10/01/1999

Fr. Benedict Groeschel  speaks to Crisis about Psychological Testing, Religious candidates, and What Psychology Means to Religious Vocation Since the early 1960s almost all candidates applying to enter religious life or the priesthood have been required to undergo psychological screening. Further evaluation has sometimes been required if questions are raised about a person's fitness. Some [...]

Fr. Benedict Groeschel  speaks to Crisis about Psychological Testing, Religious candidates, and What Psychology Means to Religious Vocation Since the early 1960s almost all candidates applying to enter religious life or the priesthood have been required to undergo psychological screening. Further evaluation has sometimes been required if questions are raised about a person's fitness. Some [...]

Social scientists can't seem to agree on what the family is and how it should function in society. In fact, when it comes to the family, theorists have more novel solutions than problems. Little Mikey returns from school wondering why his friend's daddy has a roommate and why Heather gets to have two mommies. Yet [...]

Darrell Mease is a convicted murderer. After confessing to the 1988 shotgun murders of a married couple and their 19-year-old handicapped grandson, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to die for his crime. Two weeks prior to Mease's execution date of 10 February 1999, Pope John Paul II traveled to St. Louis. In a homily [...]

Last month, the Kansas Board of Education voted to delete virtually any mention of evolution from he state's science curriculum. The reaction among the cognitive elites was predictably harsh: Why are creationists allowed to get away with this? Why can't they keep their Bibles out of the classroom? America has been fighting a battle over [...]

Scholars regularly link the election of John Kennedy with the work of Fr. John Courtney Murray, SJ. By winning the nation's highest office, Kennedy is said to have proved once and for all that Catholics were fully American and that Catholicism and the American proposition were not fundamentally at odds. As a Newsweek writer remarked, [...]

He was the strongest man I ever knew. He had will-power of iron. The doctor said to stop smoking. After that day he never smoked another cigarette. Years later a different doctor banned alcohol—not another drink passed his lips for more than thirty years. Of all the money he inherited from his mother and aunt, [...]

Concerning false invocations of political piety, Samuel Johnson famously remarked, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." While generally agreeing with that sentiment, the estimable political scientist James Q. Wilson observed that the great man had over-looked the possibilities presented by the word "reform." Nowhere is Wilson's amendment more apt than in current efforts [...]

At a meeting in Washington in June, I offered praise for the House managers during the impeachment of the president, and contrasted their performance with the preening and cowardice of the senators. I was moved to say of the House managers what Lincoln had said of the Massachusetts Sixth regiment, after it had finally broken [...]

Human beings love to flirt with fear, which is even more attractive when placed under lock and key, visible but inaccessible. We caress the iron bars that keep the caged lions from slashing our faces; we queue up to ride mechanical contraptions designed to make us vomit. Still, nothing thrills us more than stories that [...]

Ritual and ceremony are essential parts of life. We need them so that we do not take life too personally. After all, life is not about us in the way in which we would like to think it is. Ritual teaches us that we are part of something larger than ourselves. The highest form of [...]

On the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, in the novena of St. Anne, Grace Catherine Burleigh, age five months, had the first of two difficult heart surgeries. As grandparents, we planned, with our son and daughter-in-law, for this surgery to correct tricuspid atresia and hypoplastic right ventricle, a procedure scarcely nine years old. A decade [...]

Is there a soul, so innocent in this fair land who opens the morning paper expecting to find there what is going on in America and the world? Perhaps in some of the more provincial areas like New York City or Los Angeles, isolated tribes still retain the primitive belief that the local Times gives [...]

Sages have observed that while the public scene is afflicted with countless personalities who are false tinsel, only in Hollywood are people genuine tinsel. Falseness is not a universal trait of actors, although Samuel Goldwyn did say that in Hollywood an oral contract is not worth the paper it is written on. For various reasons, [...]

Early on the morning of the eleventh Sunday of the year, I said Mass. As I read the last words of the Gospel that day, Matthew 10:8, I said to myself, "that doesn't sound right." Unfamiliar wording unexpectedly distracted me. I was using the new 1998 American Lectionary. After years of saying Mass and reading [...]

Whenever I hear Bach's "Air on the G String" I am transported back to Quebec and the apartment in which we lived when I was completing my graduate studies. At night, after Connie had tended to the baby and gone to bed herself, I would sit at my desk, studying, smoking, listening to the radio. [...]

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