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Review: Marilynne Robinson returns to Gilead


Those familiar with the Gilead story will find in Marilynne Robinson's latest novel another beautiful meditation on grace operative in spite of habits of despair and the social sins that feed them.

Los Angeles: a city of faith, beauty and pain


A longtime historian of Los Angeles explores and deconstructs the mythical city of boosters, developers and "perpetual reinvention."

The art of book reviewing


If you think being a writer is nerve-wracking, try being a reviewer.

A brief history of ‘O Holy Night,’ the rousing Christmas hymn that garnered mixed reviews

1940s choir boys (ClassicStock/Alamy)
“It might be a good thing to discard this piece whose popularity is becoming unhealthy,” one early critic wrote.

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (maybe) spoke with the dead


'The root of Spiritism...is the diseased moral condition of the age,' one Catholic author wrote.

St. Hildegard gives us a recipe for joy—even during a pandemic


Hildegard von Bingen’s five ingredients for an abundant life.

A Kansas priest’s quest to canonize a Korean War hero


A Korean War hero, the Rev. Emil Kapaun is now a candidate for sainthood, but the process is long and complicated.

Pope Francis meets with the missionary priest freed after two years of captivity

Pope Francis meets Father Maccalli, right, and members of his delegation at the Vatican on Nov. 9. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
Recalling his abduction and two-year captivity, Father Maccalli told Vatican News that during that time, "tears were my bread for many days and were my prayer when I didn't know what to say."

Life without parole is a ‘secret death penalty.’ It’s also against Catholic teaching.

Inmates at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
In “Fratelli Tutti,” Pope Francis writes that punishment must include “healing and reintegration into society.” A sentence of life without parole, writes Nicholas Goldrosen, violates this principle.

Matt Malone, S.J.: Christmas reminds us that there is only one redeemer (and it’s not the president)


The United States is a unique achievement in a fallen world.