Fr. George Rutler


Father Rutler was ordained to the diaconate in Rome by His Eminence William Cardinal Baum in 1980 and received priestly ordination in St. Patrick's Cathedral at the hands of His Eminence Terence Cardinal Cooke in 1981. He served as Associate Pastor of St. Joseph's in Bronxville; Our Lady of Victory in the Wall Street area; and St. Agnes, in Manhattan. He was a university chaplain for the Archdiocese, and also chaplain to a general hospital and a psychiatric hospital.

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For 10 years he served as National Chaplain of Legatus, the organization of Catholic business leaders and their families, engaged in spiritual formation and evangelization. A board member of several schools and colleges, he is Chaplain of the New York Guild of Catholic Lawyers, Regional Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary (New York and northern New Jersey) and has long been associated with the Missionaries of Charity and other religious orders, as a retreat master. Since 1988 his weekly television program has been broadcast worldwide on EWTN. Father Rutler has lectured and given retreats in many nations, frequently in Ireland and Australia.

Cardinal Egan appointed him Pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in Midtown Manhattan, effective September 17, 2001, where he and his parish valiantly served firemen and victims of the 911 attack on the World Trade Center. On August 1, 2013, he was assigned as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel parish in an area known as Hell’s Kitchen in NYC.

Born in 1945 and reared in the Episcopal tradition in New Jersey and New York, Father Rutler was an Episcopal priest for nine years, and the youngest Episcopal rector in the country when he headed the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1979 and was sent to the North American College in Rome for seminary studies. His parents, Adolphe and Dorothy, both now deceased, were received into the Church in 1982 by Cardinal Cooke.

Father Rutler graduated from Dartmouth, where he was a Rufus Choate Scholar, and took advanced degrees at the Johns Hopkins University and the General Theological Seminary. He holds several degrees from the Gregorian and Angelicum Universities in Rome, including the Pontifical Doctorate in Sacred Theology, and studied at the Institut Catholique in Paris. In England, in 1988, the University of Oxford awarded him the degree Master of Studies. From 1987 to 1988 he was regular preacher to the students, faculty, and townspeople of Oxford. Thomas More College and Christendom College awarded him honorary doctorates, and in 1996 Governor George W. Bush made him an Honorary Texan. For his help at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 he was honored by the City Council of New York and was made an honorary firefighter by the City of Dallas. He is a knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and chaplain of the St. Andrew's Society of the State of New York, the Robert Burns Society of the City of New York, and the West Point Society of New York.

Father Rutler has made documentary films in the United States and England, contributes to numerous scholarly and popular journals and has published 16 books on theology, history, cultural issues, and the lives of the saints, and also one book on sports, as a member of the U.S. Squash Racquets Association.




Articles:

Always Darkness Before The Dawn

January 6, 2021

This article was originally published Dec 20, 2016, four years ago, on the heels of President Trump's election and after 8 years of President Obama's presidency, yet Fr. Rutler's insights perhaps have even richer meaning today, January 6, 2021, a...

Second Sunday In Advent: Two Kinds Of Judgement

December 5, 2020

During the 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, a relatively unknown figure, the Archbishop of Krakow and future Pope John Paul II, said: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever gone through. I...

The Season Of Advent: Facing Reality Is The...

November 29, 2020

The season of Advent is lyrically beautiful if one is willing to engage the realities it teaches: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. The alternative is to create a parallel universe, partying in a faux Christmas confection of jingle bells, dancing...

Be Prepared, Be Vigilant, Be True To Our...

November 26, 2020

These days I am frequently asked if we are living in the “End Times.” As the grace of Holy Orders does not make me a seer, I defer, as is prudent, to the King of Universe: “Watch therefore, for you...

Our Lord's Advice On Wealth Management And A...

November 17, 2020

Several of our Lord’s parables have to do with productivity in one form or another: The Sower, The Mustard Seed, The Tares, and then there is today’s (November 15, 2020), which is specifically about money (Matthew 25:14-30). In Greek currency,...

