"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
A search of the newspaper database turns up many more.
This one from 1920 of Baltimore's Cardinal Gibbons identifies the prelate as "Chaplain of the Republican Party." He was in town to give the blessing at the GOP national convention. The gaze is hypnotic, as is the hat.
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I'd be interested to hear the story behind the story re America Magazine, which under Fr. Reese's editorship has struck me as a relatively moderate publication compared to the more-liberal Commonweal or decidedly-leftist NCR. Perhaps after seven years, Fr. Reese was ready to move on. But if the hammer of orthodoxy was going to be dropped on some Jesuit precinct or other, any number of theologians and ex-Sandinistas would seem to have presented more pressing targets. Curious.
I am to the point where I have to fight to make myself go to mass. I go only because I am intellectually convinced of the truth of Catholicism. It has become so repulsive to me, every week, to sit through the same pointless, happy-clappy crap. There is no sense of mission there, nothing to suggest that Jesus wants anything more from us than feeling groovy about ourselves. If not for the Blessed Sacrament, it would be the biggest waste of time. And worse than a waste of time for me: it is an occasion of anger, and even sin.
I won't go into it here and bore you all again, but I can sum it up for you in a single anecdote, which I've told in these boxes before. Last year, I saw an advance screening of "The Passion of the Christ" two days before Ash Wednesday. I was broken to bits by that film, and its brave, masculine Jesus, a Jesus we never get presented to us in mass. I kept praying, "Lord, I want to be like you. Please help me to be as brave and as strong as you."
So I go to Ash Wednesday services, and the priest, a very plush fellow, begins his homily with, "It's Ash Wednesday, and you might expect me to preach about sackcloth and ashes, sin and penance, but" -- pregnant pause for effect -- "that's not my style."
Honestly, I wanted to run out of the back of the parish and put as much distance between me and this bulls--t as possible. I still do. It's everywhere. It's like Father Wilson said once about, I believe, the bishops: they're eunuchs, but not for the Kingdom of God.
Worse, I am sick beyond the ability to articulate anymore of an institution that cannot bring itself to rid itself of filthy predators like Father Robert Bester of Anchorage, Alaska, who was captured on audiotape recently trying to get into the pants of a construction worker...I thought, "Why should any man want to have anything to do with an institution that cannot commit itself to keeping men like this out of the ministry?"
It's not that the Church is imperfect. It will always be imperfect, as long as men like me are in it, anyway. It's that it doesn't even try for excellence. We are, all of us, fighting a spiritual and moral battle for ourselves and our families, every single day, and for most of the clergy, they act like it's one big damn tea party.