Anne Husted Burleigh

Mrs. Anne Husted Burleigh is a free-lance writer, mother, and grandmother who lives on a farm overlooking the Ohio River in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, near Cincinnati. She has written two books: John Adams, a Biography, and Journey up the River: a Midwesterner’s Spiritual Pilgrimage. She has contributed to many publications, including Crisis and Catholic Dossier, and now writes for Magnificat.

recent articles

Welcome Home

My father and mother, ages 88 and 86, recently entered the Catholic Church. Like most things in life, their entrance could never have been imagined or expected, even ten years ago. Yet, like all things in life, their conversion was providential, and, when it happened, it seemed utterly natural. How natural it is, that with … Read more

Community: A Conversation with Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry, novelist, essayist, poet, and farmer, is a central contributor to the growing renaissance of Christian culture. Although he does not, in his lean careful writing, broach religion directly, he writes as one completely at home with the Christian tradition. His readers are numerous and ever growing, drawn to his scriptural and Aristotelian-Thomistic view … Read more

After the Flood

Driving rain and wind pummeled the house all night, rattling the cistern boxes, bellowing down the chimneys, and pouring sheets of water against the windows. Although the wind died down the next morning, rain peppered steadily for three more days. With this sudden dumping of water on already saturated ground and into already full streams, … Read more

Within the Pale: The Making of Community

Years ago, when Russell Kirk wrote The Conservative Mind, he defined the towering problem of our time as “the problem of community lost and community regained.” It is natural that we crave community, which is the union we have with others through common affection and spiritual and practical interest. To desire community, especially the primary … Read more

‘Just Come Casual’

“Just come casual,” the hostess instructed. “It will be an informal evening, so just come casual.” Though I knew the familiar ungrammatical direction was a considerate gesture meant to put guests at their ease, I had my usual reaction: “What in the world will I wear?” Had my hostess simply said, “Come for dinner,” I … Read more

Common Wisdom: Ralph Husted, R.I.P

My father, Ralph Husted, died at home in the darkness before dawn on August 7, in the middle of a thunderstorm. People often die at night, for some reason. They seem to obey their summons—or, rather, their invitation—when the household is likely to be asleep, when the nodding heads keeping watch in the shadowy stillness … Read more

Common Wisdom: Answer the Call

If you could relive the years of your early 20s, would you? Chances are you would not. Most people recall their young adulthood as a time not only of high excitement but also of high anxiety, a period of great peaks and valleys that they scarcely could weather a second time. The consuming question of … Read more

Nashville Revives Consecrated Life

One summer day last year, a young woman vacationing in northern Michigan stood atop the famous Sleeping Bear Sand Dune and looked back down the great slope she had just climbed. To her amazement, she spotted at the foot of the dune, ready to begin the ascent, three young religious sisters in sneakers and full … Read more

Fashionable Fathers

Fatherhood is coming back into favor. For most of us, it never went out. However, in today’s climate of absurd perversions of biology, we can expect — and have seen in certain academic circles as, for example, Peter Singer’s Princeton — that even such natural, normal beings as fathers have been deemed unnecessary and cumbersome. … Read more

Common Wisdom: Fashionable Fathers

Fatherhood is coming back into favor. For most of us, it never went out. However, in today’s climate of absurd perversions of biology, we can expect—and lately have seen in certain academic circles as, for example, Peter Singer’s Princeton—that even such natural, normal beings as fathers have been deemed unnecessary and cumbersome. Fortunately, truly absurd … Read more

Common Wisdom: Anniversary Reflections

My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary on November 28. It has been a blessed 35 years, for which I cannot adequately express my gratitude. If I need proof of God’s providence, I have it in the reality of a man and woman called from two ends of the earth to merge for … Read more

Wendell Berry’s Community

Wendell Berry, novelist, essayist, poet and farmer, is a central contributor to the growing renaissance of Christian culture. Although he does not, in his lean careful writing, broach religion directly, he writes as one completely at home with the Christian tradition. His readers are numerous and ever growing, drawn to his scriptural and Aristotelian-Thomistic view … Read more

Common Wisdom: Chemo Community

Every three weeks I take my mother for three consecutive days of chemotherapy. At age 86, she has joined the ranks of those of us who sometime in our lives battle cancer. The cancer ranks seem ever expanding, frighteningly so. Who does not have someone in the family who is fighting this particular fight? And … Read more

Common Wisdom: Hail Mary, Full of Grace

On the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, in the novena of St. Anne, Grace Catherine Burleigh, age five months, had the first of two difficult heart surgeries. As grandparents, we planned, with our son and daughter-in-law, for this surgery to correct tricuspid atresia and hypoplastic right ventricle, a procedure scarcely nine years old. A decade … Read more

Common Wisdom: Death Wish

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has become one of the voices whom we count on for a clear, correct statement of the Church’s mission in the world. In February, Chaput spoke to Catholic educators and parents about “forming disciples for the third millennium.” By formation, he means not stuffing young heads full of facts, but … Read more

Common Wisdom: Welcome Home

My father and mother, ages 88 and 86, recently entered the Catholic Church. Like most things in life, their entrance could never have been imagined or expected, even ten years ago. Yet, like all things in life, their conversion was providential, and, when it happened, it seemed utterly natural. How natural it is, that with … Read more

Common Wisdom—Within the Pale: The Making of Community

Years ago, when Russell Kirk wrote The Conservative Mind, he defined the towering problem of our time as “the problem of community lost and community regained.” It is natural that we crave community, which is the union we have with others through common affection and spiritual and practical interest. To desire community, especially the primary … Read more

Common Wisdom: Sshhhh. . . .

When the bishops from the northwestern states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska paid their ad limina visits to the Vatican on October 9, Pope John Paul II focused his remarks on the ups and downs of liturgical renewal in the 30 years since the Second Vatican Council. “The challenge now,” he said, “is … Read more

Common Wisdom: Pray Without Ceasing

Long before Advent, in the expanse of Church calendar known as ordinary time, the yearning for renewal was stirring. August merged into September. School buses were back on country roads, and tobacco just cut hung golden in black barns. In the palette of fence rows, bright faces of sunflowers and plumes of goldenrod gleamed yellow … Read more

Common Wisdom: From These Stones…

In the town of St. Andrews in Scotland there is more than the Royal and Ancient Golf Course. Nestled along the street called the Scores, skirting the sea, is a lovely little Catholic church in the Scottish style, fringed with flowers, where the stalwart pastor, Fr. Brian Halloran, presides with dignity and devotion. The solid … Read more

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