A Plea From an American Periphery, by Greg Cook

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By Greg Cook, Crisis Magazine, Dec. 27, 2022

Greg Cook is a writer living with his wife in New York’s North Country. He earned two master’s degrees, including one in public administration from The Evergreen State College. He is the author of two poetry collections: Against the Alchemists, and A Verse Companion to Romano Guardini’s ‘Sacred Signs’.


Pope Francis wants Catholics to go to the “peripheries,” but have the pope and other Church leaders ignored the American peripheries?

One constant refrain throughout the pontificate of Pope Francis has been to go to the peripheries.

Greg Cook

The church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents and of all misery.

To that, I think many can add “Amen!” But…what, or where, counts as a periphery? I propose to answer by looking at one small part of the U.S. …