Looking over the last few weeks, one event stands out — with a large portion of the TJP staff residing in Boston, the Marathon bombing and its aftermath not only took up a week of our lives, but also occasioned quite a bit of coverage here on the site. Along with those pieces, we’d also like to highlight some more two more hopeful pieces, also coming from Boston.
But before we do any of that, let us point you at the pieces you should just stop and read now, if you haven’t already.
Stop Here, Read Now
- Quang Tran looks at some of the many difficult questions the ongoing Gosnell trial in Philadelphia raises: “Would the abortions Gosnell performed be more professional and acceptable if there were no blood, no noise, and no pain?”
- Any conversion story’s generally worth listening to: this one you need to hear now. Jay Hooks interviews Kaya Oakes, the author of Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church.
- “‘Amateur.’ It actually means ‘lover.’” And if that doesn’t convince you, it’s Brendan Busse writing about it.
Reasons to hope
- We welcomed a Jesuit from Down Under, studying in Boston, to TJP — Phil Moller writes on his first American Easter, and the questions it raised for him about what makes faith possible in our modern and secular age.
- And if you liked Phil’s piece, you should take a look at Matt Dunch’s reflection on how Catholicism and intellectual enlightenment can fit together.
- Sam Sawyer takes a look at a young adult ministry that actually attracts young adults, and asks them why — at Boston College’s Agape Latte.
The view from Boston
- When he heard about the bombing, Ryan Duns “was just” … well, actually, that’s exactly what he’s asking us to think about.
- Jayme Stayer on what a poet may have to teach us about speaking of tragedy: “This is plenty. This is more than enough.”
- Only a few blocks from the finish line at Fenway, Dennis Baker says that Monday morning was a time he became more human.
- Joe Simmons considers what we can learn from the way we grieve on Facebook.
- Throwback Thursday, looking at Boston from a different perspective, reminds us this isn’t the first April our hearts have been broken.
From the bloggers
- “Just invite them to God’s love.” Keith Maczkiewicz joined TJP as a blogger, remembering the advice he was given early in his experience of prison ministry.
- Brendan Busse is reminded by the new Jackie Robinson biopic (actually, by a shower scene) that we all get our chance at the plate.
- “He not only decries clericalism and self-absorption among the clergy, he shows what it looks like to not be clerical and self-absorbed.” Joe Simmons on what exactly he finds so hopeful about Pope Francis.
Issues and analysis
from environmentalism to immigration to curial reform
- John Shea wishes you a Happy Earth Day with a guide to Catholic teaching on and concern for the environment, and Jason Welle wonders how environmental concerns might show up in Pope Francis’s visit to Brazil for World Youth Day this summer.
- Immigration reform is being debated in Congress — which is one of the reason Nate Romano reminds us it’s more than a political football.
- Eric Ramirez chimes in from Rome with his take on the news of the 8-cardinal panel appointed by Pope Francis to help him reform the governance of the Church.
- Nate Romano’s also keeping an eye on the back-and-forth about gun control in Congress.
On the culture beat
- A Vatican entry in the Euro-Vision song competition? Jason Welle thinks it’s time.
- Brian Konzman thinks the characters make Game of Thrones worth watching — despite HBO’s attempts to make it scandalous.
- In our most recent TJPodcast, Vinny Marchionni lets us know how to appreciate Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” chic and Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” lifestyle.
- Jason Welle listens to a story on The Moth podcast from a flight attendant, and remembers how his own time in the sky helped him learn to find his purpose.
- You Can’t Take It With You bids goodbye, among others, to Chinua Achebe and Margaret Thatcher.
With hopes and prayers for a more peaceful set of weeks to review next time, we’ll see you back here (often, we hope!) at TJP.