak defense that Mahony has advanced for years . . "Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem," Mahony wrote. In studying for his master's degree in social work, he … [Read more...]

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Building on what you’ve built: A GREAT Story

My Patheos colleague Tim Dalrymple has a story and video that really should make everyone stop in their tracks and think about what we all mean when we say (or sneer) at each other: "success", "capitalism", "share", "evil corporations", "collectivism" and "church."We get caught up in words like those -- particularly in an election year where, suddenly, words like "hard work", "build", "success", "welfare", "human dignity", "profit", "business", "hand-outs", "hand-ups" and "community" are … [Read more...]

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A Wee and Angry Word of Thanks to the Bishops? UPDATED

In my column at First Things today, I recount a bit of personal family history:My mother—let’s call her Alice—was born during the Depression to a couple who could neither hear nor speak, and were rather famous around Coney Island for their ability to initiate spontaneous parties and sustain them for whole weekends.They were the polar opposite of today’s “helicopter parents.” For them, parenting was not half as interesting as playing the ponies, their factory-shift work, or partying with t … [Read more...]

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