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OTG: On the Good

Commentary items which alert our readers to good things done by other persons and organizations. Celebrate the good!

Pilgrimage - they don't make it like they used to by Thomas Van - Mar 15, 2014

What’s the difference between a pilgrimage and a vacation? There was a time when going on a pilgrimage involved a great deal of sacrifice. Pilgrims traveled great distances to holy sites, often on foot, enduring great physical hardship to reach their destinations for some spiritual purpose...

Mass offerings: a useful survey by Thomas Van - Jan 27, 2014

We recently received the following note from a reader, Father Albert Dello Russo: Dear Sirs: I am a priest graduate canon law student at the Catholic University of America. I am writing my thesis on the subject of Mass offerings [for the intention of a loved one] and their licit retention by...

Common Core vs. Catholic Core by Thomas Van - Jan 15, 2014

Along with the general community of educators, more and more Catholic writers and groups are sounding the alarm about the new Common Core educational standards. While there are plenty of individual reasons to be wary or even hostile to the proposed standards, the Cardinal Newman Society is taking...

Legal cases on the HHS mandate & abortion clinic 'bubble zones': 2 must-read op-eds by Phil Lawler - Jan 6, 2014

Here are two short opinion pieces that are well worth reading: For National Review, Matt Bowman analyzes the legal argument put forward by the Obama administration in its battle against the Little Sisters of the Poor, and concludes that the argument is not only weak but...

Galileo and the Joy of History by Thomas Van - Dec 21, 2013

Here’s a classic example of human egotism: we rarely take an interest in the past except insofar as it can serve us in the present. We are seldom patient enough to see history in all its messy complexity; we would rather torture it into a simplistic narrative to win some modern culture war,...

New Testament Phone App Available, Text & Audio, RSV-CE by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Dec 10, 2013

If you’d like an app for your phone or other handheld device which will give you the complete text of the New Testament in the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) along with an audio soundtrack read by actors, you can learn how to download it free at www.downloadjesus.com. The...

An extended weekend's worth of don't-miss commentary by Phil Lawler - Dec 9, 2013

Over the weekend (and stretching into today’s feast day), some unusually good commentary appeared online. I encourage Catholic readers to spend a few minutes with the following: Mary Ann Glendon—Harvard Law professor and former US Ambassador to the Holy See—previewed the US...

J. Budziszewski: The Underground Thomist by Thomas Van - Nov 21, 2013

Catholic Culture readers may already be familiar with one of our favorite natural law scholars and Christian apologists, J. Budziszewski, two of whose books we have reviewed in the past (What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide and The Meaning of Sex). Budziszewski, a professor of government and...

Confraternity of the Holy Rosary by Thomas Van - Nov 15, 2013

Second only to the Mass as the Catholic prayer par excellence, the Rosary is a staple of the spiritual life of many Catholic families and individuals. For several centuries it has nourished the faith of countless saints, Popes and ordinary Christian men and women. Out of all those who today...

Government Pressure and College Catholicism: Diamonds from Coal? by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Nov 12, 2013

If you think God doesn’t work in mysterious ways, consider the increasing scrutiny of “religious” organizations by the American government when it comes to exemptions from various regulations which offend the well-formed conscience. It is a shifting landscape, and it would take...

Frs. Planty and McGraw call for sobriety and compassion in dealing with immigration by Thomas Van - Oct 26, 2013

The immigration issue has been a point of bitter dispute among American Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and it is one area where conservative Catholic laypeople and the Church’s hierarchy have often failed to see eye to eye. In the Arlington Catholic Herald, Frs. Donald J. Planty and...

Intelligence, Religious Faith, and NFP by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Oct 24, 2013

Natural Family Planning is connected with religious faith, but is raw human intelligence connected with atheism? I only group the two issues here because some interesting statistical studies have been done in both areas. One shows enhanced marriage satisfaction among those who use NFP. The other...

Public Discourse pushes back against porn by Thomas Van - Oct 22, 2013

Common sense alone may lead us to question whether pornography as such can really constitute speech, or if it does, whether it is a kind of speech that is or ought to be protected by the Constitution, given a proper understanding of the First Amendment. In a recent two-part series for Public...

Weekend perspectives by Phil Lawler - Oct 14, 2013

Talking with the National Catholic Register, Father John Wauck lends some needed perspective to the feverish debates over public statements by Pope Francis: It’s important for everybody to calm down and look at the big picture. Pope Francis, the Successor of Peter, is the most...

Crisis on the Priesthood by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Oct 8, 2013

Note that the title is not “Crisis in the priesthood”, but “Crisis on the Priesthood”. It refers to the fact that the folks at Crisis (an online magazine) are every bit as devoted to the Catholic priesthood as we are. They know that priests are an immense source of...

A Remarkable Catholic Lecture Series on the Arts in NYC by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Sep 11, 2013

Let’s see if I’ve got this right. The Catholic Artists Society is an association of artists and media professionals, centered in New York City, working for the greater glory of God and the common good. The Catholic Center is a ministry of the Dominican Order at New York...

Adoption not Abortion: A Down Syndrome Miracle by Dr. Jeff Mirus - Aug 16, 2013

In case you didn’t already hear this news: In early July, a woman learned through pre-natal testing that her baby had Down Syndrome. She went to an adoption agency and explained that she would abort the baby if a family could not be found to adopt her child in the next few days. In a little...

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