U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 74, No. 12, December

All Together Now: You Can Do It. Just Take a Deep Breath. and Sing
LAST SUNDAY AFTERNOON, WHILE MY 11- AND 14-YEAR old sons were in the kitchen making lunch, I heard them singing the recessional song from Mass earlier that day. Not wanting to break the moment by walking in, I stood outside the kitchen door and listened....
Are There Rules for Decorating the Church during the Holidays?
There are surprisingly few official rules about decorating churches, much to the chagrin of those who have been crowded out by Christmas poinsettias or engulfed by Easter lilies. At times, admittedly, the altar looks like it's been attacked by a rioting...
Contagious Spirit: The Example of Father Damien, the New Hawaiian Saint, Has a Young Man from the Main Land Catching on to the Aloha Way of Life
THE JOURNEY TO KALAUPAPA, HAWAII HAS never been easy. The only way to reach the peninsula by land is a three-mile trail that slowly winds its way down the tallest sea cliffs in the world. My first trip was on a muggy day under a hot Hawaiian sun. I...
Feedback
The ideal relationship between church and state would be ... The Catholic model (Catholic Charities, hospitals). It has worked effectively without organizations losing their Catholic identity. The Second Vatican Council set the church on a course...
I and Love and You
I AND LOVE AND YOU The Avert Brothers (Sony, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Avett Brothers are a sibling pair from North Carolina that for several years has been building a reputation as bluegrass and-folk-inspired singer-songwriters. Most...
Manger Danger: Let's Keep Uncle Sam out of the Nativity Scene by Reinforcing the Wall between Church and State
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "OUR VARIED BELIEFS CAN BRING US TOGETHER TO feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. This is not only our...
Mass Instruction: Opponents of the Modern Liturgy Could Use a History Lesson, Says This Scholar of the Church's Prayer. Overall, the Liturgical Reform Has Been a Great Success: An Interview with Father Robert Taft, S.J
If any scholar could claim a ring-side seat to the liturgical reform of the 20th century, it would have to be Father Robert Taft, S.J. Taft recalls being surprised when he arrived in Europe in 1964 to see liturgical change already well underway. "Worker...
Miracle on East 14th Street: Finding the True Meaning of Christmas Was Only a Bike Ride-And a World-Away
Mr. Rodriguez, the fellow in charge of us newspaper boys, told me one day that I could sell liquor to a nun. I took it as a compliment. I was only 14 years old and had already developed a reputation among the newspaper carriers in my town for selling...
Moody Blues
After a couple of days of stealthy library research, my cover was finally blown in the elevator. Until then I had successfully avoided longer conversations with library staff or other students as I visited Chicago's Moody Bible Institute in 1985...
Ready or Not Here I Come ... Again: From Disaster Movies to Fundamentalist Techno-Thrillers, Americans Are Fascinated with Scary End-of-the-World Scenarios. So What Are Catholics, Who in Every Mass Profess Belief in the Second Coming, to Make of That?
Along with oceans flooding over Himalayan peaks, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy crashing into the White House, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer crumbling high above Rio de Janeiro, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is one of the show-stopping...
Season's Greetings: If We're Going to Invite Disaffected Catholics to Come on Home, Let's Also Warm Up the Welcome They're Likely to Receive
THERE'S NO SHORTAGE OF PROGRAMS TO DRAW MISSING Catholics back to church, but few can boast of their efforts in a single diocese as "an increase of 92,000 souls who came home!" Such is the claim of Catholics Come Home, a new evangelization effort first...
The More Days the Merrier: Twelve Ways to Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, Not Including Pipers Piping
This year, hand on heart, I saw Christmas decorations for sale on October 1. When I was little, we didn't even start thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. My family would spend most of Advent getting ready. We'd shop for a tree, pull...
The Trouble with Angels: These Celestial Beings Are Elusive and Mysterious-But Totally Necessary
ONCE UPON A TIME I believed in angels. Then I got older and gave up childish ways. Then I got even older and became a child again. Once more I believe in angels. You may be presently too old to put your faith in such creatures; or not yet old enough....
This Is Your Country on Drugs: Countries Who Live in Glass Houses Should Take Care When Criticizing Others' Anti-Drug Efforts
BOLIVIA RECEIVED A LITTLE DIPLOMATIC SCOLDING from the Obama administration in September as a nation that had "failed demonstrably" in the global war on drugs. Bolivia joined a handful of other nations that did not receive a U.S. certification that...
This Land Is Our Land: Would You like a Demonstration of the Catholic Belief That Everyone Has a Right to the Beauty of God's Creation? Visit a National Park
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THIS OCTOBER MILLIONS OF AMERICANS TOOK A STAYCATION by watching Ken Burns' gorgeous new film The National Parks: America's Best Idea, enjoying a 12-hour pilgrimage through some of the most beautiful places in the United States,...
'Twas the Fight before Christmas ... Family Drama Bringing You Down? Our Survival Guide to Fairly Happy Holidays Recommends Decking the Halls, Not Your Brother
We've all seen the Hallmark version: the loving, happy, laughing family gathered around the Christmas tree. Then there's real life. Father John Cusick, director of young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of Chicago, remembers the relative who,...
Whip It!
WHIP IT! Directed by Drew Barrymore (Fox Searchlight, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In Drew Barrymore's new film about tattooed Texas lasses on skates, Ellen Page, who played a glib pregnant teen in Juno (Fox Searchlight), takes a turn around...