Your House as a Holy Place

Recognizing Signs of Heaven in Your Home

I have made a minuscule alteration in the title which the sponsors of this conference assigned to me for my speech. I think that in your brochures you will see this speech listed as “Your Home as a Holy Place.” I have no difficulty at all with that title; it is a good one. But for a particular (and very minor) reason, I am changing that word “home” to “house.” “Your House as a Holy Place.”

This will seem to be a quibble. But what I want to achieve by this change is simply a matter of pace, we might say. That is, I would like to move slightly more slowly into our topic. If we start with “home,” we have taken a leap, so to speak, since, as we all know, “it takes a heap o’ livin’ to make a house a home.” I am aware that that quotation from Edgar  A. Guest invites only catcalls and snorts from English departments, but I am so old that this sort of thing no longer bothers me. I know it is an insupportably sentimental sentiment; nevertheless, it has a point that serves my purpose.


Thomas Howard taught for many years at St. John's Seminary College, the Roman Catholic seminary of the archdiocese of Boston. Among his many works are the books Christ the Tiger, Evangelical Is Not Enough, Lead Kindly Light, On Being Catholic, and The Secret of New York Revealed, and a videotape series of 13 lectures on "The Treasures of Catholicism" (all from Ignatius Press).

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