Jim McDermott, S.J., is America’s Los Angeles correspondent.
Magazine Of Many Things
Jim McDermottApril 09, 2007

It is not easy to get published in America. In fact, for every piece we print, three or four are rejected. Before being accepted for publication, every manuscript is screened, many by three or four associate editors, followed by the editor in chief. Sometimes even that is

Jim McDermottApril 09, 2007
Look into any book about the history of racial integration in the United States, and you will almost certainly find dramatic stories about bus boycotts and Rosa Parks; Freedom Riders, voter registration and Emmett Till; Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery; and the civil rights movement and Martin Luther K
Jim McDermottFebruary 26, 2007
The sixth season of Fox’s juggernaut television drama 24 debuted recently with a typically nightmarish scenario: random terrorist bombings taking place across the United States, killing more than 900 people in 11 weeks and leaving the rest of the population scared to death. America, we are to
Faith in Focus
Jim McDermottDecember 04, 2006
The apocalyptic literature of the Bible, which includes most notably Daniel and the Book of Revelation, exists in the popular consciousness as a sort of hitchhiker’s guide to the end times, chock-full of predictions of the historical events that will lead to the end of human history. Given the
Arts & Culture
Jim McDermottOctober 30, 2006
Some see Halloween as a time for pretty outfits and make-believe—“My, what a handsome scarecrow” and the like. Personally, I always looked on the holiday as an occasion for casting ourselves headlong into our fears—of mortality, monsters and the dark—and laughing at the
Of Many Things
Jim McDermottSeptember 25, 2006
During the last three years of her life, my grandmother spent much of her time in one small room of the house she had lived in since moving to the suburbs to be closer to her children and grandchildren. The room was about 6 feet by 6 feet, close quarters crammed with a couch, a television set and tw
Of Many Things
Jim McDermottSeptember 11, 2006
On this fifth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I have many memories of Sept. 11, 2001. Images flicker in the back of my mind when I am on the way to the airport or gazing up at a skyscraper on a blue-sky day. I expect the news stations this week will offer a nons
Jim McDermottAugust 28, 2006
March of the Penguins quietly took mainstream America by storm last year with its surprisingly dramatic story of emperor penguins in Antarctica. The documentary film was both a critical and a box-office success, winning an Academy Award and grossing $122.6 million worldwide. Several other documentar
Of Many Things
Jim McDermottApril 24, 2006
As we moved into the Easter season this year, I found myself thinking of a comment by the sacramental theologian Peter Fink, S.J., about how difficult it can be to get Catholics to pay attention to the Easter season. After 40 days of Lent and the Easter Triduum, people’s focus and imagination
Jim McDermottFebruary 13, 2006
When I was a boy, I wanted to be the president of the United States. A lot of us did. Though we were growing up in the 1970’s, we knew little or nothing of Nixon or Watergate, wiretaps or carpet-bombing. Our images were of George Washington crossing the Delaware, Abraham Lincoln freeing the sl