The National Catholic Review

In All Things

A group blog by the editors, columnists and frequent contributors to America.

January 2017

  • Dear Mr. President,

    Congratulations on your inauguration. Americans, whether supporters or critics of your candidacy, know that in the days ahead you will have to come to grips with many challenges that will affect not only the well-being of the people of the United States, but of all peoples worldwide. All Americans hope that you will address these issues effectively and in accord with the deep values of our country.

    Not least of these challenges is the U.S. response to...

  • The Women’s March on Washington, planned for the day after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, will bring together “people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds,” according to the event’s organizers, “to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination.” To date, over a million people in over 600 locations worldwide have pledged to march on Jan. 21.

    Pro-life activists, however, have met resistance from...

  • We all go through different seasons in our faith, and in each we see that faith, and its practice, differently. There have been times when I went to Mass looking for insight, looking for an idea or a clarification that might help my faith survive the assaults of doubt and difficulty for another week. There have been times when I would go for an hour of peace, or for the people I knew would be there, or even simply to be seen.

    Now, I go to Mass with my wife and our 1-year-old. It is a...

  • Americans are marking today what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, 88th birthday, honoring the famed African-American civil rights pioneer for his pursuit of justice.

    Dr. King’s appeal, of course, is global, his message of nonviolent resistance in the face of persecution, which has inspired countless acts of civil disobedience during his life and even moreso since his assassination in 1968.

    Among Dr. King’s biggest fans is Pope Francis, who has invoked...

  • William J. O’Malley, S.J., a longtime teacher at McQuaid High in Rochester, N.Y., and Fordham Prep in the Bronx, N.Y., advised and acted in the film “The Exorcist,” based on the novel by William Peter Blatty. Mr. Blatty died Thursday at the age of 89 . America asked Father O’Malley, a longtime contributor, to remember how his collaboration with Mr...

  • “Faith in god, love of god, love of each other…. That’s what has real meaning. Not the violence in the world.”

    Detective Steven McDonald, who was buried today out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, shared these reflections with me at the Father Mychal Judge 9/11 Walk of Remembrance last September. I was in attendance to cover the event for...

  • I haven’t heard much from Jesus lately. But today I saw him, sketched in pencil by the hand of a mass murderer.

    It’s been a while. I’m not sure who’s fault it is. I still try, sometimes, to reach out. I’m still bringing myself to Mass, still reading the Gospel, still looking the homeless in the eye as I pass by.

    He misses you, a friend tells me. Do you miss him back? he asks. I do.

    Is this perhaps how some couples feel well into their marriage? Still coming home to...

  • There is a saying in Boulder, Co., known as Niwot’s Curse—to the effect that the beauty of the place, the gentle weather and soaring rocks, would draw people in and those people would destroy the beauty that drew them. The curse’s namesake was a peaceable Arapaho chief who died of wounds suffered in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, conducted by an especially genocidal militia of white settlers.

    Boulder’s present residents interpret his words in a variety of ways. For...

  • Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, O.P., Ph.D (photo provided)

    Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, O.P., is a theologian who belongs to the Ann Arbor-based Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist . Sister Albert Marie, who entered the Dominican Sisters in 2005 and earned a Ph.D. in theology in 2014, currently teaches theology at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fl.

    Sister Albert Marie recently worked with another...

  • Ron Hansen is an American Catholic novelist, essayist and deacon . He is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University in California, where he teaches fiction and screenwriting. He holds a B.A. in English from Creighton University, an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa, and an M.A. in spirituality from...