Catholic Living

In 2018, I wrote a column for my then-employer, the Catholic Herald, titled “Andy Warhol’s Devotion Was Almost Surreal”; the piece became our most-read article of the year. It followed on the announcement that the Vatican Museum would be exhibiting a few of Warhol’s works in the Holy See. Social media was abuzz with the [...]

In 2018, I wrote a column for my then-employer, the Catholic Herald, titled “Andy Warhol’s Devotion Was Almost Surreal”; the piece became our most-read article of the year. It followed on the announcement that the Vatican Museum would be exhibiting a few of Warhol’s works in the Holy See. Social media was abuzz with the [...]

The Catholic Church lost a great ally on January 12 when conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton died at the age of 75 from cancer. Scruton was not Catholic but Anglican—the author of Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England. Yet he was a friend of Rome, telling the Catholic Herald in 2015, [...]

“Children are the future of the Church.” How often are such truisms used to explain the extensive focus on a single demographic group within a parish? From youth ministry to religious education to Catholic schools, most Catholic parishes direct a large amount of their limited resources toward young people. After all, if our children fall [...]

It was Friday the 13th of December, and nothing unlucky had happened yet. Or so I thought, idly scrolling through the Catholic news—until my eyes landed on a startling headline from Crux. “Pope calls idea of declaring Mary co-redemptrix ‘foolishness’ ” ran the title of the piece. On closer inspection, it turned out that in his Spanish-language homily for [...]

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. I thought often of these first lines from Genesis while crossing the North Atlantic two weeks [...]

If the Church is a body, as St. Paul describes it in 1st Corinthians, then the heart of Catholicism here on earth must be the monastery. Its prayers to God for the world are pumped, like blood, throughout the body of Christ giving Christianity life. If by analogy the monastery serves as our heart, what [...]

During and after the grim martial law period in the early 1980s, many freedom-minded Poles would greet each other on January 1 with a sardonic wish: “May the new year be better than you know it’s going to be!” As 2020 opens, that salutation might well be adopted by Catholics concerned about the future of [...]

As Time cries, “Advance!”, we look back on a year that might fill the mouth of Time with lamentation. The Syrian civil war, the Christchurch mosque massacre, economic collapse in Venezuela, Hong Kong protests, the El Paso Walmart shooting, the Sri Lanka Easter terror attack, the Notre-Dame fire, and political upheaval in America. What is [...]

After the experience of having four babies in a span of six years, I’ve learned a lot about the postpartum period. Because of that, I’d like to officially define postpartum as the first full year after giving birth. Currently, postpartum care for the mother is often no more than a simple six-week check-up. You could [...]

On December 17, the day the first “O Antiphon” signaled the intensification of preparations for Christmas, the Church read the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew’s gospel: writing for a predominantly Jewish-Christian audience, the evangelist stresses that the blessings promised to and through Abraham, and the dynastic promises made to King David, are about to be [...]

Editor’s note: the Rev. James V. Schall, SJ,  joined Crisis Magazine as a columnist in January of 1983. He passed away in April. On this second day of Christmas, we honor him by republishing this timely and timelss column, which originally appeared in the December 1995 print edition of Crisis. Requiescat in Pace, Father Schall. [...]

After years of literary success and popular acclaim, Leo Tolstoy became dissatisfied with the complacency of the intelligentsia in what it had accepted as life’s meaning (or lack thereof)—in a word, he was suicidal. He had become convinced that no answer to his existential questions could be found in the “chemical compositions of the stars” [...]

Christmas in a Cage

I had heard that this store went “all out” at Christmas, but I was still taken aback. Ten-foot-tall nutcrackers, sprawling miniature villages, plush snow unicorns, plastic pine trees encrusted with glitter and glass, jingle bell muzak at high volume, seasonally garish sweaters, gigantic drummer boys para-pum-pum-pumming, a marshmallow army of leering lawn inflatables, and a [...]

The Well-Fought Fight

The incorporation of Anglican hymnody into English-language Catholic worship is one of the great blessings of the past 50 years. And within that noble musical patrimony, Ralph Vaughan Williams surely holds pride of place among modern composers. Well do I remember the summer day in 1965 when I heard a massed chorus of men and [...]

Pope Francis gave us an early Christmas gift with Admirabile Signum (“Enchanting Image”), his little letter on the ancient custom of setting up Nativity scenes as a way to prepare for the birth of Jesus. Christians began worshipping at the site of our Lord’s birth in Bethlehem almost immediately. So many were coming that Emperor [...]

Fifty Years On

The year of 1969 was a time of the finest and the worst, when most institutions, equipped with the polished trophies of new science, seemed to be having a mental breakdown. A man walked on the moon. But there were riots, protests, and a moral fragmentation whose detritus now controls the seminal arbiters of culture. [...]

Editor’s note: Fr. George William Rutler was ordained in the Anglican Church 50 years ago today. All of the friends and followers wishing to mark the occasion with him wouldn’t fit in Yankee Stadium. We offer a small selection here.   I was first blessed to meet Father George Rutler in Rome, where he was [...]

Pro-Life, Pro-Mother

There’s no question that the Church is pro-life. In my parish, we have initiatives to pray at the local abortion clinic, raise money for ultrasound machines, and vote for pro-life politicians, and all this is good and important. We have a house that supports pregnant women, giving out clothing, diapers, car seats, and strollers to [...]

The other day, I found myself in a cramped waiting room dominated by a television much too large and loud for the space. After the third or fourth depressing “newsworthy” tidbit in a row, an old man glanced over at me and smiled ruefully. “Why can’t they have a whole channel that only plays the [...]

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel...” This is perhaps the most well-known Advent hymn—one that floods us with the feelings of the coming Christmas season. But the hymn also raises a question. Matthew's Gospel tells us that “Emmanuel” means “God is with us” (Mt. 1:23). In the song, then, we pray, “O [...]

They prayed without ceasing. For years their supplications were brought before the altar of God in far-flung cities like Karachi and Bangkok. In the darkness of the night their pious petitions were wedded to bitter weeping. And then, after many trials and tears, when their story seemed all-but-forgotten, God answered. As “deep calls to deep [...]

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