U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 74, No. 2, February

All Rebel Rockers
ALL REBEL ROCKERS Michael Franti and Spearhead (ANTI, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Michael Franti has been knocking around the fringes of the rock and rap scene for almost 20 years. Franti first surfaced as a member of a punk band called The...
And God Created Darwin: Evolution Isn't Just for Scientists, Argues This Professor of Theology. People of Faith Must Selectively Adapt to Darwin as Well
When Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago this month, no one could have guessed the impact his Origin of Species (1859) would have not only on science but on religion as well. "The name Darwin symbolizes a massive transition of our self-understanding,"...
Body of Reverence: It's Easy to Forget to Mourn the Dead When Their Bodies Become Forensic Evidence
SINCE THE NINTH CENTURY THE DEPOSITION OF CHRIST has been one of the more popular subjects of Christian art. Beginning in Byzantium and spreading to the West, hundreds of forgotten and famous artists have painted and carved the scene of the crucified...
Closed for Lent: Don't Forget to Pencil in Time for Nothing during Lent
THE ANALOGY OF LENT AS A DESERT HAS NEVER worked for me. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, and except for a year spent in Chicago, I've lived here my whole life. Lent to me has always been cold and soggy. Last year, Ash Wednesday in Milwaukee was...
Fault Lines. the Immigration Debate Comes Home to Catholic Parishes
She brought her children here from her country because she feared gangs would kill them. "I left because of the delinquency of El Salvador. The situation there is very delicate. A mother has instincts toward her children, and, well, I saw a very...
Feedback
The event most blown out of proportion by outraged Catholics was ... Madonna on a cross and the movie The Golden Compass. Sandy Costanza Elk Grove Village, Ill. None--Catholics are not involved enough in current events! Diana Dubininkiene...
Foreign Ministry: The Shortage of Priests Has Made Some Places in the United States "Mission Territory," Drawing Clergy the World over to a Parish near You
One would expect to be nervous in his situation, but his warm, frequent smiles make him seem at ease this evening. Father Paul Choorathottiyil, C.M., newly appointed associate pastor at Sacred Heart of Christ Catholic Church in Lakeville, Indiana,...
Good Eatin': A Hot Dog Tastes Better When Served with a Side of Justice
"WE ANSWER TO A HIGHER AUTHORITY" is the tagline for Hebrew National's famously kosher beef hot dogs. In other words a USDA stamp is one thing, but getting a kosher stamp of approval means that Hebrew National and other kosher food processors are reaching...
If Not Us, Then Who?
Father Gary Graf, a pastor in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan, told me last year about the tensions in his parish over illegal immigration. Waukegan police had begun asking residents for proof of citizenship even if they were not accused of a crime....
Is It Impolite to Be on a First-Name Basis with God?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I often teach men and women who return to college later in life to complete a degree. It is not unusual that some of them are older than I am, and I often invite them to use my given name, John. Very few take me up on the...
Lake Effect: Surviving Grief, Looking for a Path Back Home
The stillness of my apartment is deafening. I wake to the sun beating through my blinds and the drone of the air conditioner echoing my loneliness. My day feels as empty as my insides. I'll reach out, call a friend, run some errands, do some work....
Mercy Me! Sometimes We All Need to Have a Heart-to-Heart with God and Own Up to Our Shortcomings. Psalm 51 Shows Us How to Do It
I MUST CONFESS THAT OUT OF ALL THE PSALMS IN THE BIBLE, my favorite is Psalm 51, known as the Miserere, the psalm's first word in its Latin translation, which means "to pity." This psalm is often said to be the greatest of the seven "Penitential Psalms"...
Mountain Man: Forty Years after His Untimely Death, Thomas Merton Continues to Inspire Us to Climb New Spiritual Peaks
FEW WRITERS OF THE PAST CENTURY HAVE had as big an impact on so many people as Thomas Merton (1915-1968). His readers ranged from popes to high school students, from astronauts to taxi drivers, from mystics to people trying to decide if God exists....
My Father, Our Father: It Can Take a Lifetime to Step Past a History of Hurt, but 12 Steps Is a Good Way to Start
When my young son asks me what God looks like, I want to tell him what he will probably only understand much later, that for children especially, God looks like the people in whom they vest their trust. God can be merciful or terrible. I learned...
New but Not Improved: Change We Can Really Believe in Has to Come from the Inside Out
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE CELL PHONE AD IN THE MAGAZINE WAS FULL OF extravagant promises. If I purchased this product, I would have at my fingertips the kind of communication I'd never enjoyed before. I'd be able to access information, e-mail,...
Proceed with Caution: Now Is Not the Time to Rush World War II's Pope to a Place among the Beatified
"BUT WHY NOW?" CAME THE BEWILDERED QUESTION from my fellow journalist, the editor of a Chicago Jewish newspaper. His query came at the end of a radio discussion about Pope Pius XII, the World War II-era pope whom many accuse of silence in the face...
Slumdog Millionaire
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Directed by Danny Boyle (Fox Searchlight, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Just in time for our now officially recognized global recession, British film maker Danny Boyle has created a rollicking, riotous, and not infrequently...
The Gift of Years
THE GIFT OF YEARS By Joan Chittister (Bluebridge, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Few persons know how to be old," said Francois La Rochefoucauld more than 300 years ago, and it is still true. To help you learn, Joan Chittister, a distinguished...
The Unimportance of Being Earnest: Catholics Need to Lighten Up and See the Bright Side of Sometimes Being the Butt of Jokes. It Wouldn't Hurt to Laugh at Ourselves Once in a While-It Might Even Lift Our Spirits
BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS. AFTER 30 YEARS OF hanging out in the Catholic world, I'm getting the sense that we take our Catholic selves way too seriously. From banishing people from the Communion line to expressing outrage over this movie or that book to...