William Edmund Fahey

Dr. Fahey is president and fellow of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hamphsire.

recent articles

Remembering the Dead

It was a crisp November morning. As I watched the state trooper firmly leveling the brim of his hat and striding toward my car, many things went through my mind. Foremost, the mixture of curiosity and embarrassment over what my two sons were thinking in the back seat and that the flashing lights somehow looked … Read more

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, and the Eternal City

Rome is a city of treachery and treason, infection and sin. It is appropriate that the Vicar of Christ should have been first murdered here, and—with the exception of long periods of scandalous absence—that he should have this urbs sacra et caput mundi providentially fixed as his seat and home. Rome is the city of … Read more

Thoughts of the East Inspired by the Three Wise Men

Every child knows there is something simple and true about the Wise Men. I mean, of course, those chipped and silent figures that begin to appear around Gaudete Sunday and move silently toward Epiphany. When I was a boy, I was fascinated by a set in which the exotic origins of the kings were obvious, … Read more

Sin and Civilization: Reading Deeply into the Summer

There is an old adage that the summer vacation was a time for buildings to be empty, not the mind.   So, let salt air, sin, and the fate of civilization fire up the imagination over the coming weeks. Most readers expect that the tone and pace of a summer book should mark a shift from … Read more

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

“One more step, Mr. Hands,” said I, “and I’ll blow your brains out! Dead men don’t bite, you know,” I added, with a chuckle. You weren’t expecting Treasure Island, were you?   Well, we never are and that is part of its beauty. Here am I reader, on the coast of Maine. In trying to frame … Read more

The Reason Benedict Resigned

The Catholic world is largely shocked by the publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s letter of resignation this morning.  The secular world assumes the worst—no, it desires the worst, and by insinuation worms doubts into the minds of even the faithful. The secular world will tear through the brief letter and fixate upon the line about … Read more

The Redemption of Lydia Longley

Within about five minutes half of her family had been slain.  Lydia Longley, aged 20, entered into the strange journey set for her by divine Providence in the quiet morning heat of July 27, 1694, a quiet broken by the lulling sound of cattle lowing as they seemed to wander free from their customary confinement.  … Read more

Help Us Keep It Going

$5,000. That’s all we need to raise each month to sustain and fully operate Crisis magazine. Jaws drop when I speak of how much Crisis accomplishes with so little. While our own self-imposed austerity measures allow us to run Crisis on a fraction of the budget of previous years’, as a non-profit publication operating without subscription … Read more

In Praise of Noisy Villages: Homeschooling and the Common Good

A simple premise: nothing short of the complete family being engaged in learning will secure a proper education. Behind this premise is a simple principle: Education is communal. It is communal because that which deals with the formation and perfection of a child, that which draws him to adulthood, is drawing him to the greater … Read more

The Age of the Laity…or the Latte?

So what will it be? A grande Latte… or Western Civilization? A scone with that… or the meat of doctrine? An extra shot of espresso… or the survival of families? A Moccachino… or the Mystical Body of Christ? Today, the price is the same.  Tomorrow the terms change.  Tomorrow there may be silence, apart from the … Read more

Rick Santorum and the Kingship of Christ, Part Three

At this moment in history, in the United States of America, invoking the “separation of church and state” may seem an attractive option for those confronting the spectacle of an over-reaching government.  Yet holding or defending it is not a defense of Catholic teaching, nor does it have an “honorable history within the Church” as … Read more

Rick Santorum and the Kingship of Christ, Part Two

This second part of this series treats the experience of Roman Catholics during the Founding era, since this period establishes the particular milieu in which American political rhetoric was forged and continues to find its orientation.

Rick Santorum and the Kingship of Christ, Part One

Let’s have Christ our President Let us have him for our King Cast your vote for the Carpenter That you call the Nazarene The only way we can ever beat These crooked politician men Is to run the money changers out of the temple Put the Carpenter in. —Woody Guthrie  In his Rick’s Degrees of … Read more

Will Rascals Defend Our Civilization… and What Books will they Read?

He faces execution each day.  Seven days a week, his jury of peers votes unanimously for capital punishment.  The judge’s hand is typically stayed.  Mercy reigns because the accused shows signs of improvement.  Perhaps, this little boy will one day also become fully human.  With him and his kind rests the fate of Western Civilization. … Read more

Some Dare Call it Conspiracy: The Illuminati of Contraception

A mist gathers around the Capitol.  Glowering clouds obscure the sun.  Dark Forces are pulling the levers of power.  The very laws of the land are being forged to enslave freemen (and freewomen) by a sinister power beyond our ken. Somewhere, a council has gathered. Blofeld, Mrs. Danvers, Prof. James Moriarty, Cruella de Vil, Sauron, … Read more

The End of the Affair

It is officially over. I should admit that publicly, shameful and embarrassing though it may be. It pains me to think back over these years. When I first met her I cannot exactly recall (I had heard her name before I met her). I think I saw her first walking away from the library. In … Read more

Saint Thomas More (1478-1535)

February 7 (the anniversary of his birth) It was the stubble.  That, more than anything, drew me to Saint Thomas More when I was young.  Of course, I had seen the film version of Robert Bolt’s play, A Man for All Seasons, and I enjoyed it.  You are a bad fellow if you don’t like … Read more

Trigesimo Anno: Continuing Crisis

In its thirtieth year, Crisis could rest on its laurels. Across three decades it has been a leading participant in thoughtful Catholic engagement on the subjects of politics, business, culture, faith, and family life.

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