My great-grandfather was one of the founders of the Cream of Wheat Company, which began in the midst of an economic depression in 1892. George Bull was a wheat farmer in Grand Forks, ND, who used some old milling equipment to create a form of porridge from refined middlings, the best part of the wheat. He sent a case of the stuff stamped “Cream of Wheat” to his broker in New York along with a carload of wheat, and the… Read more

Although I didn’t do any writing while on vacation, I was able to do a little reading. I “discovered” another modern Catholic writer that I would like to get to know better.  His name is Richard Challoner, whom you see here in the portrait.  This particular portrait of Richard hangs in the Archbishop’s House at Westminster Cathedral.It’s a pity that the blog that was hosted there is no longer active. There is a great post all about Richard that was… Read more

I’ve been on vacation since July 28th. On July 29th, you let the world know you are leaving the Church, and Christianity, in “the name of Christ.” Soon thereafter, the whole blog-o-sphere was on fire with “what it all means” posts. The one I liked, I posted on our Facebook page. But I was on vacation, see, and sorry—I wasn’t going to write a post about you pulling a “crazy Ivan” and leaving the Church. I promised my wife that… Read more

  Guest Post by William “Mac” McCarthy My dormitory neighbor from 40+ years ago, who posted on the Martyrs of Compiègne in July, is back with some powerful material on St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, born to a Jewish family and still widely known by her given name of Edith Stein. I’ll pass along the material just as Mac sent it to me—only lacking his careful footnoting. There’s a lot here for reflection and inspiration: “We are travelling East,” Last Letters… Read more

Cradle Catholics who grew up in the tumultuous years following Vatican II, my husband and I as children learned virtually nothing about saints. Greg told me yesterday morning he first heard of Joan of Arc from a Brady Bunch episode; I learned a bit about her in my high school church youth group, but dismissed her as a nut case.I’ve been curious about Joan of Arc ever since I read about her in Father James Martin’s My Life with the… Read more

A reader who uses the handle bo_leggs made a comment on Webster’s post  Wednesday that hit home with me. The post was about churches that close down in the summer months. bo_leggs wrote: “One of the big differences between Catholics and Protestants is that a Catholic belongs to every Catholic Church in the world. Protestants belong only to their local church.” This is one aspect of the faith lifelong Catholics such as myself might take for granted. But as Frank wrote last year, going to Mass… Read more

The other night, I hosted a potluck for the fledgling faith-sharing group forming here in Central New Jersey. The foods were as eclectic as we are: I offered a pasta and eggplant dish my husband had prepared; G., who grew up in Ecuador, brought plantain empanadas he had spent hours preparing; P. brought desserts in the style of her native Paraguay; our parish priest brought a Key Lime pie; and A. brought a scrumptious walnut cake prepared by his wife…. Read more

This weekly slot was meant to feature poetry and has done so until today. But yesterday afternoon I picked up my favorite book again for the fourth or fifth time, and I can’t imagine writing about any other “Words” right now. You may know Norman Maclean (left) as the author of the story behind the movie “A River Runs Through It.” My favorite book is Norman Maclean’s other book.“A River Runs Through It” has the best first line and the… Read more

The other night, my husband and I  listened on the family computer as our son, hundreds of miles from home, DJ’d an alternate-rock radio station. Not quite 14, our son had never been on the radio before; the stint is part of a camp he’s attending for high schoolers interested in communications. We could hear how nervous he was, and how joyful, too.For me and Greg, raising our sons means imbuing them with all the love and faith we can,… Read more

The church my family and I attend is nearly 100 years old and, as such, the sanctuary doesn’t have central air conditioning or heating systems. During this latest heat wave, the air conditioning unit broke. Starting August 1, we’ve been celebrating Sunday Masses downstairs in the Parish Hall.Our Parish Hall is essentially our church basement. It’s a modest place with florescent lights, an industrial carpet and, most importantly, a working air conditioning system. As Webster just noted, Our Eucharistic Lord… Read more

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