Merton to Pope John XXIII: A Prelude to the Church in the World

About two weeks after Pope John XXIII’s election to the papacy, Thomas Merton wrote to the pope to express his congratulations, share his reflections on the modern vocation of a monk, and to discuss his idea for a new apostolate that focused on dialogue and engagement with all types of people. There is much about […]

Vatican II, Inculturation and What the Church Learns from the World

Among the many important insights that arose from the Second Vatican Council, one of the more timely is the recognition that the church has not simply been a self-contained and distinct civilization or institution from the “rest of the world,” but has always been a part of the world. Additionally, the church has benefited and, […]

Vatican II and the Equal Rights of All People

As we continue to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, I plan to make occasional posts related to the documents, history, and reception of the Council. There is a lot of talk among Christian women and men about the Council — people talking about its apparent merits and problems, the “spirit” and […]

Voting, ‘Gaudium et Spes’ and the Responsibility of Citizenship

Here we are with just one day left before the 2012 presidential election. It is important that we all contribute to the life of our society and recall that the responsibility of citizenship requires that all vote tomorrow. In order to prepare ourselves for this civic duty, it seemed a good idea to look briefly […]

Giving a Retreat this Weekend for New England Young Adults

This weekend I am in Hingham, Mass., giving a retreat at the Benedictine Glastonbury Abbey. The retreat, geared for women and men in Boston in their twenties and thirties, is titled “Being Catholic in the 21st Century.” This is the third year in a row that I’ve been humbled by the invitation and honored to […]

The Counter-Catholic View of Santorum on Religious Liberty

I have been out of town for the last few days and subject to a rather full schedule, so I’ve not been the best at staying atop of the latest national news. Upon my recent return, I’ve noticed quite a bit of attention given to GOP presidential hopeful Rich Santorum’s bold reaction to JFK’s famous […]