The National Catholic Review

August 31, 2009

Vol. 201 No. 5Whole No. 4864 Download PDF


Current Comment
The Faith of Francis Collins; Remembering Eunice Shriver
Obstacles to Reform
Once largely in favor of health care reform, the public is now skeptical. What happened?


The Church and the University
John M. D'Arcy

A pastoral reflection on the controversy at Notre Dame

The Public Duty Of Bishops
John R. Quinn

Lessons from the storm in South Bend

Books and Culture

Seeing Scripture
Leo J. O'Donovan

A show of biblical prints combines artistic ambition with devotional purposes.

Body Beautiful
David Cloutier

Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body

A More Humble Reading
William C. Mills

A collection of everyday stories of Christians long forgotten

The Biblical Difference
Robert Barron

'District 9' looks at a problem that has concerned philosophers from Hegel to Levinas.

Conspiracy Theory
John A. Coleman

“Equivocation” lures viewers into deeper considerations about politics and religion, truth-telling and family relations.

Columns and Departments

The Word
Be Opened

Barbara E. Reid

The Word
Take Up the Cross

Barbara E. Reid

When God Shouts, 'Jump'

Kyle T. Kramer

Of Many Things
Of Many Things

Drew Christiansen


Web Only

  Notre Dame Revisited
John M. D'Arcy, John R. Quinn
John M. D'Arcy, bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and John R.
  Spirit at Work
Anthony Shonis
For me creativity and frustration are two sides of the same coin. And one of the most frustrating times for me as a priest was when I was appointed a pastor at the age of 55. I had spent my entire priest life as a teacher--high school, seminary and university. I had not worked one day in a parish and now I was a pastor of a church with a large Hispanic population. What do pastors do? Well I began an activity that proved so fruitful that I have continued it for nine years. I began visiting parishioners at their workplace. Now on the Labor Day weekend I offer the parishioners of whatever church I am stationed at (I have long since ceased to be a pastor and am now a parochial vicar) to sign up for a workplace visit. And in the last nine years I have visited about 250 parishioners. It works like this: On Labor Day I preach at all the Masses on the spirituality of work, or the dignity of labor or on the church and unions. Then I invite the congregation to sign up for a workplace visit. I tell them it will only last 10 minutes, and that I am not seeking a tour of their plant or office. I simply want to talk with them briefly at their workbench about their job. Often I will begin with the two questions that Studs Terkel asked people in his book Working. “What you do?” and “How do you feel about what you do?” After we talk about their work, I give them a copy of a workers' prayer by Cardinal John Henry Newman. I then write up the visit for next Sunday's bulletin. At the end of the semester, (I still think as a college teacher) I mail each of the workers I visited an invitation to meet with me for a one-hour group discussion on the relationship between faith and work. At the end of that session I give them a copy of Gregory F. Augustine Pierce's book, The Mass is Never Ended, which seeks to connect the Sunday liturgy with the work week that follows; and a complimentary subscription to "Initiatives," a newsletter published by the National Center of the Laity that addresses workplace spirituality.
  Deceptions and Distortions
Scott McConnaha
Recent attacks against health care reform and its supporters—based on fears of expanded abortion coverage and state-sponsored euthanasia—are as absurd as Don Quixote’s battles against windmills. Of course, I do not believe opponents of reform are insane, as Don Quixote was thought to be, but the fervor with which they are fighting mythical health care proposals calls to mind Cervantes’ hapless hero.