Fr. Sirico with rich comments on how to help poor people


Acton Institute’s Fr. Robert Sirico had words for Catholics about poor people May 9 at the monthly Catholic Citizens of Illinois meeting: Treat them like human beings first and objects of your philanthropy second. It was a rich exposition of Catholic social teaching before a lunchtime crowd of 70 at Chicago’s Union League Club. He…

A key for clarinet, improvising to avoid a train wreck


From Times Literary Supplement, 9 April 2014, a poem worth reading, by John Mole Options Published: 9 April 2014 to Margaret Grover There being this keyinsufficiently paddedand therefore, of course,wouldn’t you believe it,the one most neededfor the clarinet sonatawe’ve agreed to play,I consider my options,whether a gapis better than a squeak,how not to miss the…

Travels with Jim: A melodrama in two acts


Act One, Sister Act, semi-rural SE Pennsylvania, late afternoon in the middle of April: Picking the twins up from after-school organized running at John Beck Elementary School, Jim returned with them in the back seat. Lily, histrionically distraught, began declaiming about “feeling,” holding forth about the universality of it. “Everything has feeling,” she said, her voice…

Ash Wednesday: Two Episcopal Moments


Was on way back from Red Hen (mug of regular, a twist, looking out the window at the bus stop and Scoville Park) to St. Edmund’s, my usual port of call in matters of worship, when passing the Green Line station I had an Episcopal vision. It was the ashes-to-go priest in long stole, hands…

Anyone for a sermon on envy?


There’s something here for a preacher (from American Enterprise Institute): In his new op-ed for The New York Times, “The downside of inciting envy,” AEI President Arthur Brooks examines a strong link between economic envy and unhappiness and cites survey data to conclude that a national shift toward envy would be toxic for American culture.…