Catholic Culture

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Evangelizing the Alt-Right

I first came into contact with Alt-Right circles in 2012—long before anyone (least of all me) knew or cared who they were. As now, they were predominantly well-educated, middle-class Millennials. And I studied them closely, because I sensed they were going to grow much, much larger. It was inevitable. Why? Because they’re cut from the [...]

What To See While Visiting Niagara Falls

If you are going to visit Niagara Falls, there’s one more stop every Catholic-traveller must make: The New York Power Authority on Route 104 between Niagara Falls and Lewiston, NY. It’s right between the Lower Niagara River and the Vincentian Niagara University. You must see this because, by all standards of current political correctness, it [...]

A Question of Perspective

I recently took my nine-year-old son, Karol, to the National Gallery of Art here in Washington. I knew that a nine-year-old’s idea of a fun Sunday was not necessarily looking at art, but I thought he needs some exposure to it and we can do it in limited amounts, maybe once a month. Besides, I [...]

When the Church Thrives, Cultures Thrive

The current controversy over Pope Francis's apostolic letter on marriage highlights several realities in the Church and the world that are not always so clear. As is widely known, Amoris Laetitia, published last year, seems to leave open the possibility that couples who are divorced and remarried civilly be admitted to the sacraments in the absence of a declaration [...]

School Memories During the Turbulent Vatican II Years

Let me say at the outset that I am aware that people's recollections of Catholic high schools vary—but the following are some of the memories I have of the 1960s, at the cusp of the Conciliar era and my reflections may resonate with some readers. I attended Brigidine Convent school in Randwick in Sydney, Australia, [...]

Catholic Sensibility: Our Compass of Sanity

Boswell: "Then, Sir, what is poetry?" Johnson: "Why, Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not. We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is."  —Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson  Let me begin with an incident that I witnessed in the last year that expresses [...]

The Beauty of Catholic Order

We didn’t dance. It was an ironclad rule of the schools and religious communities of my youth that dancing was forbidden, a prohibition enforced with the same rigor as the edict to not “drink, smoke, or chew. Or go with girls who do.” Consequently, I first danced during my graduate school days at Boston College, [...]

Why Do We Read Good Books?

Not long ago, one of my older essays was published in these pages to counterbalance, and to caution against, the unqualified praise of Flannery O’Connor’s fictional stories. As I expected, a great many O’Connor enthusiasts took exception to my critique. But amidst the ensuing disparagement, the common confusions, and the rebuttals of arguments never made, [...]

Saving Catholic Culture from Destruction

What kind of mindset built all the immigrant Catholic parishes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the Americas? Was it a way of thinking predicated on practical limitations; on being “realistic” in the mundane sense of the word? This can hardly be so. Something deeply potent—and even slightly irrational to the modern mind—had to [...]

Rebuilding Catholic Society

The Church is not part of the State. Nor is she simply a part of civil society set up by her members to advance their public and private goals. She is an independent society established by God to be a light to the world. As such, she has her own principles of existence, authority, and [...]

Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Role of Beauty in the Restoration of Catholic Culture

When I began my seminary studies, I had only been a Catholic for a few years. I had converted to the Catholic Church during my undergraduate years at the University of Kansas through a course of studies in the Great Books called the Integrated Humanities Program.   When I started seminary, I was still learning the [...]

One Small Way To Restore Catholic Culture

If you ever visit the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, make sure you get a glimpse of the campus’ loveliest bit of architecture, the iconic St. Thomas arches. Built in 1947, these arches stand proudly astride the administrative building and the liberal arts center, displaying a statue of the university’s patron. At [...]

The Casino and the Cathedral: On Recovering Our Abandoned Culture

Today’s pagan temples and chapels—capitalistic institutions bent on money making no matter what—have appropriated Catholic styles, symbols, art, liturgy, and rubrics just as Catholics have lost confidence in them. They are winning and we are not. It’s time for Catholicism to become newly aware of the richest of our own symbols lest we lose out [...]

Should the U.S. be a Catholic Society?

At the close of the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI noted that the Council had displayed an unparalleled desire “to know, to draw near to, to understand, to penetrate, serve and evangelize the society in which she lives.” That desire reflected a constant goal of the Church, to make her message effective by bringing it to men [...]

Entrusting The Future of the West to Our Children

This essay is adapted from the 2012 Lyceum college preparatory school commencement speech. I am grateful to the founding parents and benefactors of the Lyceum that you have not had to grow up in a cultural wilderness as I did.  Why anyone would be nostalgic for the 70’s I do not know.  To give you [...]

What to expect from the papal visit

Over at Catholic Culture, Phil Lawler offers five things we can expect from Benedict's trip to the UK (which begins tomorrow). Among things like the "nasty rhetoric" and criticism of the organizers that we've already seen, one item stood out -- and gave me hope for the visit: 4. Expect the unexpected  Pope Benedict has [...]

Interfaith statement denounces bigotry against Islam

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was one of 34 signatories to a statement yesterday denouncing "categorically the derision, misinformation and outright bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community." Catholic Culture has an excerpt: We are profoundly distressed and deeply saddened by the incidents of violence committed against Muslims in our community, and by the desecration of Islamic [...]

Christ in the Village: The Treasures of Catholic Culture

    Bits and pieces of my mother's childhood in Mexico have trickled down to me through the years, usually at unexpected times. As a child, she would tell me of the ceremonies in her village during Holy Week, the posadas during Advent, and the processions through the fields on the feast of St. Isidore, [...]

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