Cardinal O’Malley’s Magnificent Address on Unity at Gordon College

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Poverty, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church18 Comments

One of the most remarkable addresses I have watched this year was on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of historic Gordon College (Massachusetts). Gordon College is the flagship evangelical college in New England. Like all such evangelical colleges it is openly growing into deeper relationship with Catholics with each passing year. This lecture marks one of the most wonderful calls … Read More

Two Modern Films That Define Us as Americans, Part Two

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Culture, Current Affairs, Immigration, Personal, Politics, Poverty, Race and Racism, The Church, The Future, The War on Terrorism20 Comments

In complete contrast with American Sniper the new film McFarland USA is a Disney movie. It is also based on a true story. It is an against-all-odds story of the 1987 McFarland high school cross country team in an economically challenged community in the central valley of California. Some reviewers think the film is “corny” and hopelessly romanticized. I found it … Read More

Alta Gracia – A Business Venture in the Developing World That Provides a Living Wage

John ArmstrongBusiness, Culture, Current Affairs, Economy/Economics, Poverty6 Comments

Every Sunday I record a program on PBS called “Religion & Ethics Weekly.” It is one of the finest programs I know on the major stories of the week in world religions. Several months ago I saw a broadcast that featured the story of Alta Gracia, an American company owned by a Catholic businessman in the U.S. Alta Gracia manufactures clothing. … Read More

Thomas Merton on the Catholicity of Ecumenism

John ArmstrongDiscipleship, Love, Mysticism, Personal, Poverty, Religion, Roman Catholicism, The Church, Unity of the Church7 Comments

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a writer and Trappist monk at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, not too far from Louisville. His writings include such classics as The Seven Storey Mountain, New Seeds of Contemplation, and Zen and the Birds of Appetite. Merton is the author of more than seventy books that include poetry, personal journals, collections of letters, … Read More

The Emotive Cry for Community

John ArmstrongActon Institute, Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Economy/Economics, Ethics, History, Ideology, Personal, Philosophy, Politics, Poverty, Religion, Roman Catholicism, Wealth10 Comments

Michael Novak, in his stirring memoir of a journey from left to right, devotes an entire chapter to community, as I noted yesterday. He writes: “One of life’s most time-consuming tasks is to achieve disagreement with an ideological opposite. Without blinking, you might object; ‘It’s not had to disagree. Heck! Most people do it all the time” (282). But aren’t … Read More

The War on Poverty Fifty Years Later

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Current Affairs, Economy/Economics, Poverty10 Comments

Fifty years today (January 8, 1964), in his first State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proposed a piece of legislation that came to be known as the “War on Poverty.” This legislation was proposed by the president in response to a national poverty rate that had reached around nineteen percent. The speech led the U.S. Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which … Read More

“Crips and Bloods: Made in America” – A Disturbing Film That Needs to Be Seen

John ArmstrongCulture, Current Affairs, Death, Marriage & Family, Poverty, Race and Racism1 Comment

The first image that you see, in the opening scenes of Stacy Peralta’s powerful documentary, “Crips and Bloods: Made in America,” is the central Los Angeles skyline turned upside down. I was enraptured with this image and thus was immediately taken into this urban scene in a unique visual way. It is both striking and unnerving. With this image of … Read More

Mutuality and Kinship with Those on the Margins

John ArmstrongCurrent Affairs, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Poverty, The Church, The Future2 Comments

Father Gregory “Greg” Joseph Boyle (1954) is an American Jesuit priest. He is the founder and Director of Homeboy Industries and the former pastor of Dolores Mission Church. Boyle earned his BA in English from Gonzaga University, an MA in English from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology, and a Sacred Theology Masters degree from the Jesuit School of Theology.[3] Before founding Homeboy Industries, Father Greg taught at Loyola High School and worked … Read More

James Meredith: An Idiosyncratic American

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Freedom, Politics, Poverty, Race and Racism, The FutureLeave a Comment

Yesterday I gave an overview of James Meredith’s new book, A Mission from God. Today I follow-up that blog with reflections on the final chapter of this moving civil rights memoir. After telling about his interesting and rather eccentric life James Meredith begins his final chapter by writing: I am an old man. I have spent almost eighty years on … Read More

Our Global Future – How Will We Respond?

John ArmstrongCurrent Affairs, Missional Church, Poverty, The Church, The Future, Wealth10 Comments

Growing population and poverty are inextricably linked together in the modern world. Very few Christians in America recognize this problem for what it is nor do they seriously discuss solutions and responses. It seems to me that a simple, basic expression of the love of God requires that we not only have this dialogue but that we prepare our churches … Read More