Reflecting on the March for Life

Last week, I went on the March for Life with over 600 Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross students.

The trip was entirely student-run and student-led.  As a faculty member, I tagged along semi-incognito and observed (as sociologists love to do).  I cannot say enough how impressed I was by the students, both the leaders (who did an outstanding job of organizing a very complicated and logistically challenging trip) and the other students I met and got to know.

Sarah Moran is going to write a post reflecting on her own experience and has promised some pictures, but I wanted to mention some of the smaller aspects of the trip there and back that touched me.  These were not part of the march itself–but they impacted me. Continue reading

On the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision

Below are some graphs worth reflecting on today (click on the pictures to view them at a larger size):

(from a tweet by Conrad Hackett at Pew)


The graph  above of the number of abortions by time is from Wonkblog at the Washington Post.  As is the one below, showing how view few states had repealed or liberalized anti-abortion laws prior to Roe v. Wade:


There are additional charts worth investigating at Wonkblog as well.  All of this should be food for thought and reflection as we contemplate what it means to evangelize our culture and ourselves with the good news of Christ.

Sociology and the Newtown Shootings

Almost exactly a month ago, a friend of mine wrote on facebook:

“My beautiful Emily just came bouncing off the bus, giant smile, big brown eyes gleaming, singing ‘Feliz Navidad,’ and I nearly lost it. Jesus. Not a good day for parents.”

As the father of a 5 year-old daughter in pre-K, I knew exactly what he meant.  In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, just interacting with my daughter (or son, who turns three later this week) left a lump in my throat. Continue reading

New Year’s Review: Who won “The Convo”?

Happy 2013!

Sorry, the blog has been silent for a bit, but with the new semester gearing up, we will begin posting again.  For an initial blog, I thought that we would give a brief review of The Catholic Conversation in 2012.  A big thank you to all of our contributors this past year:  Gary Adler, Carol Ann MacGregor, Mike McCallion, Lucas Sharma, Mike Cieslak, David DeLambo, Sarah Moran, and Linda Kawentel.  And thank you to all of our readers this past year as well!

By the Numbers:

In 2012, we had 84 posts, 7,018 visitors, and 17,872 page views.  The average time viewers spent on a page was 2 minutes 21 seconds.

The single most-viewed post was Linda Kawental’s “Habits in the News:  The Power of Image”  This post received 1,202 pageviews and the average viewer spent 3 minutes and 39 seconds viewing it.  So, Linda wins “The Convo” for 2012–the newly named (and newly created) yet prestigious award for they most popular post on The Catholic Conversation.  Congratulations Linda!

Who will win “The Convo” this year?  We shall find out over the next three hundred and some days.  By the way, let us know how we have done and what you would like to see more of in 2013.

photo by Michael Holden via Flickr