Charlotte Hays

Charlotte Hays is Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum. Hays has appeared on cable television programs such as Politically Incorrect, C-Span's Washington Journal, and PBS's To the Contrary. A former correspondent for the National Catholic Register and a feature writer at The Washington Times, Hays has been fascinated by politics since covering local politics for alternative weeklies in New Orleans. She is coauthor of three humorous books on southern culture, the first of which was the best-selling Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral. She is also author of Fortune Hunters, a book on what it takes to make a Midas marriage. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, the Washington Post’s “Book World,” and the Weekly Standard.

recent articles

The Bliss of Solitude

A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and Recluses, Isabel Colegate, Counterpoint Press,  320 pages, $25   When the English novelist Isabel Colegate, author of the acclaimed The Shooting Party, discovered an abandoned hermit’s cell in her garden, she restored it and thereby acquired an interest in the subject of hermits and solitaries. The result … Read more

Pursued By Faith: The Literary Journey of Brian Moore

Apparitions of the Virgin Mary traditionally appear to children or other innocent souls. But in Brian Moore’s Cold Heaven, a novel set mostly in well-heeled Carmel, California, it’s Marie Davenport, an adulteress, who receives the vision. Marie has just checked into the Point Lobos Motor Inn to meet her lover, Dr. Daniel Bailey, and is … Read more

Hope on Ice: The Felicitous Fiction of Jon Hassler

Whenever I read the novels of Jon Hassler, whose funny and beautifully crafted stories, mostly about Catholics in the upper Midwest, call to mind his fellow Minnesotan and Catholic writer, the late J.F. Powers, I wonder what it’s like to be one of the best American novelists alive, yet largely unknown beyond a coterie of … Read more

Wake Me When The Sermon’s Over

For many Catholics, including me, the lowest point of the week is the sermon at Sunday mass. Hell isn’t the place where the priest who’s preaching the homily says you might go—it’s the homily itself. Here’s a sample opener from the kind of sermon I’m talking about: “This morning, as I was doing my laundry, … Read more

Solving the Puzzle of Natural Family Planning

Mary Drake was in a dilemma. The now 34-year-old Catholic from rural Minnesota wanted to follow what many, both inside and outside the Faith, regard as a difficult teaching of the Church: the ban against the use of contraception. Unfortunately, she had to convince Tim, her deeply skeptical, non-Catholic fiancé. “I guess you’d have to … Read more

Lost Horizons at Maryknoll

At Maryknoll, they’re walkin’ the walk and talkin’ the talk. But where will it all end? When Paul D’Arcy entered Maryknoll in 1937, he wanted to convert pagans to Christ. “It was a totally different mindset,” mused D’Arcy, now laicized and a New York psychologist. Before the Second Vatican Council’s decrees wrought a change in … Read more

Maryknoll Is Not Alone…

One of the most confusing vocations in the post-Vatican II Church is being a missionary. When the Council Fathers came out with their historic statements about religious freedom and the existence of “salvific elements” in other religions, they threw many missionaries into a quandary. To convert or not to convert? A baffling question. Father Joseph … Read more

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

While a synod on the laity isn’t as dramatic as a re-examination of Vatican II, this one is probably even more significant. So much of the absurdity and pain in the Catholic Church today stem from massive confusion over the role of the laity. One of the best statements on the role of the Catholic … Read more

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