The common good has been invoked in discussions surrounding our charge to stay at home, to physically distance ourselves from others, and to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19. Each one of us has been called to pick up our particular crosses: working on the front lines, isolating at home with no one else around, or living on top of one another—kids and parents vying for space. We see grandparents and grandkids through glass walls, unable to give or receive hugs, we spend time with friends via FaceTime and Zoom, and we pray at home instead of joining with our faith community in prayer and sacrifice at the church in celebrating the most holy sacrament of the Mass.
When I heard that there was to be yet another film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women, I cringed. Don’t get me wrong, I love the March sisters. But the film industry has subjected viewers to scores of reboots these past few years—the endless array of Spider-Man movies and the live action Disney updates are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. While some remakes have been critical and popular successes (see 2018’s Best Picture nominee A Star is Born, for example), many of these cinematic reboots are a far cry from the original material that inspired them (see 2016’s Ben-Hur; or better yet, don’t see 2016’s Ben-Hur; stick to the 1959 classic). Hence my reaction to yet another film version of Little Women, which, over the last 100 years—in other words, since the dawn of the motion picture—has been made and remade for film and television more than a dozen times. I was worried that this latest version of Little Women, when compared to Gillian Armstrong’s beloved 1994 adaptation, was going to be a profound disappointment.
Over a kosher breakfast several months ago, a good friend and I—both new mothers and in transitory phases of life—speculated about where we might eventually settle down and what our ideal geographical and social living situations would look like.
This past June, Archbishop José Gomez visited the University of Notre Dame to address Catholic leaders from around the country who were on campus for Liturgy Week and other conferences hosted by the McGrath Institute for Church Life. In keeping with Liturgy Week’s theme, “Liturgy and the Domestic Church,” the Archbishop’s talk centered on the importance of the family and the need to discover ways that the Church can nourish and support family life.
I’m known among my friends and family as a staunch curmudgeon when it comes to technology – particularly regarding kids, teens and our collective use of smartphones and social media. Back in 2007, I peered at ads of the forthcoming iPhone with lots of suspicion and a little fear, much like the way one looks at a feral cat. Surely, it was the beginning of the end.