If You Want to Do Something Truly Countercultural

Like most big families, the Catholic Church has its share of sibling rivalry. There was some good-natured ribbing when the first Jesuit pope (Francis) took the name of the founder of the Franciscan order. In my hometown, parishes compete for market share in their Church festivals and Friday fish fries. And...

Faith Is Not a Popularity Contest

A study released yesterday by the Pew Research Center reports that Pope Francis’s popularity is steadily rising in the U.S., achieving numbers not seen since a saint held the chair of Peter. The current pontiff has an approval rating of 90% (compared to 16% for Congress—the people we actually voted...

Nobody Doesn’t Love Serra

Among all the announcements around Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States, one of the most exciting for Franciscan-minded people was the unveiling of plans to canonize American missionary Junipero Serra. While my fellow residents of the USA might tend to think that Christianity has been here...

Trying Times

It can seem that the Middle East’s top two exports are archaeology and terrorism, so it’s nice to hear that it’s the antiquities that are booming in the headlines. A planned expansion to a museum has unearthed what may be the remains of Herod the Great’s palace. This could mean that...

Do They Know It’s Eid al-Fitr?

Feed the World! You’ve heard this song a thousand times…today. It is ubiquitous at this time of year and, while as saccharine as many of its musical cohort, at least has the silver lining of having contributed in some positive way toward global well being. Or so we thought. The song’s...

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