U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 74, No. 4, April

A Cinderella Story: St. Germaine Cousin's Fairy-Tale Ending Was Sainthood, but the Moral of Her Story Is a Call to Care for Victims of Child Abuse, Not Celebrate Her Suffering
I FIRST ENCOUNTERED HER IN A COLD STONE church in Perigueux, France. She stood in a corner, a young shepherdess with a plaster lamb looking up at her trustingly. Something about her--maybe the dark apricot color of her dress, or the surprising plainness...
Crying Uncle: No One Can Strike Terror in the Heart of a Grownup Quite like a 16-Year-Old Girl
Many people call me "Father" (I'm a Catholic priest), but I've only had three Clays of on-the-job experience as a full-time parent. My sister and brother-in-law took their oldest off to college and asked me to watch the other three, ages 16, 13, and...
Damned If We Do: Are We Calculating the True Costs of Potentially Earth-Shattering Development Projects?
IN WHAT MAY TURN OUT TO BE THE MOTHER OF ALL cautionary tales for development economics, geologists around the world are beginning to suspect that a large dam project in southern China may have been the triggering event for the devastating 2008 earthquake...
Feedback
The most extreme party I've ever attended or heard about was ... When the mother paid to have the local fire department bring the fire truck to the party. Stacey Nicholas Canton, Mo. A first-year party for triplets that included an Elvis...
Feet First: We Kick off the Easter Triduum with a Tradition That Helps to Keep Our Faith Sure-Footed
WHEN THE CHURCH GATHERS ON THE NIGHT of Holy Thursday, its business is to leave the 40 days of Lent and enter the Triduum, the three days at the heart of the Catholic community's life. So whether Lent has been strenuous or a disaster, we leave it behind...
Gran Torino
GRAN TORINO Directed by Clint Eastwood (Warner Brothers, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For three decades Clint Eastwood made his bread and butter celebrating the American myth of heroic violence, playing nameless cowboys and rogue cops who...
Let Them Just Eat Cake: Limos, Tiaras, and Build-A-Bears, Oh My! It's Time to Rein in the Birthday Madness and Return to Some Old-Fashioned Fun, Games, and Values
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] OUR FAMILY'S INITIATION TO THE NEW ERA OF children's birthday parties began when our first child was 9 months old. I accepted an invitation to a birthday bash at an exclusive club. More than 40 guests attended a catered affair...
Moral Kombat: How Much Should We Worry about the Daily Dose of Interactive, Virtual Murder and Mayhem in Our Kids' Lives?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] VIDEO GAMES FIRST CAME TO AN ARCADE OR HOME near yours in 1972 with the likes of Pong and Odyssey. By the early 1990s these tiddlywinks games had been replaced by richly interactive and violent games like Mortal Kombat and...
Parental Guidance Suggested: Let's Agree That We've Done a Poor Job Passing on the Faith to the Current Crop of Catholic Adolescents. OK, Now What Do We Do about It?
Sean Reynolds cheerfully agreed to torpedo tired old thinking at the National Symposium on Adolescent Catechesis last November. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The symposium, dreamed up by Catholic leaders who have been staying up nights worrying about...
Show & Tell: Six Ways to Teach Your Children the Faith
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Handing on the faith to one's children is a learn-as-you-go thing. Often you find your heart in your mouth, like the day you drove off from the hospital with your first baby and thought wildly, "They're letting us take this...
Someone Old, Someone New: Cradle Catholics and Those New to the Faith Can Be a Match Made in Heaven
ONE OF MY MOST VIVID CHILDHOOD CHURCH memories involves a late-night Mass and a big Tupperware bowl. I was in the third grade, watching my father get baptized at the Easter Vigil, and that plastic bowl was the nearest thing to a font that could fit...
Step Away from the Laundry: Don't Let Chores Distract You from a Fulfilling Spiritual Life
I WOULD BE A MUCH MORE SPIRITUAL PERSON IF I DIDN'T need to do the laundry. Our parish offers excellent adult education programs on matters of faith and also has various types of prayer groups. The programs are offered in the evening on just about...
Tough Love: Having a Child with Special Needs Can Test One's Faith in God and in the Parish Community
As a theologian Mary Beth Walsh of Maplewood, New Jersey had studied about suffering and injustice. But not until Walsh learned that her son, Benedict, had autism did she really understand what she had learned. "When Ben was diagnosed, my first...
We Are Family: Calling Each Other Brothers and Sisters Isn't Just a Churchy Cliche, It's a Call to Care for One Another
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN CHRIST," the homilist begins. As I glance around the assembly at Mass, already I doubt this well-meaning preacher. My sisters and brothers gathered here this morning are comprised of several races,...
What's the Difference?
Children with special needs, children with disabilities, differently abled children: How many neutral-ish phrases have we concocted to describe those kids of ours who are different from all those other kids of ours? And in what way are they different?...
Who Are the Lefebvrites, and Are They Catholic?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), whose members are commonly known as "Lefebvrites" after their founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, is a group of about 150,000 former Roman Catholics who disagree with elements of the Second...
Who Do We Think We Are? the Church Isn't Always the Loving Body of Christ We Imagine Ourselves to Be. James Carroll Nevertheless Defends Our Faith in God, Who Saves Us Imperfect Human Beings from Ourselves
One of the best people I know volunteers in a church-sponsored soup kitchen in a big city. I visited him recently and was deeply moved to watch as he and other volunteers graciously and respectfully served their "guests," beleaguered men and women...
Working on a Dream
WORKING ON A DREAM Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Columbia, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For 36 years now, Bruce Springsteen has been redefining the "rock star" job description. He was the clean and sober guy in a flannel shirt...