• The angels are weeping over the ravages of Notre Dame

    Architecturally, the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris spanned the age of endurance to the era of transcendence. Begun in 1163 when the sturdy Romanesque style demanded chunky columns and low slung arches, it flowered into the Gothic eventually soaring 115 feet off the ground. This new... Read more
  • Crowd of 1,200 Gets Rare Glimpse of Underwater Crucifix in Lake Michigan

    It was cold on Saturday morning, March 9 in Petoskey, Michigan – it's been a cold winter, to be sure – but that didn't stop an estimated 1,200 of the faithful and the curious from venturing out onto the frozen ice of Lake Michigan, then trekking 800 feet from shore to peer through a hole in... Read more
  • The Beauty and Power of the O Antiphons

    O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel! This favored Christmas carol is no carol at all. It’s a hymn for the season of Advent — the liturgical season that... Read more
  • I was an Atheist until I Read Lord of the Rings

    I grew up in a loving, comfortable atheist household of professional scientists. My dad was a lapsed Catholic, and my mom was a lapsed Lutheran. From the time that I could think rationally on the subject, I did not believe in God. God was an imaginary being for which there was no proof. At best,... Read more
  • Aretha Franklin started with gospel, ended with soul at age 76

    Aretha Franklin, a singer who began her career with gospel music and was later crowned the “Queen of Soul,” died Thursday (Aug. 16) after battling a range of health issues. She was 76. Often simply called “Aretha,” Franklin got her start in the Detroit church of her pastor father,... Read more
  • Iraqi iconographer honors his Syriac roots

    [caption id="attachment_101982" align="alignnone" width="640"] Mothana Butres of Zahle, Lebanon, works on an icon in this undated photo. (CNS photo/courtesy of Mothana Butres) See SHRINE-ICON-BUTRES June 19, 2018.[/caption] BEIRUT — When Islamic State fighters overran Qaraqosh, Iraq, in the... Read more
  • Why The Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece

    The Wall Street Journal publishes a weekly article entitled “Masterpiece”, featuring iconic visual art, music, film, architecture, literature, and poetry, but I’ve yet to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in that space. Maybe because it’s a too-familiar storyline: a world... Read more
  • The Atheist Who Made the Doors of St. Peter’s Basilica

    It sounds like an urban legend—or more simply a tall tale back from the days of the ancient Saint Peter’s Basilica—but in fact, it’s true. And much more recent: The renowned Italian artist Manzù (who happened to be a Communist and an avowed atheist) was commissioned to do a set of... Read more
  • Going “further up and further in” to Narnia

    C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the most influential Christian authors of the 20th century, and his popularity has only grown in the decades since his death. A professor of literature at both Cambridge and Oxford, he was a prolific author of works of literary criticism, apologetics,... Read more
  • Light of Faith: Meet the Workshop of Artists Behind the Vatican’s Stained-Glass Windows

    Entering St. Peter’s Basilica is a journey in and of itself. The final destination, Bernini’s Altar, is illuminated by the Dove of the Holy Spirit stained-glass window. That famous window was made by a small, family-run workshop in Rome’s charming neighborhood of Trastevere. The... Read more