I am pleased to report that First Things magazine has published a short essay of mine on "America as a Catholic Country." It contemplates the Catholic character of our country particularly as that found expression in my long poem, The River of the Immaculate Conception. I'm told that reviews of that book are soon to appear, but for the moment, perhaps you will enjoy hearing a little about what one can learn from listening to one's first teachers (click the icon to read the whole thing):
For Michigan, surrounded by the Great Lakes, was among the places the French missionaries and traders came centuries ago, moving by canoe along the navigable bodies of water, to encounter the Indians, trade with them, live alongside them, and instruct them in the gospel. This communion of the French Jesuits with the Indians was one of several founding moments of America. The Jesuits at every opportunity consecrated places and events to Our Lady, no such instance of which is more striking than Jacques Marquette’s naming the Mississippi the River of the Immaculate Conception. Through these acts of prayer, this offering of the land to the Mother of God, they consecrated America, piece by piece, as a Catholic country.
If it is not too much to mention America as a Catholic country and the North American Anglican in the same place, let me also make the following announcement. In keeping with my more or less fortuitous practice of pairing new prose pieces with recently published poems, let me conclude by providing a link to "Sunlight," a very short poem of mine that has just been published in the North American Anglican magazine. It is one of five poems to be published online, in that magazine, over the next several months, and which will be collected in a new anthology, to be released soon.
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