The National Catholic Review

In All Things

  • Once upon a Christmas Eve many years ago
    When I was a wide-eyed young boy
    My head was full of anticipated Christmas joys
    That were to come in the morning when all would be merry and bright
    Where, amidst the wrappings of all those presents “upon the tree”
    There would be Christmas cheer for everyone, including little old me.

  • Charity may begin at home, as the saying goes, but charity flourishes at Christmas time. The fact that Christmas is conveniently located at the tail end of the calendar year, when our thoughts also turn to last-minute income tax deductions, may add to the dollars donated to charities in December. I prefer to think, however, that Christmas brings out the giver in us all, whether we are Christian or non-, agnostic or atheist. During the holiday season, there is a spirit of giving in the air...

  • Rocks and angry, smashing waves. The film opens and closes on a dismal wilderness of a northwestern Russian seacoast where, to the roar of a funereal organ, the foaming surf smashes against the cliffs. The rotting skeletons of wrecked ships litter the sand and crumbling wharves, while, like the skeleton of a prehistoric monster in a museum, the giant ribs of a long-dead whale curve upward like a ghost or a pagan god delivering a message that has not yet sunk in.

  • The greatest Christmas I ever knew was in 1964. I was four months into religious life, beginning my novitiate as a postulant in the Sisters of Mercy.

  • Adjunct instructors at St. Michael's

    In a much-anticipated decision last week the National Labor Relations Board ruled on adjuncts’ right to organize at religious colleges and universities. Over the past few years adjunct instructors at several Catholic colleges and universities have filed for union representation elections. Georgetown, St. Michael’s, St. Mary’s and the University of St. Thomas have seen...

  • New appointment in the diocese of Burlington, Vermont, where Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Coyne of Indianapolis has been named bishop.

    Bishop Coyne, 56, is a prelate who believes in the digital world and became comfortable with social media when it was just becoming known. He evangelizes where young people can be found, on the Web.

  • Sent to the world's English-speaking media by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, English-language assistant to Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the papal spokesperson:

  • At the news of the thawing of Washington’s cold shoulder toward Cuba, and the pope’s role in brokering it, I’ve been returning to “Wrestling with Angels,” the memoir of Paul Mayer, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who became a Catholic priest, then a husband and father, and who died a year ago in November.

  • Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, recently reasserted that his government is determined to reach a nuclear deal with representatives of the six major powers negotiating with Iran—Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States—the so-called Six.

    Last month, talks between the two sides were extended for a second time, for an additional seven months. (Read my earlier analysis of the talks here...

  • Pope Francis is being hailed around the world — and criticized by some in the U.S. — for his pivotal role in brokering the historic breakthrough in relations between Washington and Havana, a role attributed to his background as the first Latin American pope and to the special position he occupies.

    “Pope Francis did what popes are supposed to do: Build bridges and promote peace,” Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said after the announcement on Dec. 17 about the U.S.-Cuba rapprochement.