New Orleans

Robert E. Lee’s Visage Becomes a Target of Mob Protests

In an unforgettable scene in the film Dr. Zhivago, the adaptable lawyer Komarovski bellows from the foot of the frozen stairs, where he had been flung by the eponymous hero: “We’re all made from the same clay, you know!” Komarovski, whose name suggests “mosquito” in Russian, is not a card-carrying communist, but a broad-minded member … Read more

Is Lee a Victim of Political Opportunism?

There is talk in New Orleans right now of tearing down a statue of Civil War general Robert E. Lee that adorns the (locally, almost equally famous) Lee Circle in New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is seeking to replace the statue of Lee, as well as one of P.G.T. Beauregard, with “symbols that reflect the culture, unity, … Read more

The Devotion of Aaron Neville

New Orleans. Wet bodies press close in the pit. Their faces red from the daylong parades, the tourists have come to usher in Mardi Gras with New Orleans musical royalty. Like the mosquitoes outside thirsting for a fresh taste of life, the drunk, the sober, and the merely tipsy crowd the House of Blues stage. … Read more

Is “Easy Rider” a Catholic Film?

The late Dennis Hopper’s film is associated of course with the counter culture; in fact, in the 1970s it inspired a bunch of movies that did not exactly uphold the values of traditional morality and the Establishment. Now, or a few weeks ago at least, conservative commenters say that all along the film has been … Read more

Responding to the Oil Spill

The Mississippi Gulf Coast still has not fully recovered from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and yet here we are, awaiting another catastrophe. Massive quantities of oil are being released from a sunken off-shore drilling platform, about 5,000 barrels per day. The full impact of this disaster has not yet been realized, … Read more

Holy Things for the Holy?

Having grown up in some of the most liberal dioceses in California, there were many times when I had to endure some questionable thinking from some pretty high places. During my confirmation classes, I was subjected to a sermon by the then pastor (who later left the priesthood) about how Catholic couples should get married … Read more

Faith in the Time of Jim Crow

Over my fried alligator and onion rings at a restaurant outside New Orleans, Mr. and Mrs. G. spoke of their lives growing up in segregated southern Louisiana. The conversation was light and nostalgic until I brought up the issue of what the relationship was like in their childhood between “Creoles of color” and Cajuns. Mr. … Read more

Catholic Schools Are Saving New Orleans’ Children

Catholics Teach the Children of New Orleans Since the Katrina disaster, the schools of the Archdiocese of New Orleans have swelled to double the enrollment of the local public schools — 40,000 to 20,000. Rev. Neal McDermott, O.P., superintendent of the Catholic schools, told me yesterday that the archdiocese is facing a financial crunch when … Read more

The Good News about Our Bishops

For those who may be lamenting the seeming resurgence of the Catholic Left in the Age of Obama, I would like to point out some good news: This year’s spate of bishops’ assignments have been quite heartening. Since the beginning of 2009, there have been ten appointments announced by the Vatican. All of them should … Read more

Christ in the Village: The Treasures of Catholic Culture

  Bits and pieces of my mother’s childhood in Mexico have trickled down to me through the years, usually at unexpected times. As a child, she would tell me of the ceremonies in her village during Holy Week, the posadas during Advent, and the processions through the fields on the feast of St. Isidore, the … Read more

The Jesuits Produce A Great Political Candidate

Joseph Cao is a Catholic lawyer and former Jesuit scholastic from New Orleans. He is running as a Republican for the Congressional 2nd district seat in Louisiana presently held by Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), who is best known for the $90,000 found in his freezer. The election will be held December 6. Few candidates for public office … Read more

From Darkness into Light

Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession Anne Rice, Knopf, 256 pages, $24 A decade ago, Anne Rice — the best-selling author of gothic tales of nocturnal bloodsuckers — found herself “Christ-haunted.” Statues of the saints, half-ruined Catholic churches, and the crucified Christ reignited the long dormant piety that suffused her New Orleans childhood. Flannery … Read more

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