Catholic Distance University

Holy Thursday

Sarah DeCorla-Souza

Today, I washed your tiny feet in the kitchen sink,
the left one cupped in my hand like a closed mussel shell.
I cleaned in between your pebble toes,
around your calloused heel, hardened
from two years of climbing patio chairs
and dancing on linoleum.
The layers of grime from a backyard afternoon
peeled away as if I were an archeologist
excavating an ancient piece of earthenware. [Read more...]

Sanctification: A Comedy of Error

Br. Bruno M. Shah

I. Playing A Part

During the first days at the seminary, the Master of Students gathers the newly arrived to discover what practical talents are available for the community’s benefit. (We blithely refer to the house’s chores as “privileges.”) Each of our sixty men has some share in the work of home—maintenance—this brother is handy with electrical equipment, that brother has a background in carpentry, this brother is literate in computers, et cetera. Well, this brother claimed that he could cut hair. And for an order that vows evangelical poverty, getting haircuts for free is what philosophers call a “useful good.” [Read more...]

Communion of the Saints

Shannon Berry

On the first of November, All Saints’ Day, my boyfriend Kim and I drive nearly an hour away to an ecumenical bonfire on the southern shore of Lake Superior. Two Lutheran girls from the university I attend as a graduate student cram themselves into the miniscule, low-ceilinged backseat of my Toyota, as I try to carefully maneuver the bumpy country roads and the new fallen snow. I apologize in advance for giving them headaches. As we drive, we talk about hometowns and courses and the difficulties of getting students involved in our various organizations, ours the Catholic campus ministry, theirs the Lutheran. The conversation surfaces but never dives; we stay in the safe territory of small talk. [Read more...]

Tenebrae

Katy Carl

Victor had never thought about his own name before. Now that he did, he hated it. It didn’t fit him; he was nothing like Christ, the victor over death. He was not strong. He did not succeed. He had only ever managed one good thing, and that was to lose the next best thing he had ever known—Ella—in favor of the best, a vocation. This loss, which he had been so used to thinking of as a gain, did not feel like triumph anymore. Today, wounds he’d thought had healed were open. Today, it again felt like loss. [Read more...]

The Gift

Brendan A. McGrath

“Credenti omnia convertuntur in Christum…”
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

Offertory

It wasn’t what I’d imagined. No diamond that would have rested on her finger like a bud upon a twig, ready to flower in the evening. No darkened pearl concealing a faded, otherworldly light that had once glimmered with a lunar enchantment. It was just a simple, gold band. I measured it: nine-tenths of a centimeter wide, with a diameter of a centimeter and seven-tenths. It wasn’t particularly lovely—it had lots of scratches, and “smudged” was the first word that came to mind. [Read more...]

The Priest Hole

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

We have made a league… cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons.
—St. Edmund Campion,
executed at Tyburn on 17 June 1582.
Written to the Lords of her Majestie’s Privy Council.

The sky was clear save for a small cluster of clouds—more ornamental than brimming over with sinister purpose. The sun was discreet; he did not ostentatiously command the scene, but neither did he make a timid entrance and huddle close to the horizon. The leaves rustled and made merry in the trees. Nature lay complacent and unknowing in the brisk autumn air of an English countryside. [Read more...]

St. Hope of Rome

Matthew Alderman

St. Hope of Rome

St. Hope of Rome

I began St. Hope of Rome, Virgin and Martyr as a belated birthday present to a college friend who was part of the generation left behind at Notre Dame when I graduated. Doing art as a gift is always a pleasure, as it forces me not only to finish my work, but also to share myself, and to create a work that taps into the general patrimony of mankind, something set apart from me and capable of being shared with others. The gift becomes common ground: It takes me out of myself to a small degree, which is intensely important for a Christian artist. My best works are often gifts for friends and family. [Read more...]

Lent/Easter 2007

Feature

Mark C. Henrie, The Telos of a University

Fiction

Eleanor Donlon,
The Priest Hole

Brendan A. McGrath,
The Gift

Katy Carl,
Tenebrae

Drama

Kate Bluett,
Mr. and Mrs. Every

Poetry

Sarah DeCorla-Souza,
Holy Thursday

Simeon Lewis,
Song of Morning

Maria D. Byars,
Then We Shall Know Fully

Cristina A. Montes,
Good Friday

Michael Baruzzini,
Perfection

Kathryn Husing,
Good Friday: A Ballad

Cristina A. Montes,
New Year Countdown

John Rieping,
Drowning

J.B. Toner,
The Kingdom of Heaven

Essays

Shannon Berry,
The Communion of Saints

Br. Bruno Shah, O.P.,
Sanctification: A Comedy of Error

Art and Prose

Matthew Alderman,
St. Hope of Rome

Art and Photography

Janice Walker,

Patrick Anderson,

Tricia Phipps,

Whitney Wolf,

www.bringuptospeed.com