"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
Happy St. George's Day! Essayists at The Telegraph say the English should reclaim their patron saint and, taking a leaf from the Celtic book, have a party. This site will drink to that. Let the bun-tossing commence!
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John Cahill in California marked Earth Day on Sunday by motoring 60 miles:
That's how far you have to drive if you want to attend a Roman Rite Mass here in the Archdiocese of Hollywood. Want to reduce the ole carbon footprint on the left coast? Pray for the early promulgation of the fabled Motu Proprio.
You know what struck me about this clip of Elvis singing at Mass in the 1969 movie Change of Habit (beyond Sister Mary Tyler Moore's God-or-Elvis crisis of faith)? While the King is singing up a hootenanny to put St Louis Jesuits to shame, the priest is celebrating ad orientem! Is this a cinematic record of a little-known late '60s organic development of the liturgy -- the Elvis Mass?
I also like when the disapproving little old lady in the pew says to her friend, "Give me the old days, when you could go to Mass and not think about a blessed thing."
What better excuse to re-run Fr Rutler's classic Letter to the Editor on vegetarianism? Here it is, from Crisis, August 2003.
SPARE THE MEAT, SPOIL THE GOSPEL
I was delighted to read the Manichaean ramblings of Danel Paden, director of the Catholic Vegetarian Society ("Letters," June 2003). It confirmed my theory that fanaticism in Western society alternates between nudism and vegetarianism, both of which contradict the order of grace.
As an optimist, I happily trust that Paden confines his extreme commitments to vegetarianism.
Taste is one thing; it is another thing to condemn meat eating as "evil" and permissible only "in rare and unfortunate circumstances." Paden disagrees with no less an authority than God, Who forbids us to call any edible unworthy (Mark 7: 18-19), and Who enjoins St Peter to eat pork chops and lobster in one of my favorite revelations (Acts 10: 9-16). Does the Catholic Vegetarian Society think that our Lord was wrong to have served up fish to the 5,000, or should He have refrained from eating the Passover Lamb? When He rose from the dead and appeared in the Upper Room, He did not ask for a bowl of Cheerios, nor did He whip up a meatless omelette on the shore of Galilee.
Man was made to eat flesh (Genesis 1: 26-31; 9: 1-6), with the exception of human flesh. I stand on record against cannibalism, whether it be inflicted upon the Mbuti Pygmies by the Congolese Army or on larger people by a maniac in Milwaukee. But I am also grateful that the benevolent father in the parable did not welcome his prodigal son home with a bowl of radishes.
Vegetarians assume an unedifying posture of detachment from the sufferings of vegetables that are mashed, stewed, diced, and shredded. In expensive restaurants, cherries are publicly burned in brandy to the applause of diners. It is not uncommon for people to submerge olives in iced gin and twist the peels of lemons. Be indignant, vegetarian, but not so selectively indignant that the bleat of the lamb and the plaintive moo of the cow drown out the whine of our brother the bean and the quiet sigh of the cauliflower.
Vegetables have reactive impulses. Were we to confine our diet to creatures that lacked sense and do not even respond to light, we could only eat liturgists and liberal Democrats.
The Rev. George W. Rutler New York City
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The Jesuits have announced plans to close the Immaculate Conception Church, in Boston's South End, where Boston College and Boston College High School both got their start.
Before the church was famously vandalized some years ago in the name of renovation, it was a magnificent structure, as can be seen in these stereoscopic images from the late 19th century.