24 results
November 21, 2016

Speaking in Fulton, Missouri, seventy years ago, Winston Churchill famously said, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” Three paragraphs later he referred to the dangers arising from Communism and its fifth columns, which “constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization.”

Churchill was not a Christian—while he in believed in Providence, he did not think Jesus was the Son of God—but still, at that...

September 6, 2016
Elephant tree in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California

I wanted to get far from the madding crowd, so on a Friday I lit out for Anza Borrego Desert State Park, two hours from San Diego. From the east-west highway I turned south onto a narrow paved road, then west onto a rutted and rocky dirt road, which ended at a small parking area. No one else was around.

There was no trail to follow, so I went up a dry wash, hiking three miles over an alluvial fan and another three into a deep canyon, where I had to scramble over dry falls and through...

January 18, 2016

I first started reading Rod Dreher about a dozen years ago, maybe a bit earlier. He was working at the Dallas Morning News, and many of his online stories were about the priestly abuse scandal, which first had captured headlines a few years earlier.

Dreher didn’t do investigative reporting. He wasn’t that kind of journalist. He did analysis, and he was good at it, but there was...

January 11, 2016

I was reading an aviation magazine. The senior editor contributed a column on “what to do if you bend an airplane.” It was a discussion of the differences between an accident and an incident, the terms having precise meanings under FAA regulations, and what to do if you find yourself in either one. One thing pilots who have been in an accident or incident can do is file an ASRS  (Aviation Safety Reporting System) report, which is used to gather statistical data....

December 7, 2015

A friend, a late vocation, left town for a distant seminary. Wanting to travel light, he donated a box of old books to the Catholic Answers library. Among them were six volumes comprising The Book of Catholic Authors. The first bears a copyright date of 1942; the sixth, undated, seems to have been published around 1961. The editor of the series was Walter Romig, who produced a book I have in my home library, The Catholic Bookman.

Of the sixty or so writers profiled...