February 1 marked the beginning of Black History Month, an annual observance honoring African Americans and recognizing their importance in American history. This year’s celebration is especially important due to the continued prominence of racism and the national failure to make tangible progress with regard to race relations, especially in the treatment of African Americans.
This past Friday marked the 48th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America. This coming Friday marks the 48th annual March for Life, a rally that upholds the sanctity of human life from conception through natural death and protests the tragedy of abortion. While the March for Life is traditionally a large-scale event held in Washington, D.C., due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year it will consist only of a small group of leaders in the pro-life movement, with the rest of the country invited to participate virtually in the national rally.
I was recently invited to be a guest on Church Life Today, the McGrath Institute’s radio program and podcast, where I chatted with my colleague and show host Lenny DeLorenzo about Advent music and Christmas movies. Here is my personal list (emphasis on personal!) of 25 films that I watch nearly every holiday season. For the most part, I’ve ranked them in an order that contains a sort of ‘progressive solemnity’—moving from vaguely holiday-adjacent movies toward those that delve deeply into ‘the meaning of Christmas.’
We at the McGrath Institute for Church Life want to observe and celebrate Thanksgiving in a special way. On our radio show and podcast, Church Life Today, we shared five passages about the Eucharist and thanksgiving, with reflections to guide us into rediscovering how an exchange of thanksgiving occurs in the Sacrament of Sacraments. We know, of course, that the holiday Thanksgiving is not itself about the Eucharist. But this civic holiday is probably the closest in character to our religious holidays, and all the more because it is a feast dedicated to giving thanks. For those who revere and adore the Eucharist, we know that being transformed by that particular and unique “thanksgiving” should shape and transform our entire lives.