The National Catholic Review

Of Many Things

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  • July 4-11, 2016

    If you are familiar with the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, then you will likely know his famous “Rules for Discernment” or, to put it simply, his method of decision-making. James Martin, S.J., once described this method in our pages: “Discernment for St. Ignatius means being aware that God wants us to make good decisions, that God will help us make good decisions—but that we are often moved by competing forces: ones...

  • June 20-27, 2016

    From the third-floor corner balcony of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de México, I enjoyed a panoramic view of at least seven centuries of human history. From the ghostly ruins of the Templo Mayor, to the Baroque splendor of the 16th-century cathedral, to the mammoth Palacio National, from which a vast swath of North America was once governed, this teeming, cacophonous square in the heart of Mexico’s capital tells the story of several empires won and lost: the...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    The legislative overreach exemplified by the North Carolina Legislature’s recent decision to require citizens to use the bathrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms that correspond to the gender of their births is surpassed only by the executive overreach of the U.S. Justice Department’s subsequent announcement that every school district in the country should do precisely the opposite. The Obama administration’s directive, The New York Times reported, “...

  • May 23-30, 2016

    Living as I do in a very large glass house, I am reluctant to throw stones. In fact, I don’t even permit them on my property. I say this because spring is a good time to take stock of the moral quality of one’s relationships and general environs, to get a better idea of how one is or is not a part of the world’s problems. In recent years, in addition to the indispensable, unbelievably patient grace of God, I have come to rely on a more this-worldly...

  • May 16, 2016

    Given my vocational choice, it is perhaps unsurprising that one of my favorite movies depicts an activist priest in pitched battle with the forces of injustice. “On the Waterfront,” Elia Kazan’s 1954 masterpiece starring Marlon Brando and Karl Malden, is based in part on the life of John M. Corridan, a Jesuit priest who took on the mob-controlled labor unions on Manhattan’s West Side docks. The pivotal scene of the movie is when the priest, played by Malden, is standing over the...

  • May 9, 2016
    Eighth-graders in Catholic schools in Chicago a half-century ago had a lot on their minds. Beyond coping with being a teenager and surviving adolescence, deciding which high school to attend loomed large. Often family tradition was decisive. Other times it was where friends decided to go. That’s how I ended up at St. Ignatius. At 13, I had made a life decision. Back then we did not hear much theory about Jesuit education. We just lived it. It got into religion courses, of course, but also into...
  • May 2, 2016

    We learned on Good Friday that the family of five refugees from Afghanistan would be arriving at my parents’ house the next day. The Catholic Charities liaison told us the basics: Use the traditional Muslim greeting, as-salamu alaykum . Serve tea. No hugs.

    My mom and I excitedly prepared for their arrival. Do we need to get the bacon out of the fridge? Is it O.K. to give Easter baskets to the kids? Should we bring out...

  • April 25, 2016

    Freddie Gray died one year ago. The 25-year-old African-American man had been arrested for possessing what the Baltimore Police Department described as an illegal switchblade. The officers put him in handcuffs, locked him in the back of a police transport van and took him for what The Baltimore Sun describes as “a rough ride”—a form of police brutality “in which police vans are driven to cause ‘injury or pain’ to unbuckled, handcuffed detainees.” The...

  • April 18, 2016

    At precisely noon on May 17, 2011, the 85-year-old daughter of the last king of Ireland touched down at Casement Aerodrome, a military airfield southwest of Dublin. For the first time in a century, a reigning British monarch set foot in what is now the Republic of Ireland but for centuries had been the impoverished vassal of its English overlords. The royal visit marked the full realization of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the international...

  • April 4-11, 2016

    One of the greatest Christian writers who ever lived is the unknown author of this ancient homily from the second century, a meditation on Holy Saturday. Happy Easter from the editors and staff of America .

    Matt Malone, S.J.

    What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great...