Faith In The Face Of Evil

November 11, 2020

In the late nineteenth century, a New England college dean wrote: “The youth who loves his Alma Mater will always ask, not ‘What can she do for me?’ but ‘What can I do for her?’” One of his students, a...

As A Catholic, How You Chose To Vote...

October 27, 2020

In one survey of grammarians, two words deemed to be among the most beautiful sounding in the English language were Agape and Philadelphia. The problem is that these actually are Greek. There also are many aphorisms in the English language...

The Unimaginable Desire Of Divine Love To Be...

October 20, 2020

Some of those dining before the gilded statue in Rockefeller Center in fair weather and skating there in the winter may not know that the glistening figure is Prometheus, one of the Titans who preceded the gods of Mount Olympus....

Christ, The Morning Star

October 13, 2020

Of the many scientific contributions made by priests, including Father Copernicus’s heliocentrism and Father Lemaître’s “Big Bang” theory, some would rank higher the invention of champagne by Dom Pérignon.    Something close to champagne had already been invented by monks...

Angelic Power And Splendor In Our Human Lives

October 7, 2020

When explorers roamed what was to them a “New World,” they sent back to Europe descriptions of strange vegetation and wildlife, using familiar images to describe the unfamiliar. Spaniards in Peru reported that the llama was an animal with the...

The Beauty, Depth And Meaning Of The Holy...

September 30, 2020

“And now for something completely different,” as the entertainment industry is wont to say. Some aspects of liturgical worship are used for reasons that express the psychology of praise. For instance, there are vesture, candles, bells and, especially, holy water....

The Holy Cross, Medicine Of The World

September 23, 2020

In our days of widespread inarticulateness, the word “awesome” is so overused that it loses its power. It is rooted in the Old English “egefull,” which means causing profound reverence. So, to call a good dinner or a new dress...

Discerning The Truth In Our Times Is Critical

September 15, 2020

In our city, accustomed to protest demonstrations of all sorts, a recent one was particularly dismaying and even frightening. The anarchistic chants were bad enough, but the frightfulness was in the glazed eyes of the expressionless marchers, like the “pod...

The Prince Of Lies, Our Modern Times, And...

September 6, 2020

The Prince of Lies cannot lie in the presence of Christ: “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34). And Christ who is the Truth knows him, too: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke...

Chivalry, Courtesy, Honor, And Merciful To The Absurd

August 6, 2020

It may not be long before “Ladies and Gentlemen” ceases to start a speech, as the result of blurring the distinction between man and gentleman, and woman and lady. We may not hear at banquets, “Gentlemen, charge your glasses,” or...

We Are Now In A Spiritual Combat As...

July 28, 2020

As a psychosis, “self-mutilation syndrome” is rooted in self-loathing and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Whole cultures can be afflicted with a similar compulsion to injure themselves. Nowadays it is called a “cancel culture.” To topple statues and burn churches is a metaphor...

The Bottom Line Remains The Same

July 15, 2020

July waves Old Glory and Le Tricolore. Jacques-Louis David based the French flag on the cockade of the Marquis de Lafayette, who had been urged to help the American colonists by the Duke of Gloucester, in a funk because his brother,...

Perspective Amid Cultural Chaos

July 5, 2020

Stalin, killer of at least 20 million people, said “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” In mid-nineteenth-century China, the civil war known as the Taiping Rebellion cost upwards of 30 million lives. The feast...

The Present Culture War

June 27, 2020

As the local churches gradually open again, one is reminded of the persistence of Benjamin Stoddert Ewell, president of the College of William and Mary, ringing the school bell during seven years of closure after the Civil War. It is...

The Cruelest Illiteracy

June 20, 2020

After the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jews relied on literacy to preserve their culture, with the Mishna as the written record of what until then had been an oral tradition of rabbinic commentaries....

Christian, Remember Your Dignity

June 15, 2020

Robert Gould Shaw was born into an abolitionist Unitarian family in Boston in 1837. When he was ten, they settled on Staten Island. An uncle who became a Catholic priest paid for his tuition at what is now the Fordham...

