In praise of English

In 1958, Evelyn Waugh went to British East Africa, then in the last years of colonial rule, to conduct research for his biography of Msgr. Ronald Knox, the famous convert,

A patron saint for life

Amidst the myriad canonizations and beatifications proclaimed by John Paul II, some have involved exceptionally dramatic lives. Think of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Franciscan martyr of charity who offered his

The Kerry challenge

During his campaign for the presidency, Senator John Kerry has tried in various ways to square his self-description as a “believing and practicing Catholic” with his unalloyed record of support

Having the time of your life

Father Shane Baxter was ordained this past summer and is now doing a fifth year of theology in Rome. One of the North American College’s nicest traditions is to invite

Evelyn Waugh, 1903-2003

According to an often-repeated tale, British novelist Evelyn Waugh was once accosted at a party by a matronly lady who had taken offense at his manners; Waugh, it may be

Robert Pickus – a life lived vocationally

I didn’t keep very accurate daybooks in the first years of my professional life, so I’m not sure whether I first met Robert Pickus in November 1976 or May 1977.

A living prayer of self-sacrifice

Shortly after John Paul II’s difficult September pilgrimage to Slovakia, I received an e-mail from a Polish friend, a poet and longtime friend of the Pope’s. In language whose insight

The great Christian witness of our time

My favorite memory of John Paul II? I must have been asked that question dozens of times in recent weeks, as the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pope’s election approaches. The

Mr. Leahy’s Limbo

Readers born before 1955 or thereabouts will remember “limbo,” that post-mortem place of “natural happiness” where, according to one theological opinion, unbaptized infants would spend eternity. There hasn’t been much

The Pope and the Genius

In his new poem, “Roman Triptych,” John Paul II makes extensive references to the Sistine Chapel, which has a special hold on his mind, heart, and soul. Karol Wojtyla is

A saint from Lackawanna?

Even its most ardent partisans concede that the Buffalo area has hit a fallow period. Once a major Great Lakes port, Buffalo, terminus of the Erie Canal, was a gateway

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