Interviewing Camille Paglia

Thanks to her love for the Jesuits (her dad taught at LeMoyne College and she took a logic class there) and to a former Wabash College professor of mine, Camille Paglia was gracious enough to let me interview her for America last week. In our interview, “The Catholic Pagan,” the punchy cultural critic shares her views on Pope Francis and academia. Professor Paglia also recalls the influence of her own Catholic upbringing and journey out of the Church to embrace… Read more

Now is the Time: Show me love

Have you seen the Coca Cola commercial #MakeItHappy? That odd synthesized chorus in the background is “Show Me Love” by Hundred Waters. It’s an interesting lens to use today as everyone is putting up #AshTag selfies. On Ash Wednesday snap a photo of your ashes & tweet with #ashtag. You could receive this book! http://t.co/qdFQ3tpzBw pic.twitter.com/xemU0hVf98 — USCCB (@USCCB) February 14, 2015 We are capable of great cruelty and ugliness. We are also capable of great love and forgiveness. What are… Read more

A Preferential Option for LGBTQ Persons?

Ever since Vatican II we as a church have been unpacking what it means to have a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. How might this option apply to people in the LGBTQ community? Pope Francis has made comments in recent years that indicate a loving, pastoral approach to LGBTQ persons in the church and in the world. God loves and approves of the human person without condition or exception. There are several factors that hinder this loving response and several elements… Read more

Radicalizing Reconciliation

The movie Romero had a profound effect on me. It’s the true story of archbishop Oscar Romero, who was killed for speaking out against injustice in El Salvador. One scene in the film is based on a radio broadcast of Romero speaking at the funeral of his friend, who was assassinated by a government hit squad. Romero is devastated, unable to believe the senseless violence. Knowing that the funeral mass is being broadcast, Romero says he has a message for the… Read more

The New Evangelization of FOCUS

If you haven’t heard of FOCUS yet, now might be a good time to find out. The Fellowship of Catholic University Students, in which recent college graduates commit to live and work on (mostly) secular college campuses for a few years, is now among the fastest-growing ministries of the New Evangelization among young people in U.S. Catholicism. Founded in 1998 by Catholic evangelist Curtis Martin and his wife, FOCUS partners with Newman Centers and Catholic campus ministries to share the… Read more

The Harder Task: Talking About Abortion

This evening, at our parish’s regular 5:30 pm Mass, I put on purple vestments, and we prayed for the defense of unborn life and in reparation for the sin of abortion.The occasion, of course, is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which the U.S. Catholic bishops have designated as a day of prayer and penance. Praying for an end to abortion – and an end to the situations which make abortion appear to be the best or only… Read more

America: Leah Libresco’s journey from atheist to Catholic

For those who don’t know her, Patheos blogger Leah Libresco is a former atheist blogger and Huffington Post writer who converted to Catholicism in 2012. At that time, she also switched from the Patheos atheist portal to the Patheos Catholic portal, where her blog Unequally Yoked is now very popular among Catholic readers. Leah’s first book, Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer, is now due from Ave Maria Press in May. A Washington D.C.-based school… Read more

Why Christmas Matters for Your Pets, or What Pope Francis Didn’t Say About Dogs

Every Christmas growing up, my family would go caroling at the dairy farms that were about two miles upwind from us.  In deference to the local Holstein inhabitants, we would always change the words of “The Friendly Beasts”  appropriately:  From “I,” said the cow, all white and red “I gave Him my manger for His bed I gave Him my hay to pillow His head” “I,” said the cow, all white and red to “I,” said the cow, all black… Read more

A Facebook Advent: On Waiting and God

I belong to that dying breed that is still (relatively) young and had remained untouched by Facebook until very recently. During the first few days of my Facebook existence, I was astounded by the almost immediate responses to my “add friend” request, with some of them coming within seconds. I find that the rapid-response nature of Facebook has somewhat conditioned my behaviour, as well. I feel an unspoken pressure to “like” or respond to Facebook activities as soon as possible,… Read more

Collapsing the Faith/non-Faith Dichotomy in Teaching

The best teaching involves the whole person: their beliefs and views, their reasoning and arguments, their hopes and fears. For this reason, I propose that we re-frame our debate about teaching from a faith-based context. It is not a fundamental feature of faith that it must posit itself as the only point of view. Faith, as St. Anselm so pointedly reminds us, seeks understanding. I often encounter the misconception that a church’s main role is to separate the world into the… Read more


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