The Holy Spirit And The Tranquility Of Order

June 9, 2020

Celebration of the Most Holy Trinity follows Pentecost, because it is through the Holy Spirit that the sublime truth of God as Three in One expands the limits of human intelligence. The perfect harmony of the Triune God is like...

I Do Not Give To You As The...

May 31, 2020

In a letter Sigmund Freud wrote to his friend Edoardo Weiss on April 12, 1933, he reminisced about a visit to the Roman church of San Pietro in Vincoli: “Every day for three lonely weeks of September 1913, I stood in...

A Light In The Cultural Darkness

May 26, 2020

In these days of closures, which must soon end, I am able to offer Mass quietly for the intentions of parishioners and others, and I often take the opportunity to use the Extraordinary Form, whose beautiful cadences end with the...

The Power And Beauty Of Love

May 19, 2020

The French theoretical physicist Pierre Duhem (1861-1916) was amazingly prolific and contributed much to hydrodynamics and thermodynamics, but his most important influence may be his philosophy and history of science. He refuted the superficial analysis of the relationship between physical...

Mentors Of Perseverance And Hope: Athanasius, Matthias And...

May 9, 2020

"As I was saying…” That, more or less, is how Saint Athanasius began his homily each time he returned from exile. Over seventeen years, he was banished five times by four Roman emperors for reasons political and theological, but he...

How Mary Is Indeed Mother Of The Church,...

May 3, 2020

Eyebrows were raised when Queen Victoria commented that of all her predecessors, she would most enjoy a conversation with King Charles II. In the arrangements of their domestic lives they could hardly have been more unlike, but Charles was a...

Cabin Fever: The Truth Shines Forth Radiant In...

April 25, 2020

Among logical fallacies, the argument from authority, “argumentum ad verecundiam,” means accepting a proposition because its source is authoritative, even though the matter is outside that source’s competence. Such a fallacy, for instance, might approve Einstein’s view on politics or...

Supernatural Combat, Mantle Of Victory And The Weight...

April 15, 2020

Normally each Easter, the Resurrection Sermon of Saint John Chrysostom replaces my regular column, with his paraphrase of Saint Paul’s “Death, where is thy sting? Grave where is thy victory?” (Corinthians 15:55). But these are not normal times. Their abnormality...

Fr. Rutler's Good Friday Meditation - Video

April 10, 2020

Worth watching, listening -- Father George W. Rutler's Good Friday reflections -- recorded live today at Noon ET April 10, 2020.   See here:  https://vimeo.com/406005872

Now The Passion Will Be More Powerful With...

April 4, 2020

The term “parochial” is frequently used in a condescending sense, but no one today can get away with thinking that to be parochial is to be isolated from reality. As I write, the Navy hospital ship “Comfort,” last seen here...

Bon Courage: True Hope Conquers Fear

March 30, 2020

I have a rule never to begin a paragraph with a first-person pronoun. I do this not because it would be inappropriate to use the monarchical “We,” as in “We have a rule,” or the princely “One,” as in “One...

Perspective Amid Covid19

March 22, 2020

Geniuses often are thought to be absent-minded. Archimedes was so preoccupied with a mathematical diagram he was constructing during the invasion of Syracuse in Sicily in 212 BC, that he told a Roman soldier about to slay him: “Let me...

A Practical Formula For Happiness

March 14, 2020

On September 10, 1919, General Pershing led his returning troops up Fifth Avenue before crowds numbering two million. In front of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, he dismounted from his rambunctious white horse “Captain” to greet Cardinal Mercier, who had arrived in...

The Seductions Of Socialism: The Church's Consistent Response...

March 9, 2020

Materialism, fantasy and false worship were the temptations Satan thrust at Christ, and he is tempting our nation the same way. These seductions are a formula for Socialism, which Winston Churchill in 1948 defined as “The philosophy of failure, the...

The Catholic Church Is Practical, Extremely Useful For...

March 2, 2020

Ernest preachers use their personalities to lead people to Jesus without obstructing him with themselves. They may honestly boast that they have been given the best information to convey, and we have it in the form of what we call...

Ash Wednesday And The Promise Of A Life...

