Things Worth Dying For, by Francis X. Maier

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March 4, 2021

Archbishop Chaput

By Francis X. Maier, The Catholic Thing, March 3, 2021

Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a senior research associate in Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He served as senior aide to Archbishop Charles Chaput for twenty-three years.


Charles Chaput retired as Philadelphia’s archbishop exactly one year ago, and for him at least, it’s been a quiet and very private twelve months.  Private, but not unproductive.  Henry Holt Ltd, an imprint of Macmillan, will publish his latest book – Things Worth Dying For: Thoughts on a Life Worth Living – on March 16.  The reader will find in its pages Chaput’s most memorable and moving work; but then, along with many others, I helped with the research as the archbishop completed his drafts.  So a review is better left to different voices.

There are three brief passages from his forthcoming book that are, nonetheless, worth sharing here and especially now.  He writes:

As a young bishop decades ago, I spent hours reading anything I could about leadership.  People deserve good leaders. Great leaders seem to be born with special skills, and are therefore rare.  But most persons have at least some seeds of leadership in their character; seeds that need just a little courage, wisdom, desire, and self-mastery to grow.  …