U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 72, No. 7, July

Breach
BREACH Directed by Billy Ray (Universal Pictures, 2007) Most thrillers today rely on comic book villains to generate excitement, frightening audiences with drooling psychopaths or chilling cannibals. But director Billy Ray's gritty tale of real-life...
Car Seat Catechism: How Questions from a Curious Toddler Could Spark Some Deep Philosophical Thoughts
What's that? I'm buckling my son into his car seat the other morning when he points to the tool used to scrape snow off the windshield. "It's an ice scraper, sweetheart." Why? "So we can scrape the ice off the windshield." Why? "So we can...
Catfights of Biblical Proportions: Sibling Rivalry May Make Good Reality TV, but Pitting Martha against Mary Doesn't Do Either of Them Justice
EVERY THIRD YEAR IN JULY I'M TEMPTED TO SCHEDULE a dental appointment for Sunday morning. That's because I'd rather go to the dentist than listen to another homily about Martha and Mary. The temptation to present these two sisters as adversaries seems...
Earth Hogs: When God Commanded Humans to "Fill the Earth," Our Creator Probably Didn't Mean We Should Completely Overrun It
WHEN I WAS A CHILD AND nobody pumped his or her own gas, drivers would pull into gas stations and order attendants to "fill 'er up." In Bill McKibben's new book Deep Economy (Times Books, 2007), the bestselling author and Christian environmentalist...
Fast Worker: A Young Harvard Grad Believes Fasting for a Day Can Change the World
RICH HALVORSON FOUNDER, GLOBALFAST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA HOMETOWN: Boise, Idaho AGE: 25 COLLEGE: Harvard University FAVORITE AUTHOR: Thomas Merton AMBITION: Eliminate poverty. I wrote my college thesis on how to end poverty....
Feedback
The church would benefit from priests who served for shorter terms rather than for life because ... There would be more priests and many would stay as they found out that the priesthood is a rewarding life. I also think the church would benefit...
Going Green for God
A "defender of the faith" has gone green. Recent reports of Queen Elizabeth II and her family embracing a more sustainable lifestyle have captured the imagination of some and the cynicism of others. The queen is known for greeting commoners on her...
How Is the Bible True?
"Since many have undertaken," St. Luke begins his gospel, "to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, I, too, decided ... to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the...
I Want You!
GRANTING, FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT, THAT THE PROMISE of lifelong celibacy is the obstacle to the pursuit of vocations by young men, this proposal would invite men to limited-term celibacy. The bet is that, while many of the young men might leave after...
Let's Enlist Short-Term Priests as a Long-Term Solution: Celibacy Isn't the Problem, Argues Father Andrew Greeley. It's the Lifelong Service to the Priesthood That Scares Away Young Men. Sixty-One Percent of U.S. Catholic Readers Agree That the Church Should Offer Short-Term Commitments to the Priesthood
I'VE BEEN DOING SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON THE PRIESTHOOD for more than 30 years. There are two findings from this research that are beyond question. The first is that priests on the average are the happiest men in the world, happier in their professional...
Logging on for Love
I met my husband the old-fashioned way--in person. It was 1999, and we met at a new-student mixer at our campus Newman Center. A few days before, while my family was helping me move into my dorm, my mom noticed the small Catholic church conveniently...
Marked for Life: Former Full-Time Volunteers Confess That Their Experiences Change Them for Good
"This feels like a homecoming," Beth Knobbe told a retreat group of both new and familiar faces--30 of her fellow alumni from Amate House, a Catholic lay volunteer program in Chicago. Knobbe actually lived with just a few of the retreatants when they...
Must Love God: Can Catholics Find Their Soul Mates in Cyberspace?
It looked like a snapshot from ABC's The Bachelor: A doctor with dimples in his cheeks and champagne in his hand lounging in a hot tub. Buff, brainy--and single? Jen Perkovich, a 26-year-old nurse from Woodbury, Minnesota, flinched when she spotted...
Please Sign Here: It May Look like We're Scratching a Communal Itch, but That Little Gesture before the Gospel Says a Lot about Our Common Faith
FOR 35 YEARS I'D MANAGED TO REMAIN IN THE DARK about the act of tracing a little cross on the forehead, lips, and heart before the gospel reading during Mass. Maybe I never received instruction on this ritual in religion class, or perhaps I was sick...
Preacher Woman
To hear Barbara Brown Taylor preach is not to be wowed by a fire-and-brimstone booming voice or otherwise dramatic delivery. Instead this Episcopalian priest must have been named one of 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world for...
Spit That out! Tainted Foods from the Agricultural-Industrial Complex Are Giving New Meaning to Your Favorite Casserole "Surprise."
NO ONE WOULD EVER MISTAKE ME FOR A MEMBER OF the Birkenstock brigade. I can't even figure out how to pronounce vegan, and to me patchouli is the sound you make when you sneeze. But my nearest and dearest deride me as the family hippie when I start...
Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration
STAX 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Stax (Concord, 2007) Twenty-one years ago rock historian Peter Guralnick published a book, Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom (MOJO Books), in which he argued that the Southern...
Who Do You Say That I Am? It's Certain That Human Language Fails to Capture the Mystery of God, but Sometimes What We Say Doesn't Even Come Close to Doing God Justice
APRIL 20 SAW A RARE EPISODE OF EXTREME MAKEOVER: Metaphysical Edition, with the final teardown of heaven's foyer, limbo. Since limbo had already been banished from the Catechism of the Catholic Church some years ago, the International Theological Commission...