February 25, 2020

I used to dread Ash Wednesday because of the endless lines of people coming for ashes. By the end of the day, priests look like coal miners.    Sociologists may condescendingly consider the phenomenon of crowds coming for ashes, when they...

The Silent Witness Of Martyrs Speaks Volumes About...

February 18, 2020

The names of the Franciscan friars Berard of Carbio, Otho, Peter, Accursius and Adjutus, are not as familiar as that of Francis of Assisi, who said that they had become the prototypes of what he called the Friars Minor. After his...

God Often Comes To Us In Obscurity, But...

February 13, 2020

Luke the Evangelist is the patron saint of artists because he paints pictures with words. In describing the scene of old Simeon in the Temple encountering Jesus, Luke wrote that he “took him up in his arms” (Luke 2:28). That...

Super Bowl, Nike And The Song Of Saints

February 4, 2020

The Feast of the Presentation recalls the old man Simeon chanting thanks for having lived to see the Messiah. His “Nunc Dimittis”—“Let thy servant depart in peace”—is part of the Church’s evening prayers. In 542 in Constantinople, the Emperor Justinian...

The Remarkable Power Of Silence

January 27, 2020

Precisely one year ago in the Italian town of Cremona, there was an imposed silence by order of the local government for eight hours a day, six days of the week for five straight weeks. The purpose was to allow...

Savor The Mystery And Wonder Of He Who...

January 20, 2020

I knew an elderly Scotswoman who read the Bible each night by the light of a candle. It had become a kind of ritual, for everyone needs a rite, including those reared in the stark Calvinist kind of worship of...

True Wisdom And Historic Perspective In This Current...

January 14, 2020

Prophets proclaim the truth, and they predict the future only in a derivative sense of cautioning about the consequences of denying the truth. Thus, the Church distinguishes between holy prophesying and sinful fortune-telling. There is a “psychic” near our rectory,...

Christians Must Always Be Tourists In This Earthly...

January 6, 2020

Who the “Wise Men” were is a recurring question for inventive debate, but the point is that these sophisticated scholars were from “a foreign country.” Here in Manhattan, tourists can be annoying when they stop suddenly to look at a...

The Search For True Wisdom, An Honest Man

December 21, 2019

I have long been of the opinion that preachers should avoid allusions to the painting “The Light of the World” by William Holman Hunt. This is not because it is inferior in any way. It is a tour de force...

Gaudete! Rejoice!

December 16, 2019

Gaudete!—Rejoice!—is the name for the Third Sunday of Advent. The rubrics say the Advent penances and discipline are somewhat mitigated on this day. Gaudete Sunday is a respite, rather like one of those “film trailers” that give a tantalizing glimpse...

On Letting The Light Shine

December 11, 2019

As a rather observant child, I made a mental note of the fact that my maternal grandmother would ask me to “make a light” instead of asking me to switch it on. When she was a child, no one switched lights...

Advent's Four Themes: A Fool-proof Remedy For Superficiality

November 30, 2019

Given the many theatres that are or have been within walking distance of our church on 34th Street, it is not possible to count the number of times stage curtains have come down on a final act. One block away...

Christ The King

November 24, 2019

If from time to time you have a sense that all things held dear in both Church and State seem to be collapsing, you might find a comrade in the Irish poet William Butler Yeats: Things fall apart; the centre...

Fascinating History: Our Founding Fathers And Catholics

November 18, 2019

Most of our Founding Fathers were not deeply informed about Catholicism, but they appreciated moral integrity when they saw it. When John Dubois, eventually the first resident Bishop of New York, fled the French Revolution, he lived for a while in...

Jaw-dropping Absurdity... And Worse

November 11, 2019

Life in New York City can be hard for anyone who has difficulty accommodating paradoxes. For instance, the same City Council that has just banned the sale of foie gras on the grounds that it involves cruelty to force-fed geese,...

F For Fake: Nothing Can Compare To The...

November 6, 2019

A 1973 film directed by Orson Welles was about forgers, and it turned out to be something of a forgery itself. Some of the information in “F for Fake” was itself faked. Later on, Welles claimed that this was deliberately...

Will You Stand With Christ Today, Tomorrow?

