Topic One – How Goes the Christmas War?
Earlier this month in the New York Times, there was an article about White House social secretary Desirée Rogers. In it, reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote: “When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a ‘non-religious Christmas….’” This same participant said that “the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display” (this was confirmed by the White House). Indeed, as Stolberg wrote, “there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.” In addition to this disappointment, the regular Christmas shenanigans are well underway. We talk with Bill Donohue about the “Christmas Wars.”
Topic Two – Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America
When Wall Street Journal reporter John Fialka set out to tell the story of America's Catholic nuns, he knew he faced a daunting challenge. Church histories contained little about the women he calls "America's first feminists," though they built 800 hospitals and more than 10,000 private schools. We hear a well-told history of these remarkable women from the time of their arrival in America in 1790 to the present, when their numbers have dwindled considerably. Against the backdrop of the Apostolic Visitation of Women’s Religious in America, currently underway, nuns will appreciate his treatment of their lives, as will Catholics pondering a church with diminishing numbers of the women who helped shape it.
Topic Three – Sisters Supporting the Apostolic Visitation