Book Reviews – December 2022

Before Austen Comes Aesop: The Children’s Great Books and How to Experience Them. By Cheri Blomquist. Reviewed by Kathryn Sadakierski. (skip to review) Through the Heart of St. Joseph. By Fr. Boniface Hicks. Reviewed by Joseph Tuttle. ( … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – June 2022

Can Holy Water Be Mixed? Question: Can you replenish holy water that you have for personal use by adding to it with regular water when it gets low? Answer: First it is important to discuss just what holy water is and what it signifies. … [Read more...]

Flannery Was Right

The Problem of Nihilism Within the Catholic Church

In a letter to Betty Hester dated August 28, 1955, Flannery O’Connor wrote: “If you live today you breathe in nihilism. In or out of the Church, it’s the gas you breathe.”[1. Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being, hereafter HB (New York: Far … [Read more...]

Christian Joy and Human Sadness

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). This and other exhortations in Scripture have shaped Christian tradition with the understanding that joy is meant to be part of our life. It’s traditionally counted a … [Read more...]

Quod Scripsi, Scripsi: The Life and Legacy of Marvin R. O’Connell

At the end of his recently published posthumous memoir, Father Marvin O’Connell quotes the words of Pontius Pilate from Scriptures. “Even though I too can write Quod scripsi, scripsi, my trouble is not the same as Pilate’s. My trouble has to … [Read more...]

Expanding the Narratives of Scripture

For all the depth hidden in Scripture, it can often appear barebones to the storyteller; frequently only the simplest actions, the most basic order of events, is described. One can hunger for more detail, for more color, for more character. … [Read more...]

The Emerging Catholic Literary Renaissance

Interview with Poet James Matthew Wilson

“You know, there is, at the moment, an exciting rebirth of Catholic poetry in the United States and it’s full of talented young writers, but even in this interesting cohort James Matthew Wilson, I think, is one of the leading people that you … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – June 2019

The Catholic Writer Today and Other Essays By Dana Gioia. Reviewed by Ken Colombini. (skip to review) Raymond E. Brown and the Catholic Biblical Renewal By Fr. Donald E. Senior. Reviewed by Rev. John P. Cush, STD. (skip to … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – March 2019

Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus By Craig C. Hill. Reviewed by Matthew K. Minerd, PhD. (skip to review) The Priestly Blessing: Rediscovering the Gift By Stephen J. Rossetti. Reviewed by Fr. John Cush. (skip to … [Read more...]

Words of Life for Cutting Words

A Catholic Response to Teens on Social Media Writing Sites

With more and more young people reaching out to one another through social media, there has been an increased call for new forms of ministry to teens within these virtual worlds. With the advent of public writing sites that allow for the … [Read more...]

A Spirituality of Advent

Advent is a time of preparation. It has many parallels to Lent: we don the purple, we suppress the Gloria (awaiting the angels to sing it again for the first time at Midnight Mass), and we are given weeks to allow the Holy Spirit to prepare … [Read more...]

An Advent Examination

Advent is not a season of penance, but of preparation. Advent prepares us for the two comings of Christ, that is, the Incarnation and the Eschaton. However, amid the garlands and the gifts, we all know how easy it is to become wrapped up in … [Read more...]

The Words Men Need to Hear

A Priest Speaks to College Seminarians

Speak only the words men need to hear, the things that really help them . . . (Ephesians 4:29) Introduction The effects of language—for good or ill—first occurred to me when I was five, during the summer before kindergarten. As my broth … [Read more...]

Fallen from Our First Love

“Could you not watch with Me for one hour?… Keep watch and pray” (Matthew 26:40-41) There are many sources of evil plaguing our society. However, we as a Church must be reinvigorated by the consoling certainty of God’s Word, especially wh … [Read more...]