Commentaries

The downsides to an easier SAT

The new SAT will have no penalty for a wrong answer, no "difficult" vocabulary words, no essay writing -- and no challenge to thinking, writes columnist Steve Kent. He questions the drive to lower the bar, de-emphasize thinking and abandon perfectly good words.

The Catholic parish in the 21st century

Jesuit Father William Byron reflects on the 10th anniversary of Villanova University's Center for Church Management and Business Ethics, and a seminar on parish life for the occasion. Considering how parishes can revitalize, he cautions that without deeper understanding of the Eucharist, we could wind up with mega-parishes and malnourished parishioners.

A must-see film for the Lenten season

Columnist Effie Caldarola recommends the film "Tokimane," which was filmed in Congo. The title is an expression used often by the people there, meaning, "We must hold each other." It's a thought that should inspire us all during Lent.

The mind of God behind the beauty of nature

Columnist Father Eugene Hemrick has faced the same gray winter weather as the rest of us. But now he faces a springtime, at least in his area's botanical garden, that is literally breathtaking.

Now’s the time to plan for retirement, not just financially

People hope for retirement but when it comes, many are unprepared physically, emotionally and even for a possible change in their relationship with their spouse, writes columnist Maureen Pratt.

Surprise — federal money isn’t fixing marriage

Everyone recognizes strong marriages are good for society, so the federal government spends about $60 million, or $11,000 per couple, in a marriage program. But it doesn't work, Catholic University of America president John Garvey writes.

A church of ‘yes’ may emerge from a church of ‘no’

The church's current challenge of finding a way to deal with divorce -- a pastoral "yes" -- while adhering to consistent teaching on marriage -- a doctrinal "no" -- might be resolved with an attitude of love, writes columnist Steve Kent.

Loss of job, arrival of troubles, puts strain on a marriage

The dark clouds of difficulties in various forms hit every marriage, but Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain share some strategies for couples to cope with the hard times and grow closer.

The growing presence of the ‘just-in-time’ professor

Columnist Father William Byron says use of adjunct college professors as piecemeal workers points to a growing phenomena: cost-cutting, job insecurity and unionization on college campuses. Not all Catholic colleges support unionized professors, he writes.

Subsidiarity, solidarity and making tough decisions in Pa.

Contributor Amy Hill discusses two bedrock Catholic social teachings and how they can be applied to difficult issues such making health care for the poor in Pennsylvania a moral priority.