Rachel Hoover

Rachel Hoover is a technical writer by day and a critic and essayist for several Catholic publications in the early evening. She holds a B.A. from Christendom College and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

recent articles

The Tradition of Pentecost Poetry Reading Parties

Because the Holy Ghost inspired all the poetry of the Psalms, and because the three canticles in the Gospel of Luke are each preceded by the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit,” Pentecost is the perfect time for a poetry reading party.


What is the Mission of a Parish?

What is the Church for? If a member of an uncontacted tribe entered a typical Catholic parish today, how long would it take him to learn an accurate answer to that question? Recently, Fr. James Grant wrote in these pages about putting the parish mission into action. He points out clear problems in the Church: … Read more

More Reasons Catholics Aren’t Marrying

Much has been written in Crisis and elsewhere about the declining marriage and birth rates in Western society and the rising average age of the marriages that do occur, including among Catholics. Many factors appear to contribute to this pattern: the epidemic of sins such as pornography use and fornication; the educational and wage-earning gap; … Read more


Heresy? Call an Exterminatrix

The tract in the pre-1970 Mass of the Common of the Blessed Virgin begins: “Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou alone hast destroyed all heresies. Who didst believe the words of the Archangel Gabriel.” Why is Our Lady the destroyer—or Exterminatrix—of all heresies? Because she believed the words of the Archangel Gabriel; her fiat of absolute … Read more


The Life of Nuns in Books

The topic of “discerning a vocation” is a commonplace yet difficult one with young Catholics. In order to make a generous choice of a state in life (usually, in the Roman Rite, between marriage and consecrated religious life and/or priesthood), young men and women in the Church must listen to and grapple with every aspect … Read more

Fatima: The Power of a Name

Marco Pontecorvo’s new film Fatima, a drama based on the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Portugal in 1917 and the three young seers who experienced them, debuted August 28 with balanced but mostly-favorable reviews in major outlets like CNN and The New York Times, as well as in Catholic publications. It’s encouraging that mainstream … Read more

In Defense of Bread

A recent study of the most popular search terms on Amazon during the Covid-19 pandemic showed that both “bread” and “flour” ranked high. “Bread” is to be expected: people look to purchase basic necessities without leaving the house. But “flour” is perhaps a little surprising. Are people searching for flour out of desperation because the … Read more

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