The Way of Beauty

July 01, 2015
The American Dream
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In 1943, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen made a prescient observation: “A proof that we are in danger of losing our freedom is that everyone is talking about it. Picture a group of men on a roof-top proclaiming in song and story the glories of architecture, while below saboteurs have already knocked out half the foundations of the house–and here you have the picture of modern freedom.” 

On this extended holiday weekend, Americans will proclaim in song and story the glories of our American...

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June 24, 2015
The Pope and the Planet
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Behold and see, how beautiful, we who are brothers sun, wind, air, clouds, fire, and brother stars; we who are sisters, moon, water, and sky.  See how wonderfully made!  

We who are visible and invisible matter, all living things—trees and flowers, birds of the air and living creatures large and small, animals, especially our canine companions and buddies:  Behold and see, how beautiful!  

Question us, and we brothers and sisters will confess our praise of you, O Beauty who never...

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June 17, 2015
Fathers and Their Families
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

From the time of Aristotle, men have reflected on the role of fathers and their family relationships.  The philosopher writes that the family is society’s basic social unit.  

Data about Fatherhood

The National Center for Fathering, a non-partisan agency, reports some appalling facts about fatherlessness in America.  More than twenty million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father—four out of ten.  Half of these children do not see them.  

Millions...

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June 10, 2015
Apostolate of the Laity: An Overview
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Not until Vatican II was the vocation of the laity brought into sharp focus.  Two thousand years earlier, the early Church was made up of bishops and lay disciples, at first Jewish converts, followed by those from all walks of life. The timid and the weak came.  The deeply religious followed.  Paul of Tarsus embraced The Way only after being knocked to the ground.  Then he summoned others to serve as his emissaries. 

How did the apostolic Church grow from a few frightened men and women to...

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June 03, 2015
Beautiful Minds, Beautiful People
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Last week’s tragic death of John Forbes Nash, Jr. and his wife, Alicia Nash prompted an immediate outpouring of emotion praising the Nobel Laureate from Princeton University.  Defined as “a beautiful mind,” Professor Nash was a math genius whose life story inspired the Oscar-winning film by the same title.

The Beautiful


One need not excel in academics or in any field to merit the descriptive, beautiful.  The beautiful may be seen in a nurse’s assistant who tenderly cares for the most...

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May 27, 2015
Stay with Us
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The songs of Irving Berlin have woven their way into the fabric of American life.  They’re a national treasure.  Occasionally, the lyrics can raise our minds heavenward. Take for example, the song, “I’ll be loving you, always.” 

In St. Matthew’s gospel for Trinity Sunday, Jesus speaks his final words to the disciples:  “I am with you always, yes, to the end of time.” In other words, ‘I’ll stay with you always . . . ‘I’ll be loving you, always, for I-AM-LOVE.’ 

The...

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May 20, 2015
Untying Knots
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Most of us love television mysteries. We follow our sleuth in detecting clues that will ultimately loosen the knots and solve the mystery.  Whether it’s Agatha Christie with Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Jessica Fletcher, or Columbo, Sherlock Holmes, Inspectors Lewis and Foyle, or Father Brown, they delight us with their unique approaches to solving mysteries. 

Greek and Roman Drama

In Greek tragedy, like Superman, the gods insert themselves into a knotted problem—it may deal with a...

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May 13, 2015
Celebrating Our Lady of Chartres
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

While the story of Fatima is well-known, that of Chartres still needs to be told.

In the 1940s, a French monk and a star-gazer made a curious discovery. He observed that in certain cities, the churches dedicated to Our Lady were strategically located in such a way as to outline the constellation Virgo.

Now Virgo is the second largest cluster of stars that form the outline of a woman carrying two sheaves of wheat.  Virgo’s brightest star, Spica, is bluish-white, traditionally Our Lady’s...

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May 05, 2015
Mothers of the Bible
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Mother’s Day has been celebrated throughout the world since the time of Ancient Greece.  Most countries designate the second Sunday in May to recognize mothers in a special way.   The Bible records the names of strong, courageous women—wives and mothers—who contributed mightily to the plan of salvation, and we call attention to those women in this essay.

Mothers of the Old Testament

Eve is the name we give to the mother of humankind.  She is followed by the saintly Sarah, Rebekah,...

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April 29, 2015
The Revolving Door
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

A few months ago, Jimmy Fallon, the late-night host at NBC, was reminiscing with his guest, Bill O’Reilly, about their common experience serving as altar boys at the Latin Mass.  Gleefully, they rattled off the prayers proud of their sure memories.  The host then asked his guest if he was still a practicing Catholic. Yes, Mr. O’Reilly nodded.  Then, eager to react, Mr. Fallon countered in his careless diction and in poor taste: “I don’t practice anymore.”

While many walk out or...

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