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    The mythologist Joseph Campbell discerned that the pattern of the hero’s quest is for the classic hero to be discontented in his ordinary world, hear the call of adventure, embark on a great quest and then return to the ordinary…

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    Keeping the Feast: The Unity of Faith & Life

    by R. J. Snell

    My friend Jeremiah sent me a link to the music video for the song “Dégénération,” by the French-Canadian band Mes Aïeux. In the video, an elderly Québécois farmer shovels dirt from a pile into a wheelbarrow before trudging deliberately down…

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    Contemporary Challenges to Family Unity

    by John A. Cuddeback

    Absence often manifests the importance of presence. I think of my one year old son Raphael. When my wife is not at home, he looks at me and utters a plaintive interrogative, “Mama?” “Mama will be home soon,” I respond,…

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    Obama Misrepresents Catholic Schools

    by Peter Smith

    Recently visiting Northern Ireland for the G8 meeting at Lough Erne, President Obama said this during his now-traditional speech to local young people: If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t…

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    Great Gatsby’s Facebook Mansion

    by Tom Hoopes

    The Great Gatsby (the book; I haven’t seen the movie yet) describes a particular kind of life that used to be the sole property of well-heeled WASPs. They were the privileged ones who came from all parts of the country…

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    The Nation of Alcatraz

    by Anthony Esolen

    President Clinton, wagging his finger in accusation, has said that the Republican philosophy of government is, “You’re on your own.”  The sheer absurdity of the statement staggers the mind.  I doubt there is a single person in the nation who…

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    The Case Against School-Based Clinics

    by William J. Bennett

    Let me start by telling a story. I was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I lived before coming to Washington. Chapel Hill is a fairly typical up-and-coming community. I think it would be fair to call parts of Chapel…

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    The Small Community Revival: Solving Social Problems On a Human Scale

    by William A. Schambra

    The revitalization of our federal system of government promises to be one of the enduring legacies of the administration of Ronald Reagan. Certainly it has been an essential ingredient in its electoral success. Ronald Reagan has understood the essence of…

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    The Deadly Silence: AIDS and Social Censorship

    by Eugene V. Clark

    We are an amazing nation. Almost daily we are reminded that we are blessed with media analysts who fear nothing and will always tell us the unvarnished truth. Nor do we lightly ridicule the media’s sacred cows. Defamation awaits anyone…

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    Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

    by Jude Dougherty

    The lay state is, of course, the normal condition under which life is led. The priesthood is defined in relief against the lay state. A priest in any culture is one set apart to mediate between God and man. He…

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    Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

    by Phyllis Zagano

    The cynic might say that the typical diocese is headed by a bishop and has various operations which are run by priests, staffed by religious, and paid for by the laity. This checkbook approach to the apostolate of the laity…

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    Empty Liturgies: Where Sentiment Triumphs Over Transcendence

    by Lord Acton

    Councils of the Church do not always turn out as close participants thought, as I learned at Vatican I. So it has been sobering to an historian to observe below the fate of Vatican II. I seem to detect a…

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    Privatizing Religion: The Supreme Court’s Real Objective

    by Gerard V. Bradley

    “Baby Jesus Saved by Plastic Reindeer.” That should have been among the many headlines of March 6, 1984 heralding the Supreme Court’s most celebrated church-state ruling of the eighties. At least, that is precisely what the decision amounted to. The…

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    American Women and the Church: A Dialogue

    by Phyllis Zagano

    Sister Marita Carew, RSHM is President of the Executive Committee of the New York Archdiocesan Council of Women Religious, a position to which she was elected in 1985. She is also Provincial Superior of the Eastern American Province of the…

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    Quodlibets: Going Home

    by Ralph McInerny

    Late spring and summer become, with age, times of commemoration. Class reunions, anniversaries of one graduation or another and, for many, a visit to the town where we grew up. Some move from a small town to the city, but…

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    Curran, Dissent, & Rome: A Symposium

    by Theology Dept. Faculty at Catholic University

    As members of the Theology Department of the University of America we wish to associate ourselves with the public statement of support issued by Bishop Matthew B. Clark, Father Curran’s local ordinary. We concur with Bishop Clark that Father Curran…

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    Our Tradition: The Restless Soul of Thomas Merton

    by D.Q. McInerny

    In his early years as a monk, Thomas Merton tried determinedly to give up writing, convinced that it was a worldly occupation and hence incompatible with his monastic vocation. He met determined opposition in this effort, opposition incongruously provided by…

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    Observations: A Day in the Decline of America

    by Norman Podhoretz

    There are days when I find myself imagining a 1 historian in some future century writing an account of “The Decline and Fall Of the United States” similar to the book Edward Gibbon produced in the 18th century about ancient…

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    The Last Word: Sandinophilia

    by Terry Hall

    A profoundly disturbing note in the debate on the conflict in Nicaragua was sounded in a nationally televised debate in March. Appearing on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour as an opponent of U.S. aid to the contras, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton refused…

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    The Future of Catholic Education: Maintaining the Integrity of the Catholic University

    by Jude Dougherty

    The proposed schema for a Pontifical Document on 1 Catholic Universities is sure to generate anew discussion governing the nature of the Catholic university and its relation­ship to the Magisterium. The schema has already provoked considerable opposition. For some its…

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