Health of the Nation by Karl D. Stephan

Feature

Health of the Nation

A Deathbed Reflection on Catholic Social Teaching & Our Future Prospects

There isn't much to see on Interstate 35 on the long drive from Wichita, Kansas, through Oklahoma and on down to Austin, Texas. Once I passed the tollbooth on the outskirts of Wichita, there were only miles of flat prairie, mostly fields plowed up for the spring planting. I had plenty of time to think about what I had been doing, and what I had been reading.

Seven days earlier, I had flown to Wichita to help my wife take care of her dying sister Phyllis. By many measures of the world, Phyllis had led a fortunate life. Her husband had a well-paying job that enabled them to live in a large, comfortably furnished house and send their son to an exclusive private school. But she had known misfortune as well. After she had borne two daughters, her first marriage ended in divorce. Phyllis's first husband was the kind of Christian who gives Christianity a bad name. When she divorced him, she also divorced organized religion of any kind and never looked back.

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