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December 22-29, 2014

Vol. 211 / No. 19

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ROOTED IN FAITH. Israel’s President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (partially hidden), Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in the Vatican gardens on June 8.
Gerald W. SchlabachDecember 11, 2014

For decades now, popes and episcopal conferences have been insisting that to work for peace is the vocation of all Christians. Too often, however, peacemaking seems the domain of special vocations or technical specialists. This is certainly not the church’s hope. As Pope John Paul II proclaime

Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J.December 11, 2014

How to choose from the bountiful treasury of images awaiting our contemplation (and sheer delight) in this darkening season before Christmas? Do you prefer Netherlandish precision and detail? Italian tenderness and warmth? The classical proportions and palette of Poussin? The transcendent simplicity

BUILDING COMMUNITY. The author, left, works on a house.
Meghan J. ClarkDecember 11, 2014

In March 2010, I traveled to Bagaces, Costa Rica, for a weeklong service project with a dozen college students and a colleague. Volunteer programs, service learning and weeklong service trips are now commonplace on American college campuses. These programs offer students powerful opportunities to en

Of Many Things
Matt Malone, S.J.December 11, 2014

The Christmas season is a time for thanks, so on behalf of all of us at America: Thank you.

Our readersDecember 11, 2014

Not A Choice“The Loneliest Choice” (12/1), by the Rev. Rhonda Mawhood Lee, disappointed me greatly. While pastoral reflection on suicide remains a crucial topic, the article seems to hark back to pre-Enlightenment days, when there was little understanding of grave mental illness. Fo

The EditorsJanuary 08, 2015

In some sense the Christmas story is one of borders. The Gospel of Luke tells us that the Holy Family’s journey begins with a population divided, a census of “the whole world...each to his own town” (2:1-3). And, in the Gospel of Matthew, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, then f

Faith in Focus
B. G. KelleyDecember 11, 2014

Finding grace and new growth at Christmas