Death and Dying

The River Runs On

Norman Maclean understood loving and losing in the light of Christian faith. But he couldn’t quite trust Christianity’s promise of redemption. Tragedy was his theme.

Last Word: Mission Accomplished

When we visited Frigolet last year, we asked Joël what makes for a vital religious community. “New men,” he replied. Not money, not administrative acumen, but men.

Burdens & Blesings

The importance of loving care for persons near the end of life is fundamental in Catholic teaching. But we've embraced a version of love without that obligation.

Keeping the Books

In bed, before falling asleep, I say goodnight to Dad as I mark my place in my book. He is everywhere I am, as long as I’m reading.

Catching Up & Passing On

Current students are taught by lay people. Our teachers were Benedictine monks, and teaching only begins to describe the role those virtuous men played in our lives.

Letters | Labor's losses, 'parvity,' hands off the ointment

Readers write in about Scott Walker's battle with organized labor, Ronald Reagan, FDR, vomit, extreme unction, and sins—mortal and otherwise.

Letters | Anointing the Sick, a Callous Court, James Agee

Readers offer a remedy for the church's "unction dysfunction," another disturbing aspect of the Supreme Court's lethal-injection ruling, and more on James Agee.

'Phoenix'

Set in bombed-out Berlin of 1945, Petzold's 'Phoenix' questions who was guilty, and of what, in the daily workings of the Holocaust—and will there be a reckoning?

'A God in Ruins'

Centered around the missing bomber pilot from 'Life After Life,' Atkinson's 'A God in Ruins' examines the interplay of real life and the life of the imagination.

'Small Mercies: A Novel'

Set on present day Staten Island Eddie Joyce's 'Small Mercies' traces the effect of 9/11 on the families of people living in “the servants’ quarters of New York."

Unmarked Territory

Dying is an adult activity. This has been one of its bigger surprises for me. I find I need to leave behind the child side of myself to go where I now need to go.

Letter from Rome

Following the Orthodox Church, Francis announces World Day of Prayer's theme; U.S. Bishops don't. Why is Francis silent about mob's "Godfather-like" funeral in Rome?
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