October 31, 2019

If “religio” is translated as being bound to a particular outlook on life, then everyone is religious. The saints simply have bound themselves to true religion. Today that is a socially unacceptable assertion, but “political correctness” is itself a form...

Things You Didn't Know About St. John Henry...

October 19, 2019

Last week’s canonization of Saint John Henry Newman will have universal influences that I trust will include our own parish. It should be remembered that his achievements, for the most part, hardly seemed successful at the time. He might even...

Beautiful Reflections On Saint John Henry Newman

October 16, 2019

More than forty years ago, I told a wise Protestant theologian that I had been reading the Apologia pro Vita Sua of John Henry Newman (1801-1890). He warned me that it is “a dangerous book.” That was just the sort of advice...

A Time For Boldness And Truth

October 7, 2019

At the start of October, life in Manhattan recovers from those late September weeks when the opening of the United Nations General Assembly ties up traffic, even blocking many streets, and takes over many hotels and clubs for expensive receptions—some...

Surrounded By Angels, Lest We Forget

September 30, 2019

In thinking of angels, you need humility, for a couple of reasons. First of all, a cynical culture mocks anyone who believes that angels exist in any way that is real rather than sentimental. Secondly, since angels, who were created...

Scandal Or Refreshingly Bold Truth?

September 25, 2019

As with quotations that are variously attributed, journalists including Charles Anderson Dana of the “New York Tribune” and John B. Bogart of the “New York Sun” are said to have coined the aphorism: “‘Dog bites man’ does not make the...

Christ The Light Of Truth, The Beacon Light

September 14, 2019

From time to time someone will remark that our national flag hanging from the choir loft appears to be faded. It is actually in good condition, but the white stripes are printed with the names of those who were killed...

The Beloved Parish In Hell's Kitchen Ny

September 11, 2019

It is gratifying each week to hear from many friends of the parish across our country and abroad, bringing to mind the words of John Wesley: “The whole world is my parish.” That can be said ever more fervently by...

Male And Female He Created Them...

July 29, 2019

Toddlers try to get their way by throwing tantrums, but they are not the only ones. In “An Open Letter on Translating,” an heresiarch in 1530 justified altering the Letter of Saint James: “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so ....

Objective Truth Is What It Is... Even If...

July 20, 2019

If there is no objective truth, there are no heresies. For the lazy thinker, the mellow refrain suffices: “It’s all good.” The etymology of “heresy” is complicated, but it has come to mean a wrong choice. Yet, if the mere...

The Pursuit Of Happiness

June 29, 2019

Among rare neurological disorders, the “pseudobulbar affect” is manifested by uncontrolled laughter or crying. It can be treated effectively in many cases with a combination of the drugs dextromethorphan and quinidine. But there is another malady for which the Food...

U.s. Bishops Approve The Pope’s Capital Punishment Ban

June 27, 2019

Sæva indignatio. Few writers in the history of English letters could express “savage indignation” at human folly as did Jonathan Swift who wrote those words for his own epitaph. Our times give ample opportunity to empathize with him, and that...

O Wondrous Feast Of Corpus Christi

June 22, 2019

Jacques Pantaléon was an unlikely candidate for the papacy, being neither a cardinal nor Italian, since he was the son of a French cobbler. Nonetheless he became Pope Urban IV after having acquitted himself well as Patriarch of Jerusalem. His...

Boneless Wonders In Ny Senate

June 18, 2019

While experience cautions theologians against the quicksand of politics, politicians not infrequently rush in to theological matters where angels fear to tread. So it was on May 29 when our junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, announced on National...

Catholic Politicians Beware

June 15, 2019

An epitaph on the tomb of Bishop Miler Magrath of Cashel in Ireland (d. 1622) reads: “Here where I am placed I am not. I am not where I am not. Nor am I in both places, but I am...

Cloud Of Witnesses Among Us

June 6, 2019

To have known Father Stanley Jaki for more than twenty years was a privilege and a challenge. The privilege was to count as friend and mentor this Benedictine cited by many as one of the five priests whose science has...

