August 15, 2014

Commonweal, August 15, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014

Articles in this issue

Off the Grid

A colonia is any “identifiable community” within 150 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border lacking potable water and decent housing. There are 141 in New Mexico alone.

‘When a Deeper Need Enters’

There are no political neutrals—not even among churchmen or poets. Two Irish poets help illustrate this point: William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney.

Doubting Thomas?

Gary Gutting was enthusiastic about Denys Turner's book on Aquinas, but much less so about Aquinas’s thought.

Letters | Dead Language, Gender Handicaps

Readers write in favor of using "cup" over "chalice" in the mass, and respond to Cardinal Walter Kasper's remarks about women's ordination.

'The Making of Assisi'

As Donal Cooper and Janet Robson show in this fascinating study, the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi played a crucial part in promoting Francis and his mission.

'Rekindling the Christic Imagination'

The Second Vatican Council isn’t over yet, in the view of Robert P. Imbelli, who notes that the “reception,” and thus the event of the council, is continuing today.

No, Thank Him

At the heart of this fine book is Leithart's treatment of the Christian disruption of settled ideas about gift-giving and gratitude.

Poem | The Migratory Birds

Fearless and warm, we stayed until / A new time swept around the hill.

Prayer & Memories Mercies | Two Poems

But there were / I swear / days veined with grace // like a lucky / rock / ripping / electrically over // whatever water / there was—

Last Word: Bergman Meets Bresson

In 'Ida,' director Pawlikowski presents Bergman’s questions and Bresson’s answers; Bergman’s atheism and Bresson’s emphasis on the presence of grace.


Our so-called border crisis is not fundamentally a question of security, but one of poverty, injustice, and disorder.

'A Minefield'

It's one thing to be asked to provide contraception, another to contribute to a plan covering it, and another to tell the government your religious objections to it.