Archive by Author


Cultures change, but fear of immigrants continues unabated

A friend the other day handed me a document called “Conozca Sus Derechos” (“Know Your Rights”). It was distributed recently in Hispanic parishes in a diocese not far from Philadelphia. The goal was to help immigrants understand their rights and to protect themselves from ICE officers and other officials, newly emboldened by recent instructions from […]

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From OSV: “Onward, Christian Stranger”

In his latest book, Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World (Henry Holt and Company, $26), Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput assesses with his typical clarity the bewildering situation for committed American Catholics living in the world created by the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, legalizing same-sex marriage. As a biting […]


God and the Opinions of Men at Yale

Last week, Yale University took the extraordinary step of re-naming one of its original residential colleges. Called Calhoun since the 1930s, when the college was named for alumnus John C. Calhoun, one of the great American politicians of the 19th century, it will be known as Hopper after July 1st. Some background here is important: […]


Greg Erlandson and the Vocation of Catholic Journalists

Last week, St. Charles Seminary hosted Greg Erlandson, the Editor-in-Chief of Catholic News Service, who delivered the annual Cardinal Foley Lecture. Cardinal Foley was a giant figure in the Church (in addition to being an inspiration for the work of this blog), and Erlandson’s lecture was both a tribute to the great Philadelphia priest and […]

Changing the World with Silence

I want to pick up on a theme discussed by Marc Barnes over at Patheos about the vague Millennial desire to “change the world.” The feeling he describes (epitomized by the recent women’s march) is probably a conceit of every generation. What he pinpoints as unique is our failure to produce a vision of what […]


“Bare Ruin’d Choirs:” Penn, Shakespeare, and the Decline of Western Culture

It seems that English majors at my college alma mater engaged in some symbolic micro-aggression this month. The victim was a certain deceased dramatist and poet from a small town on the River Avon. These literate activists decided to storm Fisher-Bennett Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, where a slightly tattered portrait of William Shakespeare […]

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