As a woman who tries to live out Benedictine values as a layperson connected with a particular monastery, I try to spend at least a week every year at St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota.
When Matt Murray is 13 years old, his mother, a gifted writer and an unconventional Catholic, dies. His father, an official in the Washington, D.C., city government, suddenly changes jobs. He functions poorly as a single parent, and the family, a sister and two brothers, begins to drift apart.
In a predictably condescending article on North Dakota in a recent New Yorker (February 18-25), Mark Singer quoted Doug Burgum of Microsoft Great Plains: “We have this deep-seated Scandinavian, Teutonic outlook—a combination of dark Lutheranism and German Catholicism, which adds up to a primal sense that somehow we’re not worthy.” Dakotans are losers?
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