Initial Reflections on Pope Francis, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton

This video was recorded “on location” in the side chapel of the Mercyhurst University Chapel in Erie, PA. Just minutes after Pope Francis delivered his historic address to the joint session of Congress, I had the great honor and privilege to preside and preach at the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which kicks off the academic […]

Pope Francis References Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day in Address to Congress

In what was already the most widely anticipated speech of Pope Francis’s pastoral visit to the United States this week, the Pope’s references to two American models of Christian living — the renowned author and Trappist Monk Thomas Merton and co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement Dorothy Day — have surprised many. As a Merton scholar, […]

Pope Cites Dorothy Day in his Ash Wednesday Audience

In what is described as the ‘penultimate’ public audience of Pope Benedict XVI, on this the morning of Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father talked about Lent and also mentioned American Dorothy Day, citing her autobiography. Here is the full text. Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin the liturgical time of Lent, forty days […]

America’s Editorial: Advice from Francis, Day and Gandhi on Conscience

You’ve got to love America magazine’s staff. Talk about wasting no time — I was delighted to see the electronic issue of the magazine out no later than the day after Easter! Recalling the two prominent, if different, cases of Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, the editors ponder what the relationship between conscience and […]

Maureen Dowd and (the soon to be) Blessed JPII

Maureen Dowd’s New York Times Easter weekend column, “Hold the Halo,” is both good and bad. This is generally how I feel about many of Dowd’s columns. She often raises some important points, makes some sensible critiques or observations, but these aspects are almost always mitigated by some detracting aspect of her reflection. I think this […]