The National Catholic Review

Podcasts: 2009

The Work of Catholic Charities

December 21-28 Podcast
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As the country heads into the second Christmas since the economic downturn, Rev. Larry Snyder, the president of Catholic Charities, details the needs his organization is encountering around the country. In shelters and food pantries, the organization is seeing a dramatic increase in demand. Father Snyder also discusses the recent controversy in Washington, D.C., concerning the relationship between the city and Catholic Charities, and recounts some of the history of the 100-year old agency.

The Imagination of Uwem Akpan

December 7 Podcast
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Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan published his first short story in the New Yorker in 2005 and his writing career has blossomed from there. His short story collection, Say You’re One of Them, is the most recent selection of Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club, and Father Akpan appeared with Ms. Winfrey on a live Webcast earlier this month. In an interview with America, Father Akpan describes how the Ignatian tradition has helped nurture his writing and why he decided to tell his stories from a child’s point of view.

A Vatican Visitation

November 23 Podcast
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Doris Gottemoeller, R.S.M., past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, offers four recommendations for the Vatican visitation of women religious, and reflects on the opportunities and limitations such a process entails.

Deaths in the Family

November 16 Podcast
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Kevin F. Burke, S.J., the author of two books on Ignacio Ellacuria, discusses the legacy of the Spanish Jesuit and the other victims of the massacre at the Central American University in El Salvador on Nov. 16, 1989. A total of eight people were killed on that day, which proved to be a turning point in American policy toward El Salvador. Father Burke also reports on the work of Jesuit theologian Jon Sobrino, one of two members of the CAU Jesuit community who were not home that night and thus survived the attack.

The Trouble with Social Conservatives

November 2 Podcast
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William Bole offers a critique of the social conservative movement, arguing that too often their positions are indistinguishable from the platform of the Republican National Committee. This is unfortunate, Bole contends, because a truly independent social conservative movement could play a key role in implementing policies designed to strengthen the family.

Crisis in Honduras

October 26 Podcast
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Associate editor Kevin Clarke interviews John Donaghy, a lay missionary from Honduras, on the country's political crisis in wake of the ouster of Manuel Zelaya on June 28. Donaghy assesses the church's response to what some have called a coup d'etat, and what impact the political strife will have on the country's poor.

Birth and the Prayer Life

October 5
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Susan Windley-Daoust, a professor of theology at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, makes the case that birth is not simply an ordeal to endure, but a rich spiritual gift that is comparable in many ways of the prayer life. She argues that while medicine has made great strides in the area of childbirth, it has not come without some cost to the spiritual immediacy of the experience.

Torture and the Rule of Law

August 3-10 Podcast
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Now the dean of Fordham Law School in New York, William Michael Treanor served for three years in the president's Office of Legal Counsel, a branch of the executive that was little-known to the general public until legal advisers to President George W. Bush released the infamous "torture memo" in 2002. Treanor, who served under President Clinton, talks about the expansion of executive power under Bush II, and what Congress and President Obama can do to bring greater transparency to the activities of the executive branch and restore the integrity of the Office of Legal Counsel. Read Den Treanor's article, "Legal Obligations," from the Aug. 3-10 America.

Struggling with Infertility

July 6-13 Podcast
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Julie Irwin Zimmerman discusses the difficulties facing Catholics encountering infertility. Too often, she argues, Catholics feel bewildered by the moral implications of the choices offered by the fertility industry. In this environment, the church should do more to reach out to couples weighing these difficult matters, to listen and guide them to a life-affirming decision. Look for Zimmerman's article, "Science and the Path to Parenthood," in the July 6-13 issue.

Gone Walkabout

June 22-29 Podcast
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Jim McDermott, S.J., describes the terrible beauty of Australia, a country that he experienced as both exotic and familiar. Father McDermott spent seven months down under as part of the final stage of his Jesuit formation. Read his article, "Gone Walkabout," from the June 22-29 issue of America.

Catholic Schools and Education Policy

May 11 Podcast
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As President Barack Obama charts a new course for the country's educational system, Robert J. Birdsell, the president of the Cristo Rey Network, argues that Catholic schools should have a seat at the table. The potential economic collapse of Catholic schools could become a major issues for the president and his education team, Birdsell says, and both sides need Catholic schools to survive to improve the educational outcomes of inner city students.

Remembering Karl Rahner

March 30-April 6 Podcast
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Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J., a former student of Karl Rahner, remembers the great Jesuit theologian and offers five questions to guide the reading of his work. Father O'Donovan also shares personal memories of Rahner, a man who had little time for small talk but who enjoyed riding in fast cars and ordering dessert for dinner.

The Human Poetry of Faith

March 23 Podcast
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Michael Paul Gallagher, S.J., author of The Human Poetry of Faith, talks about how to nourish the religious imagination. Gallagher, an Irish priest on the faculty of the Gregorian University in Rome, also suggests ways of ministering to young people and analyzes the religious impulse at work in the films of two of his former students: Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan.

Women in Parish Leadership

March 9 Podcast
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Mary M. Foley discusses the four years she spent as a pastoral life coordinator in a Midwest parish. Drawing on her article, "Exceptional Pastoring," from the March 9 issue of America, Foley details the responsibilities of a lay leader charged with leading a parish, and the growing pains that can ensue when a woman takes on a role traditionally held by an ordained man. Listen to this episode

The Radical Roots of the Pro-Life Movement

February 16 Podcast
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James R. Kelly of Fordham University anaylzes the radical roots of the abortion movement, looking back at the days when peace activists like Tom Cornell and Gordon Zahn sought to link their anti-war activities with the fight against legalized abortion. With the advent of a new Democratic adminitration, Kelly argues now is the time for the pro-life movement to recover that consistent ethic of life. Read Prof. Kelly's article "Finding Renewal" from our Feb. 16 issue.
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The Spirituality of 'Lost'

February 9 Podcast
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Two America staff members, and rabid fans of the ABC TV show “Lost,” look back over the hit show’s four seasons and analyze the various themes that have emerged. On the eve of the premiere of Season 5, Literary Assistant Regina Nigro and Associate Editor Jim McDermott, S.J., consider Jack Shepard’s command to “live together or die alone” and what the show has to say about second chances.


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