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In Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s dystopian novel, Lord of the World, the Church is finally being defeated. The protagonist, Fr. Percy Franklin, after the destruction of Rome, is elected pope by the last few surviving cardinals. He chooses the name Silvester, “the last saint in the procession of the Christian year.” While left unstated, the Read more…

The feast of the Epiphany was traditionally always celebrated on January 6, twelve days after Christmas. The poem offered here is a reflection on the humility that man is faced with—that even kings were faced with—on approaching the manger of the Lord. As the popular carol goes, “What can I bring him, poor as I Read more…

With finals over and Christmas Day sufficiently celebrated, the student brothers of the Dominican House of Studies have been set loose upon their families for eight days. For most of us, it is the first time we have seen our family since our summer home-visits. Many of us owe our vocations directly to our family Read more…

For any student, doodling in notebooks can be tempting. A semester’s notes sometimes reveal a plethora of thoughtless scribblings and half-completed caricatures. One only hopes the professor was not paying attention. For the scribe in the medieval scriptorium, however, the margins of the page were no dumping ground for the wandering mind. “Marginalia,” those illustrations Read more…

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck is the vocations director for the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois. Raised in Bloomington, Illinois, Fr. Hilgenbrinck played soccer for the United States Under-17 National Team before attending Clemson University, where he played Division One soccer for four years. After graduating from Clemson, he played professionally for four seasons in Chile, where he Read more…

As a child (but perhaps still now), I had my World Cup-winning goal perfectly choreographed. In the dying moments, with the ball crossed in from the left corner, I would almost be arriving on a late run. The cross would have floated over our forward—the chance seemingly lost. But with the ball skipping to the Read more…

A few months ago, the death of Queen Elizabeth II captivated the entire world with the remembrance and celebration of her life. Even people who might never have thought about the British Monarchy were tuning into the services online. What is it about royalty that so attracts and excites us?  I think one reason is […]

They are almost all gone: the boys who stormed the beaches of Normandy, the boys who saw hell rained down on them at Midway, the living remnant. With each Veterans Day parade, we see fewer and fewer of our veterans of the Second World War. Before they are all gone, let us not fail to Read more…

“He went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions” (Mt 19:22). The sorrow of the rich young man in response to Jesus’ call has long been countered by the joy of a vocation to the religious life. To guide me on to the way to joy rather than sorrow, my acceptance letter to the Dominican Read more…

The world seems to be coming down around our ears. Each day we read in the papers and hear on TV news of wars, famines, disasters, and diseases that threaten the fragile harmony humanity has built. More disturbing can be the tensions we hear of within the Church and the resulting quarrels splashed across Twitter Read more…

2022 Summer Reading RecommendationsSurprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, by C.S. Lewis Joy—What is it? Is it different from happiness, contentment, or pleasure? C.S. Lewis proposes in his autobiography a very particular definition of “Joy” that sets it apart from the others. For Lewis, Joy is an insatiable desire that comes unexpectedly Read more…

2022 Summer Reading RecommendationsThe Secret of the Heart: Saint Catherine of Siena on the Heart of Jesus by Sister Mary Jeremiah, O.P. At the outset of summer, knowing the heat of high noon will only grow stronger with each day, it seems appropriate to dwell on fiery things. Something’s on fire. And it will burn Read more…

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