U.S. Catholic

This magazine publishes news, opinions and reviews about issues concerning the everyday lives of Catholics.

Articles from Vol. 66, No. 4, April

Dad's Excellent Adventures
When my mother and father came back to Chicago after World War II and found an apartment, the first piece of furniture my father bought for his family was a carved mahogany bookcase. As his children came along, he stacked it with clothbound editions...
Famous Last Words
Seven prominent religious and community leaders from different Christian traditions reflect on Jesus' Seven Last Words from the cross. The final words of a dying person are precious to those left behind. When time is short, one has a chance to speak...
Hardwired for God?
Using a brain-imaging machine called SPECT, researcher Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania has found that during Buddhist meditation and other forms of religious contemplation, a sector of the brain becomes calmed, a phenomenon that translates...
How Do We Rise from the Dead?
The English painter Stanley Spencer has a wonderful painting depicting the resurrection of the dead set in his parish graveyard at Cookham: A wife and her husband come out of the tomb with the wife adjusting her spouse's tie; Spencer's wife is half...
I Promise to Do My Best
How one community struggles with the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policies. LAST FALL, WHEN HE PUT ON HIS SCOUT UNIFORM for the first time after the summer break, my 11-year-old son proudly announced, "I'm going all the way up. I'm going to be an Eagle...
Odds & Ends
April 23 is an extraordinarily charged holy day. The world's preeminent playwright and best psychologist burst his way onto the world's stage on this day back in 1564. William Shakespeare, born in the out-of-the-way English village Stratford-upon-Avon,...
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
The Runaway Bunny, Old Turtle, Harry Potter, and Aslan the Lion: U.S. CATHOLIC readers love them all--and what their books teach kids about spirituality. One of the biggest trackable trends over the past 10 years has been the burgeoning religious...
Once upon an Empty Tomb
The gospel stories of Easter morning invite everyone to come and see for themselves. WE CHRISTIANS ARE AN ODD BUNCH. ONCE A year, we ritually gather at the mouth of a cave, scrunch down, peer into the dark, and look at--nothing. There's nothing...
Open Their Eyes to Beauty
If your child's picture books don't burst with truth and beauty, says children's artist and author Brian Wildsmith, don't even bother to read them. Little ones deserve one the best. At conception a child's soul is like an empty book in which anything...
Pray without Ceasing
THE EDITORS INTERVIEW PHYLLIS TICKLE Halfway into our interview with Phyllis Tickle, the alarm on her watch beeped. It was noon. Time to pray--as she does every three hours throughout the day. Call it saying the breviary, saying the divine office,...
Taxation without Equal Education
Property-tax inequities make a mockery of public education's promise. GEORGE W. BUSH HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AS the nation's nearly duly-elected chief executive officer with an education reform package meant to bring new federal attention to ailing...
The Spiritual Reading Life of Children
To wrestle with serious fiction is to wrestle with God, says acclaimed children's novelist Katherine Paterson. Even children need to know their own depths. For the past 35 years I have been a writer of novels for children and young people. My graduate...
Were You There?
Let the slow, poignant shuffle begin--the Veneration of the Cross. A PRIEST PRONE, HIS FACE TO THE FLOOR, HIS ARMS stretched like broken wings. The chapel silent and expectant. Thorny-voiced Isaiah: "He was despised and forsaken; he was pierced...
What in Hell Can We Believe?
For many people, the concept of hell conjures up images of a fiery place full of horned creatures wielding pitchforks. Theologian Lawrence Cunningham explains what the church really teaches. Their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and...