Patrick Ferraro’s Remarkable Adoption Story

Here is an article I wrote for this month’s St. Anthony Messenger about a man’s search over five years and three countries to find his birth mother and the nun who helped him. Magazine publishing is so interesting: you have to turn in articles six months in advance! But here it is and I get goose bumps every time I read it – and I wrote it! The story has a B.K. rating (bring Kleenex).

The photo is of Sr. Mary Joan Baldino, FSP, and Patrick Ferraro.

November is National Adoption Month in the USA.

Patrick Ferraro’s (Amazing) Adoption Journey



Hollywood rips off Shakespeare: Henry V & Independence Day

Today a friend posted Kenneth Branagh’s St Crispan’s Day Speech from Henry V  on Facebook and I was reminded of one of Hollywood’s great rip offs of Shakespeare. Listen, compare it with Bill Pullman’s Independence Day speech from the film … enjoy! True, it’s old news, but a good example of extreme intertextuality!



President’s Speech Independence Day

Rare Austen letters cause excitement

Jane Austin

There are times when I wish I could be in New York – like to see this exhibition of Jane Austin’s letters and the handwritten manuscript Lady Susan.

Article by Claire Prentice
BBC News, New York

A major Jane Austen exhibition, which has opened in New York, is creating a huge stir among fans and cultural commentators.

Rare Austin Letters on Display in New York

Shakespeare the Bard of Rome? or Shakespeare and the Catholic question


There was a fascinating article in AMERICA a couple of weeks ago: The Bard of Rome: Shakespeare and the Catholic Question by Kathleen Doherty Fenty of Boston College.

Fenty gives a historical account of the debate about Shakespeare’s religious affiliation and brings it up to date. But what I like about her piece (and would love to read more about this topic) is what she says about drama vis-a-vis sermons:

“The theater seeks to entertain, preparing the heart and mind for reflection, while the purpose of sermons is to preach and instruct. Drama is never a sermon. And this would apply to the portrayal of Shakespeare as a proselytizing Protestant, papist renegade or atheist subversive. When ideology reduces a living drama to apologetics, voices of protest will inevitably be raised.”

And often, I contend, the message is lost on the unexpecting audience (and word will spread) but the choir (already converted) will appreciate the message because it reassures them.

This tension continues to exist between what people expect from films and television, for example, and what is produced. 

I hear the voice of Flannery O’Connor in this article… her spirit lives.

Anthony de Mello, SJ,  once wrote: “My friends, that the shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story.'”

Thank you, Dr. Fenty.