The Catholic Thing: Lou Holtz at Franciscan University SteubenvilleBy: Michael J. Matt | Editor
I’m not saying they’re saints, and obviously they aren’t. I’m not even saying they’re the “greatest generation” because I don’t know what that means. But there is something different about them, something about their formation that was basically good and that they imbibed with their Catholic mothers' milk. Whatever it is, it's an intangible that is getting so hard to find in our progressive new age where everyone is becoming flat, faithless, boring and obscene.
I wonder what the world is going to look like and sound like and feel like when these old Catholic guys are gone, and in their wake cold atheists and apostates will be called in to give the commencement addresses, coach the teams, hold the offices. What will they say? What will make them interesting? What will give them character? Why will we want to listen when what formed them is so uninteresting compared to what came before?
The old Catholic Church before it became “relevant and modernized” had such a powerful impact on society, not only on souls but on character, on right living, on humor, on Faith, on neighborhoods, on sports, on LIFE! Catholic nuns, despite the hellish smear campaign against them, helped form whole generations of interesting people.
The great Jesuit schools all across the country, named for the missionaries who first brought Christ to the New World. And all the Catholic highschools and universities, such as Notre Dame, before it lost the faith after Vatican II, formed the movers and shakers of industry, academia, finance, sports, development, the arts, you name it.
The priests, the orphanages, the soup kitchens, the rest homes, the neighborhoods, the big Catholic families, the people—the Catholic thing formed the bedrock of what was right and good and happy and fun about America. But where has it gone? Why is it dying? What will replace it when it’s gone? Atheism? GLAAD? Theology of the Body? Puh-leeze!
Check out this video. There’s nothing particularly profound about it, but it calls to mind a sense of wholesomeness, faith, homespun wisdom, and innocence not often seen anymore—and the little things, the hints, the reminders of Catholic family and faith that formed guys like Holtz—guys that are fading away, guys whose character and sense of humor and faith in Jesus Christ are becoming artifacts of an age fast fading away and not soon to return.
But, hey, we got gay marriage and abortion on demand. We got divorce and remarriage. We got empty churches and those "evil nuns" are all gone now. We have new evangelization. We have a new world order to replace the old one full of grace and truth...and interesting people.
And we got Vatican II...
Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000. Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.