Perspective On 2018 Vatican Agreement With Beijing

May 28, 2019

A chronic temptation of the historian is to play the “Monday morning quarterback” who assumes that he would have made a correct decision in a past crisis. But the players at the time could only postulate consequences. The appeasers who...

Tolkien, Newman, Catholicism And Today's "airbrushing Of Religion"

May 20, 2019

In recent weeks, long lines streamed into the Morgan Library to see a display of J.R.R. Tolkien’s memorabilia and his art, mostly drawings and watercolors. Other authors like William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor sketched as an avocation, but these pictures...

In Him All Things Hold Together

May 13, 2019

The English priest John Colet was influenced by his friends Erasmus and Saint Thomas More. As Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London, he founded Saint Paul’s School for boys in 1509 on humanist principles. Graduates have included John Milton,...

Heroic Courage

May 6, 2019

Every writer is familiar with the word “obelism,” which refers to an editor’s abbreviations in the margins indicating corrections to be made. An author in a passive-aggressive mood may counter by writing the Latin “stet,” which means to let the...

Our Christian Lives In The Present Era: Ultimately...

May 1, 2019

In the radiance of the Resurrection, the Church relates to the emotions of the first witnesses: grief, fear, bewilderment, and then exultation. In each generation, believers experience all of these in various ways. On Good Friday our local custom is...

The Ultimate Act Of Humility And Glory

April 13, 2019

The more science shows of the universe, the more its beauty almost takes one’s breath away. There is nothing about it that could be called vulgar or in bad taste, for those are categories applicable only to what humans on...

Respect For Human Dignity Found In Civility And...

April 10, 2019

As a schoolboy, George Washington copied out in elegant script the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. Later on, our first President tried to figure out how a head of state who was not a monarch should...

Humility And Sanity Can Change The World!

April 4, 2019

Thirty-five years ago I admired the neo-Gothic buildings of a Catholic college in Westchester County. But I was surprised to find that the confessional in the beautiful chapel was being used as a broom closet. There had been some misunderstanding...

Mary's "yes" In Today's World

March 24, 2019

There is a law that the time required to complete a task matches the time available. The feast of the Annunciation fits conveniently in the Lenten cycle this year, as the season comes unusually late. Our Lady conceived when she...

The Great Saint Patrick, Ireland Today, Nigerian Catholics...

March 21, 2019

The holy patron of our archdiocese [the Archdiocese of New York] was a contemporary of Saint Augustine. While Augustine of north Africa became one of the greatest Doctors of the church, Patrick of Roman Britain humbly called himself uneducated, even...

Mediocrity Or Virtue: Our Choice Every Day

March 14, 2019

In the history of Christianity, few people spoke more gracefully and truthfully than John Henry Newman. In the nineteenth century, this English teacher and preacher embraced the Faith. And then, with the grace of his conversion, he explained how, throughout...

Lent Can Change Us, Regardless Of All Else

March 9, 2019

Lent is an invigorating time for truth. The Truth Himself spent forty days in the wilderness combatting the Prince of Lies. He did it as our “champion.” A champion is more than someone who gets his face on a cereal...

Withdraw With Purpose

March 3, 2019

The pilings on the east side of the Brooklyn Bridge are on the spot where the great Father of Our Country, having evacuated eight thousand Continental troops after their defeat in the Battle of Long Island, boarded the last small...

Cardinal Newman, Cardinal Mindszenty Shine Bright Light On...

February 26, 2019

In art, the Bible scholar Saint Jerome is often depicted as a cardinal, along with a lion that looks like a Cheshire cat because the artist had not seen a real lion. This portrayal alludes to the second-century legend of...

This Current Era And Our Role In It

February 17, 2019

Like the optimist who sees a glass of water half-full and the pessimist who sees it half-empty, people assess the times in which they live by their personality. Each age has had its crises, but the time in which we...

The Comforter

February 12, 2019

The stepbrother of William the Conqueror, Bishop Odo, was meticulous in observing canon law. Since a cleric was not allowed to “wield the sword,” he used a battle club. In the Bayeux Tapestry under the scene of him forcing his men into...

