The National Catholic Review

The Good Word

  • Most questions are quickly and easily posed. It’s their answers that require the while and wisdom. These days, reading Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s sequel to the American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, many find themselves repeating a question voiced by Lee’s heroine, Jean Louise Finch. After a number of years in the quintessential big city, New York, the young woman, called Scout in her childhood, returns to visit her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama.

  • I presume there was an architect. Even a modest parochial school, in the middle of 1920s Kansas, needed a designer. Someone had to decide on the front door flourish. Instead of a flat front of four rooms, facing the street, two on each floor, the building juts out in front, and in the back, to create foyers for double staircases, which access the upper and lower floors. Somebody wanted large windows over the doors, a tiny touch of grandeur.

  • In April of 2012, Tom De Troyer received a letter from his mother Godelieva, 63. It wasn’t updating him about her life-long struggles with depression or inquiring about Tom’s wife and three children. The letter was written in the past tense, reporting that she had been euthanized and had donated her body to science. It contained the address of friends who would have the keys to her house.

  • This is the twenty-first entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry concludes Stephen’s speech before the council.

    For previous entries, please now go to the Complete Acts of the Apostle Commentary, where you can find links to each of the entries updated after each new blog...

  • Life’s most important lessons are learned in childhood. And, sometimes, from cats. Consider this insight, first gleaned 150 years ago, this year, by a girl named Alice. A Cheshire Cat tutored her in a place called Wonderland.

  • It’s said to be Pope Francis’ favorite Church document.  In his lifetime of ministry, his most cited. Back in 1975, in Evangelii Nuntiandi (Proclaiming the Gospel), Pope Paul VI insisted that

  • This is the twentieth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry continues Stephen’s speech before the council.

    For previous entries, please now go to the Complete Acts of the Apostle Commentary, where you can find links to each of the entries updated after each new blog post...

  • We called them “Lightning Bugs,” though I think we might also have said “Fireflies.” Hard to remember. It’s been half a century since I went hunting for them. They’d appear this time of the year, flickering above the grass of the lawn, as the last light of a long, summer eve faded. I thought them nothing less than miraculous, sparkling and darting about. Had someone told me that they were cousins of Tinker Bell, I would have believed it.

  • This is the nineteenth entry in the Bible Junkies Online Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. This entry begins Stephen’s speech before the council.

    For previous entries, please now go to the Complete Acts of the Apostle Commentary, where you can find links to each of the entries updated after each new blog post....

  • Ireland in the 1980s, a young Father Odran Yates can’t contain the respect, which his clerical collar garners. Boarding a train, walking through all of its cars, he resigns himself to standing near the door.