Helen Hull Hitchcock

Helen Hull Hitchcock is founding director of Women for Faith & Family and editor of its quarterly journal, Voices. She is also editor of the Adoremus Bulletin, a monthly publication of Adoremus - Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, of which she is a co-founder. She is married to James Hitchcock, professor of history at St. Louis University. The Hitchcocks have four daughters and six grandchildren, and live in St. Louis.

recent articles

USCC: Lost in Translation

“Prayer in the ancient tradition of the Church” the ad in the Liturgy Training Publications catalog proclaims. The subject of the glossy spread is the psalms, canticles, and prayer books using these portions of Scripture, produced by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). ICEL was created after the Second Vatican Council to … Read more

USCC Watch: Fishers of People?

“‘Fish for people’ does not swim,” wrote Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua in his critique of the one of the final segments of the massive retranslation and revision of the Roman Missal proposed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. The bishops concluded their three-year approval process of the ICEL revisions of the Sacramentary (prayers … Read more

USCC Watch: From the Heart

At their November meeting, the American Bishops will vote on an “Application to the United States” of Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church), the Apostolic Constitution of 1990 on Catholic Universities. This document, which established norms to promote orthodoxy in Catholic universities, was welcomed by many as a Magna Carta for Catholic … Read more

USCC Watch: The Costly Call

Among the interesting side-effects of retired San Francisco Archbishop John Quinn’s lecture, “The Claims of Primacy and the Costly Call to Unity,” given at Campion Hall in Oxford on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, is the reinforcement it gives to the opinions of those who have come to mistrust national conferences. Archbishop Quinn’s … Read more

U.S.C.C. Watch: Denver’s Gain

No person has the right to impose his or her values on another person, proclaimed an op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader, the daily paper of a middle-sized Missouri town. If you don’t like what you see on TV, turn it off or change the channel. However, don’t tell me that I have no right to … Read more

Bishops Take a Swing

Catholics cheered when the U.S. cardinals, in a rare move, unanimously condemned President Clinton’s veto of the partial-birth abortion bill. This legislation would have made it illegal to suck out the brains of the most defenseless and vulnerable members of the human family during the actual process of birth, a procedure that causes a nearly … Read more

USCC Watch: Human Sexuality

Thousands of Catholic parents rejoiced when the Pontifical Council on the Family released The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality in January. The statement reaffirmed the essential right and responsibility of parents to “provide a clear and delicate” education in sexual morality to their children. It resoundingly restated that parents are the primary and irreplaceable … Read more

USCC Watch: Explaining It Away

“Catch up with the Pope,” Sister Mary urged in a talk on roles for women in the liturgy. She was not, however, suggesting that her audience accept the Church’s teaching on ordination; still less to consider the issue settled. Instead Sister Mary interprets recent papal writings as actually contradicting this teaching—as well as the essence … Read more

USCC Watch: Chipping Away

The expected reaction to the Responsum ad dubium (“Response to a Doubt”) from the usual suspects whose “Catholic” identity rests upon rejection of virtually every Catholic belief and refusal to accept the authority of the Church, was immediate. The ruling, released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on November 18, reaffirmed the … Read more

U.S.C.C. Watch: More Troubled Water

When Cardinal William Keeler, at the close of the NCCB November meeting, assured television viewers that despite the controversies they witnessed, a new consensus was emerging within the bishop’s conference, his words were more hopeful than factual. Although the depth and seriousness of the conflict was nowhere more evident than in the bishops’ discussions of … Read more

U.S.C.C. Watch: Clergy Crisis

Conventional liberal wisdom holds that the Catholic Church is suffering a vocation crisis because of its rigid restriction of the priesthood to celibate males. Hence it is supposedly necessary that priests be allowed to marry, that women be ordained to the priesthood, and that “resigned” priests be fully reinstated. Women deacons, too, must be ordained … Read more

U.S.C.C. Watch: Cries and Whispers

Amidst the cacophony and confusion at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September, one sound was muffled: the still, small voice of hope. Voices of reason and of truth, though not absent, were indistinct—overwhelmed. When all the shouting was over, this much came through clearly: the conference in Beijing … Read more

Brave New World: Image Problems

Flip through almost any airline magazine and you can find pages of ads for books, cassettes, and video-tapes aimed at helping you create positive images which will assure personal success and a prosperous, flourishing business. If you are channel-surfing, you’ll almost inevitably alight on some attractive guru or other who has discovered that he or … Read more

USCC Watch: Jung-Seasoned Psalter

“I saw a wooden cross vested in a green chasuble—the same cross before which I had knelt on Good Friday, silently offering God my gifts,” begins the author of Image Guidance: A Tool for Spiritual Direction, recounting one of many spiritually liberating explorations of Jungian archetypal images and “collective unconscious.” The author continues, The cross … Read more

USCC Watch: Demise of the USCC?

This is probably my last USCC Watch column. If the proposal of Cardinal Joseph Bernadin’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Mission and Structure of the NCCB prevails at the June meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, there will be no USCC to watch. The United States Catholic Conference, created in 1967 to serve … Read more

USCC Watch: The Word Police

“Some of the anxieties that seem to have gripped us as we deal with the liturgical texts have to do with orthodoxy, lest we be spouting heresy as we praise the Divinity,” Greensburg Bishop Anthony Bosco advised his brother bishops at last November’s NCCB meeting. “As far as orthodoxy is concerned,” quipped the bishop, “I … Read more

USCC Watch: Gallows Humor?

While browsing in an antique store with my brother one day, I came across a china figurine of Adolph Hitler, six or seven inches tall. Hitler was bent over with a pained look on his face, and a pincushion was attached to his bare backside. “Stick Hitler in the Axis!” was painted across the base. … Read more

USCC Watch: Strange, Cruel Mercy

The Brookline incident, in which two abortion clinic receptionists were killed by a man who had disrupted a Christmas Eve Mass a week earlier, inspired a full-scale media attack on the Catholic Church. Editorial cartoons seethed with rage at the Church for calling abortion “murder,” accusing Catholic pro-lifers of promoting attitudes of violence. Cardinal O’Connor … Read more

USCC Watch: Neo-ecumenism — Ex Unibus Plurum?

On New Year’s weekend, 1,800 college students and campus ministers gathered in St. Louis for a conference called Celebrate! A Gathering at the Crossroads, sponsored by the Council for Ecumenical Student Christian Ministry, of which the Dayton, Ohio-based National Catholic Student Coalition (NCSC) is a member. Conference publicity stated its purpose was to “celebrate our … Read more

USCC Watch: Can the NCCB Stop Razing the Roof?

It’s hard to avoid the impression, when sorting through the documents from the annual bishops’ meeting, that enough trees are sacrificed every year in their manufacture to shingle the entire roof of St. Peter’s — with enough left for the next decade of repairs. This year, for example, the American bishops received more than 600 … Read more

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