K. E. Colombini

K. E. Colombini is a former journalist who served as a political speechwriter before a career in corporate communications. A Thomas Aquinas College alumnus, he also studied English literature at Sonoma State University in Northern California. In addition to Crisis, Colombini has been published in First Things, Inside the Vatican, The American Conservative and the Homiletic and Pastoral Review. He and his wife live in suburban St. Louis, and have five children and four grandchildren.

recent articles

Keep Sacred Music Sacred

Like a voice calling out from the wilderness, there are times when some of the strongest and wisest words from a bishop arise not out of the cultural centers of the world, like Rome or New York, but rather from unexpected places. This should not really be a surprise, as bishops designated for the major … Read more

Churchill on the Prairie

Not too far from where I live, in a small town in the middle of the Midwest, the National Churchill Museum celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year. One would expect to find a national-level museum honoring the great British prime minister elsewhere, such as Washington or New York City. Rather, its location in Fulton, Missouri, … Read more

The Church Needs Children

“Let the children be, do not keep them back from me; the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19-14) Recently in these pages, I wrote about a local traditional Latin Mass parish and a modern parish renewal program called “Rebuilt,” which was developed by a suburban parish outside of Baltimore. I noted … Read more

In Defense of Literature

Recently I was mildly rebuked by a reader for something I wrote on The Lord of the Rings wherein I reflected on the valuable lessons from this work, as well as the life and letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and their applications to the current crisis being faced by Catholics. “Sorry, we don’t have the luxury … Read more

An Education to Restore Wonder

On a recent fall afternoon, bright and chilly as it can be in the Midwest, a group of parents in St. Louis had the opportunity for an informal visit from the president of Wyoming Catholic College and his wife, who is an associate professor at the school. The Doctors Arbery—Glenn and Virginia—each brought to the … Read more

The Future of Ownership

Two recent articles take a look at the effect of technology on our consumerist society and reach startlingly different conclusions. One laments that we don’t own as much stuff as we used to, while the other talks about how online shopping has created a nation of hoarders. Can both be true, at the same time? … Read more

Restore or Rebuild the Church and the Mass?

Our youngest daughter and I recently found ourselves at a Latin High Mass at the beautiful Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis. It had been a few years since I had been there; while my attraction to Mass in the old “extraordinary” form has been strong, and opportunities abound in St. Louis, … Read more

Analog Technology Takes on the Digital Juggernaut

A quickly forgotten film last year painted the portrait of a tech company that ran amok with its ambition to know and share everything. Just as we often learn a lesson through extreme examples of what can happen, The Circle, based on a 2013 novel by Dave Eggers, provided a chilling look at what a … Read more

In Praise of the Dunkirk Trilogy

One can take heart that two truly worthy films have earned a total of 14 Academy Award nominations between them—two films with overlapping themes of personal courage, patience in adversity, and love of country. Come March 4, I hope they sweep their categories. Christopher Nolan’s 2017 Dunkirk, with eight nominations, tells the story of the … Read more

Evangelical Admiration for the Medieval Church

Over Christmas break, the family and I found ourselves with a detailed 3-D jigsaw puzzle of Paris’s famous Notre Dame. While it did not take as long to complete the puzzle as it took to build the medieval cathedral (182 years, according to Wikipedia), it did present challenges. Our son-in-law, now completing a doctorate in … Read more

Silence, Then and Now

“A wind there was, rude and boisterous, that shook the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the … Read more

Balancing Humility and Ambition for the Inner Ring

In his new book How to Think, Alan Jacobs brings up a 1944 lecture by the British writer C.S. Lewis that summarizes well the state of politics three-quarters of a century later and an ocean away—not surprising perhaps, given that his observation is one that humanity has experienced for millennia. In his lecture at King’s … Read more

Horror Stories Abound in Shuttered Sanctuaries

This month in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Film Festival included a screening of the classic 1973 horror film The Exorcist at a venue that used to be a Catholic church. The venue in question, Holy Rosary in South Belfast, has been empty and closed since 1980, when the parish outgrew it and moved to the … Read more

Making Parishes Personal

My family and I live in what many Catholics would consider a suburban “sweet spot”—smack between four Catholic churches placed conveniently to the north, south, east and west of us, with the farthest being only a three-mile drive away. Ironically, perhaps, this farthest one, the one to the west, is also our territorial parish. Ideally, … Read more

The Problem of Catholic Pretenders

Catholics always have been taught that the word “catholic” means “universal,” and arguably one of the hallmarks of the Catholic faith is that it recognizes no borders; while there are many rites, of which the Latin is the predominant one, there is one truth, one set of dogma. As I consider this from St. Louis, … Read more

Abolish Ordinary Time

With Ascension and Pentecost looming, and with their passage an end to the Paschal season, it’s time to reconsider and abolish Ordinary Time. As dramatically drastic as this may sound, it would not be a move without precedent. For centuries, for most of Church history in fact, there was no Ordinary Time on the Catholic … Read more

The Last of the Junior Seminarians

When one thinks of boarding schools, it’s easy to default to stereotype: a bunch of rich kids riding horses or playing lacrosse as they prepare for an Ivy League college and life as a senator or corporate executive. My experience a few decades ago (okay, a little over three) was vastly different, yet one I … Read more

Perfect Lenten Reading

Lent is the best time for spiritual reading focused on self-improvement, especially for those who have promised to give up or cut back on sports or entertainment, freeing up time in the process. For us who consider ourselves bad Catholics—or at least not-good-enough Catholics—there is always room for improvement. What sort of books make good … Read more

The Value of Unexpected Friendships

America has weathered the most divisive presidential election in recent memory, and the first round of family gatherings since then, with many Thanksgiving meals expected to have been free-for-all food fights, with turkey drumsticks flying, no doubt. But we are getting along in the new reality, for the most part, and most friendships and family … Read more

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