Irene Lagan

Irene Lagan is the general manager of Guadalupe Radio in Washington, DC. She is a former collaborator for the English language section of Vatican Radio, has written for several publications, and holds a Masters degree in philosophy. She served as managing editor at the National Catholic Bioethics Center while in Boston, and has been published in Ethics & Medics, the National Catholic Register, Zenit, Franciscan Way, the Arlington Catholic Herald, and The Boston Globe. In addition, she has taught university students as an adjunct professor and has consulted in the area of communications and development for non-profit organizations.

recent articles

Asking ourselves, ‘Are babies better than abortions?’

With the March for Life just around the corner, it’s hard not to be aware of the cultural contradictions inherent in our attitudes toward life, specifically unborn life. Ross Douthat calls it the Unborn Paradox, pointing to the high rate of abortion on one hand and the unprecedented number of couples coping with infertility on … Read more

Consumers of Human Trafficking?

By now, most of the world knows something about human trafficking. Basically, if you’re not dwelling among consumers, you’re likely at a place of origin or along a transit route. But this story drew my attention  yesterday: In this impoverished town in central Mexico, a sinister trade has taken root: Entire extended families exploit desperation and … Read more

Gun Toting Moms and Girls with Guns

The right to bear firearms is not one of the causes I’ve ever been deeply passionate about, but an article in Marie Claire about an apparently growing trend among women to openly carry weapons caught my attention. It’s hard to know how much of a trend it actually is, since the neither the article nor one … Read more


Well, I’m home from Rome, and as always, the transition has been slightly bumpy. There are things that smooth it out – like when my niece Isabella randomly hugged me with all her little might and said, “I love you.”  But there are things I don’t like so much… and one of them is noticing … Read more

The Pope Weighs in on Gaza

Pope Benedict yesterday lamented the renewed violence in Gaza. At the end of his weekly audience, he said his “heart was heavy” for the victims of this latest round of unnecessary violence: With great trepidation I followed the tragic events that occurred near the Gaza Strip. I feel the need to express my heartfelt condolences … Read more

Mary and the Missionary Church

Although we’re back to ordinary time in the liturgical calendar, there’s never a time — liturgically speaking — when it the life of the faithful is dull, much less ordinary. As if to remind us of this, ordinary time is frequently punctuated by celebrations, something that breaks up the daily routine. This week, to mark … Read more

From the Heart of the Church…

As the year for priests draws to a close, hindsight shows that Pope Benedict’s decision to devote this year to prayer for priests was prescient. On the dark side, it has been a year in which the scandal of abuse has dominated media headlines. But what hasn’t gotten media attention is the way the year … Read more

Burka Rage?

Burqas are fast becoming a heated subject in parts of Europe, notably France and Belgium. The UK Telegraph reported an incident over the weekend where two women came to blows over the burqa: [A] 26-year-old Muslim convert was walking through the store in Trignac, near Nantes, in the western Loire-Atlantique region, when she overhead the woman lawyer … Read more

Thousands Turn out to Support Pope Benedict

Yesterday, 150,000 people (give or take) packed St. Peter’s Square for Pope Benedict’s noon address. My view was literally a sea of people. In fact, that was my view from all sides. Normally, I hate crowds, but this was really inspiring. It always is when thousands of people are quiet, listening to the pope, and … Read more

Pope Benedict on ‘Authentic Witness’

Today is Pope Benedict’s final day in Portugal. He departed from Fatima this morning for the northern city Opporto, where he celebrated Mass. Opporto is a port city (famous for Port wine), the second largest in the country, and significant not only as a commercial center but because of the large number of immigrants. In … Read more

Pope Benedict’s Homily in Fatima

Today is the Feast of the Ascension, at least at the Vatican. Elsewhere, though, it’s the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. And that is the Mass the Pope celebrated this morning at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, where many thousands of people were gathered.  The official text of the Holy … Read more

St. Catherine of Siena

I’m a little late in getting to the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, one of the patron saints of Italy — certainly a poster saint for the “genius of women” and one of my favorites (even if she’s an act I could never begin to follow). As I’ve mentioned previously, part of ordinary life in … Read more

The Vatican’s crisis response strategy needs help…

Yesterday concluded a three-day media communications conference at Santa Croce in Rome. Wall Street Journal reporter Stacey Meichtry has a mostly fair assessment of the challenge the Church faces in responding to the crisis. Meichtry makes some important points — namely, that the church’s response to the crisis is bound to be decentralized. Bishops cannot … Read more

Sex and the Media

I came across an article on the wires a few days ago at the peak of the media’s frenzied calls for Pope Benedict to step down or be arrested. It was about bikinis with padded bras for little girls, which have now been recalled.  It seemed ironic that the news was saturated with pedophilia scandals as … Read more

Pope Under Attack

Last week, Peggy Noonan wrote that the media has done the Church a service in its reporting on the sex-abuse scandal. To a certain extent, I agree: Unfortunately, I believe that some in the Church would have continued ignoring or, in some cases, covering up instances of abuse. But the media has gone overboard with its misreporting … Read more

Jobless Youth in the US: Are we becoming more European?

This morning, on my way to Baltimore from Boston, this article by Daniel Henninger in the WSJ caught my attention. It’s about the growing new phenomenon in the U.S. of long-term joblessness, and more specifically, the danger of permanently high rates of youth unemployment. According to the latest statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate for workers under … Read more

Holy Week in Rome

With the constant media barrage against the pope and the Church, we seem to be living our own Via Crucis this year. And even though I am celebrating Easter at home in Boston, I’m attuned to what is happening in Rome.  Just before I left Rome last week, I offered the Vatican Radio commentary for Pope Benedict’s … Read more

The Latest “Christian” film…Coming Soon to Theatres Near You

Earlier this week, I had the chance to preview a soon-to-be released movie, the latest production of Christian Hollywood.  Letters to God, directed by David Nixon, is the story of an eight-year-old boy, Tyler Doherty, whose confidante in his daily struggle against cancer is God. Tyler’s prayers take the form of letters, which he writes and … Read more

Too Big to Fail

On a recent overseas trip, I read most of Andrew Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail. Despite its length, the book is a page-turner and is worth reading to understand the background of the financial crisis. The more I read, the more it became clear to me that the crisis was not just about bad banking and … Read more

What to Expect from the Pope’s Visit

When it comes to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit in Jerusalem this week, there is much skepticism on both sides of the Israeli wall. The average Israeli “doesn’t care” about the pope’s trip, says Gershon Baskin, president of the Israeli Palestinian Center for Research and Information. The expectation is that the pope will say something about … Read more

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