The Spirit of Vatican II:

By Alfred J. Garrotto| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in America
By Colleen McDannell (Basic Books, 2011)

For many Catholics, the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) represents a Spirit-led initiative now being dismantled. For others it was a well-meant experiment gone awry. In The Spirit of Vatican II, Colleen McDannell explores those two extremes through the eyes of her parents, Margaret and Ken, whose lives span the pre-, mid-, and post-Vatican II church.


Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

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Article Reviews
Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
By Karen Armstrong (Knopf, 2010)

I read Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life shortly before Osama bin Laden was assassinated. In her last step, “Love your enemies,” Armstrong leads the reader through a meditation: “Bring to mind an ‘Enemy’ with a capital E.” I thought of bin Laden.


The Tree of Life

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Article Reviews
The Tree of Life
Directed by Terrence Malick (Fox Searchlight, 2011) 

Terrence Malick’s kaleidoscopic masterpiece about, well, everything raises several universal questions, but one query this dazzling juggernaut of a film answers definitively is why make movies?

Most contemporary films entertain 14-year-old boys with a barrage of rapid-fire special effects. Other movies translate novels into a cinematic narrative furnished with a tapestry of lovely images and scenery.


Storks in a Blue Sky

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Article Reviews
Storks in a Blue Sky
by Carol Anne Dobson (Appledrane Books, 2008)

Storks in a Blue Sky is a historical romance set in England and France in 1763. It won the David St. John Thomas fiction award in England.


Midnight in Paris

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Article Reviews
Midnight in Paris
Directed by Woody Allen (Sony Pictures, 2011)

Collapse into Now

By John Christman| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Collapse into now
R.E.M. (Nonesuch Records, 2011)

From a clamorous crescendo built slowly of distorted guitars, high-toned bass, and low, rumbling drums, R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe exclaims, “Hey baby, this is not a challenge, it just means that I love you as much as I always said I did.” A few tension-filled bars later each musical strand coalesces into a powerful refrain that witnesses Stipe’s exuberant declaration, “Discoverer!”


Jane Eyre

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Jane Eyre
Directed by Cary Fukunaga (Focus Features, 2011)

There are secrets hidden in the shadows of Thornfield Hall, but no mystery as to why Hollywood has made nearly 20 films based on Charlotte Brontë’s Gothic tale of forbidden love.


KMAG YOYO

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Article Reviews
KMAG YOYO
Hayes Carll (Lost High, 2011)

Despite the best efforts of the Nashville industry, country music refuses to die, and Hayes Carll’s new album is living proof. It has lyrics about wandering (“Hard Out Here”) and whiskey (“Bottle in My Hand”) and Mama (“Grateful for Christmas”). It’s got the twangy guitars and the sentimental moan of the pedal steel. So, of course, you’ll never hear a lick of Hayes Carll on today’s country radio.


The Sexual Believer

By Paul Miki| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
The Sexual Believer: Uncommon Reflections On Sexual Morality For Catholics in the Third Millennium
By Noel Cooper (CreateSpace, an Amazon.com company, 2011)

The current scandals within the church in North America and in Europe have given cause for many to question the role of religion in defining and determining the sexual mores and practices of believers. Noel Cooper, religious and family life educator and author, suggests that today many adults are coming to the conclusion that they must choose between being religious and being sexual. Cooper believes we can be both.


The Lily Trilogy

By Leticia Velasquez| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
The Lily Trilogy

Novels, if they are compelling, can threaten to suck up all of a busy mother's time away from her children. For half a week, I have been capitalizing on the distraction of my family or stealing needed sleep from myself in order to plunge headlong into the world of Lily in Sherry Boas' books The Lily Trilogy. Some novels tempt you to want to live in a fantasy world, to keep the characters you have come to know and love alive.


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