Why America’s First Saint Stopped Trying to Convert Her Neighbors to Catholicism

In the Early 19th Century, Elizabeth Seton Concluded That Proselytizing Undermined Social Harmony

Elizabeth Seton, for whom hundreds of Catholic parishes and schools are named, was the first native-born American citizen to be made a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Her 1975 canonization was the result of decades of labor by admirers who sought evidence of Seton’s “heroic virtue”—and miracles. Those admirers, who oversaw Seton’s presentation in Rome, also shaped an enduring story about the society in which Seton, who was born in 1774 and died in 1821, lived.

Emphasizing Seton’s courage in the face of anti-Catholic prejudice, the story fits …

Pope Francis Is Making a Big Mistake

Visiting America and Skipping California Is Like Going to Italy Without Seeing Rome

Dear Pope Francis,

You may be infallible, but your scheduler? Not so much.

The itinerary for your highly anticipated trip to the United States this September defies belief: You are only visiting …

Pope Francis Sends His Regrets

Why Are So Many Politicians, Religious Leaders, and Regular Folks Sending Invitations to the New Head of the Roman Catholic Church?

For Pope Francis, this has been a season of invitations. First, he toured the Holy Land, as guest of honor for heads of state, religious leaders, and ordinary people alike. …

Gay—and Returning to Mass

How a Funeral, a Pope, and the Passage of Time Brought Me Back to a Tender, More Forgiving Church

I set foot in a Catholic church today for the first time in decades. I am one of those lapsed Catholics you’ve heard about. There are millions of us around …

Why We Can’t Stop Loving Saints

We No Longer Sleep With Hallowed Bones, But Our Affection For Heavenly Intercessors Is Still Going Strong

Wildly famous. Frequently scandalous. Speakers of truth to power. Action heroes. Acclaimed by the people. Romantic, rebellious, charismatic, inspirational. These were just a few of the ways saints were described …

Pick a Saint, Any Saint

We All Want Someone Upstairs Looking After Us. Which Patron Saint Would You Choose?

It’s the week of Halloween, that legacy of All Hallows’ Eve, and sainthood is thus in the air. Many of us have role models. Some of us also have (we …