“The new go-to primer”: Review in The Journal of Church and State

My book, Struggle, Condemnation, Vindication: John Courtney Murray’s Journal toward Vatican II, is the subject of a substantial review in the spring 2017 issue of the Journal of Church and State. I’m pleased to note that reviewer Chris Staysniak, of Boston College, has some very nice things to say.

He opens by saying that the book “breathes new life” into the Murray story. He writes: “Hudock is at his best when synthesizing the complex details of theological arguments for a non-specialist audience. Making dense scholarly debate so smooth and accessible a read is no small feat. His ability to be clear and succinct is a rare gift among scholars who, when in doubt, tend to write longer and with greater density.” (I gotta tell you, that’s gratifying, because I worked hard while writing that book, trying to nail that very task.)

Finally, Staysiak concludes, “For all those interested in Murray’s fundamental ideas about church-state relations, this is the new go-to primer.”

More info in the book is here.

 

 

 

New The Priest article on widespread diocesan reorganizations

The May issue of The Priest includes my new article, “Reorganization Nation,” on the now commonplace practice of large-scale diocesan parish reorganization. These processes respond, of course, to the realities facing Catholic dioceses in many parts of the U.S. today. The article explores the reasons for the trend, the principles that are taking priority in carrying them out, and the expected results.

The article is here.

New OSV article on the new Lectionary Supplement

This month the Church in the United States receives a new liturgical book, the Lectionary for Mass Supplement. Since the current Lectionary was published (between 1998 and 2002), several new elements have been added to the liturgical calendar that call for new sets of readings for Mass. Of course, many new saints and their feast days are an important part of that. There are also new votive Masses. And there’s a fascinating new option for a Mass on the Vigil of Pentecost. Readings for all of this, and more, are provided in the new Lectionary for Mass Supplement.

My OSV Newsweekly article on the new Lectionary volume is here.

New in The Priest: “A Civil Holiday with a Catholic Twist”

My new article on various ways that Catholic parishes celebrate Thanksgiving Day appears in the November issue of The Priest. Here are the opening grafs:

Let’s be clear from the start: Thanksgiving Day in the United States is a civil holiday, not a Catholic one. But it’s hard to deny the holiday’s religious themes and its profound resonance with Catholic faith and values.

President Abraham Lincoln, when declaring it a national holiday in 1863, spoke of it as a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Thanksgiving certainly holds a place in the hearts of Catholic families as large as in those of other Americans. And the values it celebrates — gratitude to God, freedom and dignity, unity among families and peoples — are Catholic to the core.

For these reasons, observing Thanksgiving among Catholic parish communities in the United States is both common and fitting. Let’s take a look at the ways some parishes across the nation do it.

This is my first time on the pages (and webpages) of The Priest, so I’m excited about that. You can find the entire article online here.

On Mother Teresa and her legacy, new in OSV

With the canonization of Mother Teresa by Pope Francis coming up on Sunday, September 4, Our Sunday Visitor has posted two related articles I’ve written.

The first is a biographical piece, recounting her fascinating and awe-inspiring life — which included a dramatic mystical experience, a surprising spiritual secret known to almost no one while she lived, and an iron will to make God’s love known to the poor. (This article includes a sidebar that considers several criticisms of Mother Teresa that you sometimes come across.) You’ll find all that here.

The second is a look at the ways her legacy is still being carried out very concretely today. Everyone knows she founded the order of sisters known as the Missionaries of Charity, but did you know there’s a long list of other orders and organizations as well? You’ll find that article here.

What a remarkable figure. Just preparing the articles called me to a deeper faith and greater love.

St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.