Faith at the Edge

“In New Orleans, even the smallest actions are infused with a sacramental quality, and the traditions of the city – Carnival, king cakes, St. Joseph’s Altars – are so wrapped up in the liturgical year and Catholic tradition that they constitute a lived catechesis. When I moved north as an adult, I worried that my faith had been improperly formed, that it was merely cultural, intuitive, not intellectual enough. Now, I wonder if growing up in New Orleans wasn’t the best way to absorb the mysteries of faith. Baptized or not, when you live there, you take in Catholicism with the wet, heavy air you’re forced to breathe. We were taught by example the importance of ritual, symbol, and paradox. We lived in a parish, not a county. I’d never heard the words secular culture. It’s a beautiful thing – now that I’m a thousand miles away, when I get homesick, I go to church.”

– Jessica Griffith, from “After Katrina”


  1. Viva Nola, baby!!!!!

    As the tattered bumper sticker on my car says,

    “Be a New Orleanian—wherever you are.”

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