Christopher Check

Christopher Check is president of Catholic Answers.

recent articles

No Man Left Behind: The Good News from Gregory the Great Academy

I am honored to call all four of the headmasters in the history of Gregory the Great Academy close friends. I include, of course, the founding headmaster, Alan Hicks, even though 30 years ago when I was a young Marine officer looking to become a teacher, he turned me down for a position. I never … Read more

Our Lady of the Rosary: Freedom and Joy

The almost imperceptible lapping of the tide against the hull of the flagship, the stillness of the night, the breathing of the slaves slumped over their oars, and the spirited but hushed murmurs of the small assembly betrayed the fury of the battle that was just hours away. Tension and quiet. The young captain general, … Read more

St. Joan of Arc: A Guide for Every Age

Mark Twain considered his biography of Saint Joan of Arc, whose feast we celebrate Friday, to be his best work. He called the Maid of Orleans “easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced.” The story of St. Joan is well known by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but we … Read more

The Spanish Civil War

Insofar as Americans know anything of the Spanish Civil War it is through the propaganda of Ernest Hemingway’s admittedly compelling For Whom the Bell Tolls, or through Pablo Picasso’s chaotic (and admittedly repellant) Guernica. That version goes something like this: an oppressed working class calling themselves republicans rose up against a tyrannical aristocracy allied with … Read more

The Apostle of the Upper Midwest: Samuel Mazzuchelli

A traveler in Wisconsin need not stray far from the Interstate before he gets a good sense of the wild and uncut territory that greeted the explorers, traders, and missionary priests who first brought European civilization and its Faith to the American Midwest. To the freshly ordained Samuel Mazzuchelli, O.P., the untamed Wisconsin Frontier of … Read more

The First Catholic Feminist?

A little over a decade ago, a gathering of the who’s who of Catholic feminism issued the Madeleva Manifesto: A Message of Hope and Courage to Women in the Church. The signatories to the Manifesto included Charlie Curran’s defender Monika Hellwig and women’s ordination advocate, Joan Chittister. Not by accident, they issued their declaration on … Read more

How to be an American Catholic: Bishop Francis Kelley

Francis Clement Kelley, founder of the Catholic Church Extension Society and second Bishop of Oklahoma was born in 1870 on Price Edward Island. His Irish father was a sea trader, so Francis was formed in a one-room country school and in gales off the coast of Nova Scotia.  From the first he excelled at writing. … Read more

The Magnificence of Hernán Cortés

I cannot escape a constant sense, like a dull pain in the lower back, of the debilitating poverty of our present age.  A slog through O’Hare Airport, for example, where I find Our Lord’s command to love my fellow man especially difficult to follow, exacerbates the ache some.  Reading the story of Hernán Cortés, however, … Read more

September, 1683: Victory in Vienna

As Christian Europe tore at her own throat during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) the Ottoman Turks missed a golden opportunity to strike their centuries-old enemy.  Why?  They were themselves absorbed with war in Persia.  Moreover, they were beset by a turbulent period of harem intrigue and governed—or not—by a string of ineffectual and self-indulgent … Read more

The Devil’s Most Effective Foe

Not even the casual observer of Salvation History can fail to conclude that Our Lord loves the unlikely.  He chose a teenage girl from the backwater of Nazareth to bring the King of Kings into the world.  He called a fisherman who was, as Chesterton put it, “a snob and a shuffler,” to helm His … Read more

Defending Christendom against Islamic Jihad: Jean de La Valette

A brutal battle, at which nothing less than the future of Christendom was at stake, raged this week in June some four-and-a-half centuries ago.  Indeed, the sacrificial lamb, Fort Saint Elmo, fell on June 23. But because it did, the Island of Malta held out. At great cost was purchased the time for the princes … Read more

For Greater Glory…For Christ the King

Imagine needing the grace of the confessional yet unable to find a priest.  Imagine being unable to find a priest to baptize your baby or to witness your marriage.  Imagine a country without confirmations or ordinations.    Imagine longing to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but having no Mass at which to assist.  Indeed, … Read more

Athanasius Contra Mundum: The Courage to Act Alone

Who among us does not long to go back and witness first-hand certain moments in Catholic history?  Certain decisive moments.  Here are a few of mine:  On the eve of the battle of Lepanto, Don John of Austria silenced his quarrelling admirals without raising his voice.  “Gentlemen,” he said.  “The time for counsel has passed.  … Read more

Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the Apostle of Santa Fe

The man chosen by Blessed Pius IX to restore the Faith to the troubled American Southwest was the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who died on the 13th of February in the year of Grace 1888.

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