U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 75, No. 11, November

A Good Rep: Congressman Joseph Cao's House Work Includes Cleaning Up after Disasters and Standing Up for His Values
Facing tragedy is nothing new for Louisiana Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, the first Vietnamese American to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Whether war, hurricanes, or now the worst environmental disaster in this country's history, Cao--inspired by his Catholic...
America the Anxious: Only Our Better Angels Can Guide Us to Interreligious Understanding
AMERICAN POLITICS ALWAYS SEEMS TO TURN ON the next threat to our security, especially in an election year. Warnings about hordes of brown-skinned Spanish-speaking "illegals" had kept the nation on high alert through most of 2010, but as elections drew...
A Rite to Remember: Music and Ritual Fill the Space around Death When Words Fail Us
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Three deaths in one year lingered in the mind, the sadness unresolved. My friend Kathy had battled inflammatory breast cancer for two years, fighting to stay alive for her husband, young son, and daughter. She died at the...
Can Fair Trade Grow beyond Just Coffee?
Sunday Mass has ended at St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church in Fairfax, Virginia, and parishioners are filing out. Deb Caskey stands in waiting, a smile on her face, a mission in her soul, and a table filled with coffee and chocolate at her side....
Coffee Klatsch
About 30 years ago I was part of a small Third World action group we had in our German parish. Organized by the parish s first full-time lay minister, our motley crew of youth and young adults tried both to educate ourselves about international justice...
Day by Day: Thirty Years after Her Death, Dorothy Day's Letters and Diaries Reveal an Ordinary but Committed Woman Trying to Put Love Where There Was None
There is probably no more famous image of Dorothy Day than the iconic photo by Bob Fitch that shows her seated with a look of utter tranquility between two armed and imposing police officers. That photo was taken in 1973 when she was 75. The occasion...
Hope against Hope: Politicians This Season Will Try to Sell You Anything-Voter Beware
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THIS NOVEMBER BRINGS US THE START OF ADVENT, THAT season of hope in which we wait for Christ's birth. Like other Novembers, the month also brings us the close of the election cycle, a different season of hope, also commonly...
I Need a Hero: Teach Kids about the Saints-They'll Learn That Ordinary People Can Do Extraordinary Things
A BOY AND HIS FATHER SAT BESIDE MY HUSBAND AND me in the visitor center at the Alamo last weekend. The guide pretends the father is a hero of the Alamo: "Let's say you're Jim Bowie. You're married to the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in town....
Internal Medicine: The Debate about Death with Dignity Needs the Wisdom of the Catholic Spiritual Traditions, Says This Physician and Bioethicist
If you've never had to make an end-of-life decision for a loved one, you probably will one day. Eighty percent of hospital deaths now involve an explicit decision to stop some form of treatment. When you make this decision, your stress level will be...
Is Dia De Los Muertos the Same as All Souls Day?
For three days every year Mexicans and Mexican Americans gather for Dia de los Muertos. In cemeteries and homes people come together to remember their deceased loved ones. The last of those days, November 2, falls on the traditional Commemoration of...
Let's Bury the Eulogy: A Catholic Funeral Mass Is No Place for a Eulogy, Says a Catholic Pastor, but That Doesn't Mean We Can't Speak Well of the Dead
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I WAS SPENDING A LEISURELY MINUTE PLANNING MY FUNERAL the other day--not a savory task, but a prudent one since I have pancreatic cancer. A friend gave me advice, sharing her plans. One car per person; she wants to tie...
Soul Searching: When out Earthly Lives End, Where Do We Go from Here?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHERE DO ALL THE LOST SOULS GO? FOR THAT matter, where do any souls go, including those that depart this world with a precise roadmap of the hereafter tucked into their ethereal pockets? Scripture has many wonderful words...
Take the Next Exit: When It Comes to Economic Growth, the Express Lanes Are Closed
YOU'VE PROBABLY HEARD FRIENDS COMPLAIN ABOUT tie-ups in Los Angeles or Chicago or New York that transform already long commutes into sweaty practice runs for purgatory. But nothing compares to what motorists recently endured on a roadway heading into...
Tin Can Trust
TIN CAN TRUST Los Lobos (Shout Factory!, 2010) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Former Secretary of Labor Linda Chavez, among others, has argued that current levels of immigration from Mexico are somehow dangerous to the integrity of American culture....
Visiting Hours: While She Was Helping Them on Their Journey to Death, They Were Helping Her Learn How to Live Life to the Fullest
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A few years ago the hospice office where I was a volunteer called and asked if I could do a favor. The volunteer director wondered if I'd take an 80-year-old woman with a lung disease who was very dependent on an oxygen tank...