Mark The Ironies

February 5, 2019

The mayor of a French town commissioned a statue of the rationalist Emile Zola and, intent on provocation, he ordered that the bronze for it be from the bells of a church. Similarly, Governor Andrew Cuomo chose to sign into law our nation’s most...

Catholics Who Do Not Know Their History Are...

January 29, 2019

This past Thursday was the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, whose intercession we need because he is the patron of journalists and there are those who say, with some claim to cogency, that journalism is dead because it is...

John Henry Newman On Abuse Of Power

January 22, 2019

The nineteenth-century churchman John Henry Newman has shaped many of my views and how to apply them. With the credit of a second miracle to his intercession, it is likely that he will be canonized in short order. Our culture...

Catholic Men And Women Integral To The History...

January 15, 2019

The foundational documents of our nation were influenced by Catholic political philosophers such as Aquinas, Suárez, Báñez, Gregory of Valencia and Saint Robert Bellarmine, who wrote before theorists like Hobbes and Rousseau. This contradicts a popular impression that democracy was the invention...

The Truth About Herod And This Present Age

January 5, 2019

Researching the Birth Narrative of our Lord on the computer can be a source of unintentionally mordant humor. On one of the prominent encyclopedia sites, we are told in the entry for King Herod that “most scholars agree” that he...

They Gazed Upon The Face Of God

December 31, 2018

Christians in the Indian state of Kerala are about 20% of the population. An amateur film recorded there shows some workers struggling with a power shovel to rescue a baby elephant from a ditch. I do not know if they...

A Mercy More Powerful Than An Exploding Meteor

December 22, 2018

The darkening that comes with the year’s shortest hours of daylight is like the lowering of the lights in a theatre as the play is about to begin. But in the “Drama of Salvation” by which the human race is...

Happiness

December 18, 2018

There could be no easier subject for comment than happiness. The best classical pagan philosophers, even if they did not believe a Creator intended that humans should share in his “delight” at what he had made, taught that we were meant to...

Our Words Define Us

December 11, 2018

All creation emanated from the voice of God uttering: “Let there be light.” There was nothing and no one yet to hear it, only God himself. As animate creatures came into being, they were able to make sounds, and some...

Hold Fast To Traditions That Point To Something...

December 5, 2018

A bishop condescendingly asked John Henry Newman, “Who are the laity?” To which the great saint, and, one hopes, future Doctor of the Church, replied that the Church would look foolish without them.  The same might be said of those...

Objective Truth: Deny It At Your Peril

November 27, 2018

A mark of first-rate thinkers is their ability to make complex theories understandable. Conversely, muddled thinkers assume that obscurantism is profound. Consider, for instance, a comment made a few months ago by an Italian Jesuit and close advisor to Pope...

Pope Saint Clement Of Rome

November 20, 2018

On the day after Thanksgiving, the Church rejoices in the intercessions of Pope Saint Clement of Rome. New Yorkers have a special reason to think of him, two millennia later. Clement probably was made a bishop by Saint Peter himself...

It's The Little Things, The Choices We Make...

November 10, 2018

Pier 54 on the Hudson River is a short walk from our church. On display are pictures of the Titanic and the Lusitania, which is not encouraging for public relations. The Titanic was supposed to berth there, but instead the Carpathia arrived with surviving passengers....

The Devil's Greatest Trick

November 6, 2018

Nostalgia is a selective editing of the past. For instance, there are those who wish we had today some of the architects of thirteenth-century cathedrals, but who avoid mentioning thirteenth-century dentists. In recent times, the general conceit has been the...

At The Balance Of Your Destiny...

October 28, 2018

Some classical composers whose melodramatic quirks would have made life with them difficult, such as Beethoven, Wagner, Berlioz and Satie, have their opposites in such genial geniuses as Hayden, Mozart and, I would argue, Edward Elgar.   Elgar was among the...

Culture And Saints: What Shapes Us?

October 20, 2018

There are those who would not let facts get in the way of theory, and such was the English philosopher Herbert Spencer who promoted the “survival of the fittest.” This “Social Darwinism” theorized that the weak and poor would gradually...