"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
Apropos of the Pope's recent remarkable invitation to the Anglicans, an inquiring friend writes:
If you weren't raised Catholic, would you be Catholic?
My reply is that is an excellent question. If you'd asked me 10 or 12 years ago I would have said not necessarily or probably not. Today I'd say definitely.
The reasons for this are many and not that easy to articulate, but I'll try to provide a few, via a sort-of jumbled shorthand:
* Looking into my infant child's face and knowing there must be a Creator at the heart of all, and that I am grateful to Him;
* The idea that this Creator so loved us that He would come among us and share our existence and our suffering, and offer Himself for us; that the Divine would thus touch and ennoble the human experience; that He would have us see Him in one another and in all things, and that His message would be one of sacrificial love;
* The remark by, I believe, Chesterton that if you look into the mirror of the universe and all you see looking back is yourself, it's a pretty shallow existence;
* The connection with the "seen and unseen"; the Communion of the Angels and Saints; the Blessed Virgin;
* The Real Presence; the idea that the Church asks you to believe something that is not perceptible to the senses but that is taken on faith; the realization that the most enduring and important things in life likewise cannot be seen or touched;
* The description – Chesterton again – of the Church as an institution that does not move with the world, but that moves the world;
* St Christopher; St Bernadette of Lourdes; St. Dismas, the Good Thief; Fr. Willie Doyle, SJ; Jesuits and Oratorians, Passionists and Marist Missionaries;
* My family;
* Taking Communion to Mozart's 'Ave Verum Corpus' sung by the boy choir at St. Paul's in Harvard Square, or kneeling at the altar rail in front of a statue of the Virgin at the old Holy Trinity German Church in the South End.
The list could go on, but there is a website that does the job far better, a blog by North Shore writer and publisher Webster Bull called Why I am a Catholic.
He describes the site thus: A friend, a fellow convert, asked me out of the blue one day, "So, Webster, why Catholicism?" I was at a loss. I couldn't say. So I started this blog. Each post is a partial answer.
The result is a remarkably eloquent work in progress, well worth a visit. (Via America.)
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Jesuit Father Alfred Barrett, teacher-poet, reads aloud from a book of his poems to students on the lawn at Fordham University ~ From "Jesuits in America," photos by Margaret Bourke-White, Life Magazine, October 1953.