A couple of years ago, I took some members of a large Rwandan refugee family to a St. Vincent de Paul store nearby. I was accompanied by a Rwandan friend and translator, Jeanette Akimiyimana, herself a refugee who has been in the United States for ten years. As we pulled away from the triple decker where the family had been placed, Jeanette began to chat with one of the teenaged girls in Kinyarwanda, the principal language of Rwanda. Before long they were laughing and the pace… Read more

What I’m about write is not an exercise in partisan advocacy. I belong to neither of the dominant political parties in the United States, which I consider to be two dead ends in the same blind alley. Nor do I belong to any other party. Nor do I consider myself a member of the Right or the Left. Nor do I appropriate for myself meaningless labels like liberal and conservative. No, this is not a partisan statement. But it is… Read more

I write today for the purpose of recommending “Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People,” the latest book from Plough Publishing. Edited and introduced by Charles Moore, with a foreword by Stanley Hauerwas, “Called to Community” is an essential collection of 82 essays and perspectives on the broad themes of a call to community, forming community, life in community, and engaging the world through community. Plough Publishing is an arm of the Bruderhof (“place of brothers”), an Anabaptist… Read more

This essay is adapted from the original which appeared at Vox Nova on August 23, 2011. Driving through Watch Hill, a wealthy neighborhood perched atop a promontory that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean from the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, one might be forgiven for thinking that all is well in the Republic. Here, handsome families stroll the covered walkways of the village, past high-end realtors’ offices, upscale gift shops, and charming restaurants. Expensive sail and motor boats bob on their moorings… Read more

This is the skillful attempt that is being made to substitute Philanthropy for Justice. There is not one of these foundations, now spreading their millions over the world in showy generosity, that does not draw those millions from some form of industrial injustice. Read more

                                                                Come early tomorrow, Vincente,                                                                 so we can make more beautiful things. You say goodbye precisely at… Read more

Our society and morals are suffering because of this. Read more

I’ve not been to Las Vegas since my high school Latin group stopped there briefly on the way back from the Junior Classical League convention up in Bozeman. But I take it the new resorts look much more glamorous than their original models in Europe, Egypt, wherever. For some tastes, Paris in Nevada trumps (forgive me) Paris in France, even at 50% scale. It’s been remarked that theme parks can offer a kind of childlike introduction to a more grownup understanding of… Read more

“Charity is the Samaritan who pours oil on the wounds of the traveler who has been attacked. It is justice’s role to prevent the attack.” – Blessed Frederic Ozanam During the June Rebellion of 1832 in Paris, memorialized in Victor Hugo’s novel “Les Miserables,” many of the insurgents were students from the Sorbonne, still a college within the University of Paris system.  In the rebellion, some 93 insurgents were killed, along with 75 members of the army and national guard. As one… Read more

Sometimes we do things on the basis of an intuition and only later are we able to verbalize what that intuition was, and why we felt compelled to obey it. Read more

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