Of Many Things
December 5-12, 2016
For 107 years America magazine has led the conversation about faith and culture in the United States. Thanks be to God, the decisions we have made in recent months will allow America to continue to prosper, well into this century and beyond. After several years of discernment and planning, I am pleased to report that in 2017 we will realize the greatest transformation of this ministry since the 1960s.
First, we will...
November 21, 2016
Matt Malone, S.J., is traveling.
At the end of this month, if all goes well, my husband and I will be first-time homeowners. Thus far, however, all has not gone well, so I will remain slightly nervous until we sign on the dotted line. When we began our search last fall, we had no idea that our hope for an affordable home in a nearby, friendly, artistic, quaint New Jersey town was shared by what seems to be every other...
November 28, 2016
I followed the returns on election night from a hotel room in Barcelona. As the evening evolved (or devolved, depending on one’s perspective), it was increasingly clear that a huge swath of voters was sending a powerful message to another huge swath in the only way it now could: through the blunt instrument of the ballot box. In those halcyon though still imperfect pre-Google days of American politicking, such messages were also exchanged before the balloting through reasoned public debate,...
November 14, 2016
Matt Malone, S.J., is traveling.
I do not remember when I first learned what an abortion is. I do remember when I first got into a fight over it. In seventh grade, a friend of mine announced she was pro-choice, so my other friend called her a baby-killer. I had not given much thought to the issue, but I must have heard something about it in C.C.D., and I knew my parents were Republicans, so I decided to...
November 7, 2016
It might interest you to know that the Society of Jesus really began in a college dorm room. It was September 1529 at the University of Paris. Francis Xavier, a Spaniard, and Peter Faber, a Savoyard, were expecting a new roommate. His name was Ignatius de Loyola, the 37-year-old son of minor Spanish nobility. As Ignacio Echániz, a Spanish Jesuit, has observed, Xavier and Faber “had surely heard about this interesting character. It was widely known that he was...
October 31, 2016
I got down to my office early last Friday, Oct. 14—really early, just a bit past 5. It wasn’t a tight deadline that brought me there. Rather, I was looking for the big news we were expecting, news from Rome where that day our Jesuit general congregation was electing a new superior general. Rome is six hours ahead of us, so the morning’s work there should be moving along. If the delegates did not reach a decision on the first ballot, there would be...
October 24, 2016
It has been more than a century since my family settled in New England, led by my grandfather, Bill Malone, a son of Ireland and a refugee of industrial England, who came to Fall River, Mass., at the age of 10 to live with an aunt he had never met. My grandfather was welcomed there by a church and a community who gave him a home, a brief education, a job and, most important, a chance. Fifty-nine years later, he retired as general traffic manager for Lever...
October 17, 2016Situated as I am smack dab in the middle of Generation X, I have some ambivalence about digital technology. I am neither frightened by it, like some baby boomers, nor enmeshed in it, like many millennials. The relationship is more complicated. Then again, we Gen Xers are famous for not wanting to be pinned down or labeled too quickly, a trait that has prompted some social commentators to characterize us unfairly as disaffected and directionless. I like to think that we are simply discerning...
October 10, 2016
The recent grand opening of the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., was a much-needed moment of national unity and self-reflection. In the highly partisan capital of an increasingly polarized nation, Americans of every race, creed and party paused to acknowledge and celebrate a part of our history that, in the words of President Obama, “has at times been overlooked.” That will be much harder to do now given the fittingly...
October 3, 2016
I was dining with a friend in Manhattan last week when the bomb went off. We were several blocks north of the explosion, so we didn’t physically experience the impact. Our first indication that something was wrong was when the AP bulletins started to light up and buzz cellphones throughout the restaurant. First a few customers, then nearly everyone knew what had happened and we started fielding calls and texts from worried relatives and friends who wanted to know...