U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 73, No. 4, April 1

All Creatures Great and Small: Let's Quit Giving Ourselves Permission to Wreak Havoc on God's Good Earth. We're Not the Only Ones in Whom God Delights
The editors interview Sister Anne M. Clifford, C.S.J. "All Creation is Groaning." So begins the title of a lecture that Anne Clifford is to deliver as holder of the 2007-08 Tuohy Chair in Interreligious Studies at John Carroll University. Although...
Amazon Warrior: Even Unto Death, Dorothy Stang Had No Fear in Her Fight for the Poor and the Rain Forest, and Her Example Inspires Us to Join the Battle
JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I'D OUTGROWN MENTORS, A FRIEND introduced me to David Stang. His enthusiasm for his favorite subject, his sister Dorothy, is contagious. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "She whacked me around as a Kid, he admits. "A tomboy, she played...
Atonement
ATONEMENT Directed by Joe Wright (Focus Features, 2007) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Older Catholics may recall a story about the standard penance for gossip. "On a blustery day shake out the contents of a feather pillow from a high window. The next...
Can Anyone Be a Godparent?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Our culture subscribes to some notions of "godparent" that don't exactly advance the pastoral plan of the church for this essential ministry. Even people who are unaffiliated or neutral in matters of religion often ask someone...
Change the Climate in Washington: The Poor Are Victims of Our Failure to Protect the Environment
Important climate change legislation outlined last summer provided funds to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change. Just before the Senate was to consider the legislation, however, these provisions had vanished. "To be honest...
Comfort Food: On His Exodus through a Personal Desert, One Man Comes across the Manna Needed for His Spiritual Nourishment
Paul is a large man with an aversion to showering because, as he says, "it is a lonely thing to do." Every day he calls the parish to speak with the pastor or an associate, He suffers from several mental illnesses including schizophrenia, and he...
Does the Earth Have a Prayer? Love of Creation Has Deep Roots in Our Catholic Spiritual Traditions
One night when I was 6 years old, while walking outdoors before bed, I gazed at the sky and found myself wrapped in the vast mantle of stars, the Milky Way. Standing in awe, my body felt both small and large. In that instant I felt God. Now, years...
Give It a Rest: Earth Needs a Break and So Do We. That's Why We Should Follow the Third Commandment and Keep Holy the Sabbath. It Will Refresh Our Souls and Our Planet
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] NOW THAT "GOD IS GREEN," CATHOLICS AND OTHER believers are harnessing religion to rein in global warming. So let's remember the one commandment that could cut energy consumption and pollution by 14.2857 percent, more or less....
Green Isn't Just for Ordinary Time: Parishes Are Investing in Eco-Friendly Techniques to Save Money and the Earth
On a cold Saturday morning last December, Father Charles Morris showed just how far he willing to go to raise awareness of global warming. Lake Erie was a bone-chilling 36 degrees when the Michigan priest ducked underwater for a "polar bear swim" organized...
I Think I Can, I Think I Can: A 19th-Century Mode of Transport May Be the Answer to Our Current Environmental Woes
A FUTURE OF DIMINISHING ENERGY AND TRANSPORTATION resources is coming fast around the track. Cars and trucks are choking the nation's highway system and atmosphere, and high-flying jets are draining vast reservoirs of natural resources while damaging...
Lab Partners: Instead of Shooting Rhetorical Spitballs in the Other's General Direction, Boosters of Both Science and Religion Should Start Sharing a Desk
IN THE HUNDREDS-OF-YEARS WAR BETWEEN SCIENCE AND religion, the original shot heard 'round the Old World was the 1633 trial of Galileo Galilei before the Roman Inquisition. That trial reverberated most recently in a skirmish that eventually led Pope...
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Though We Americans Often Vote Our Fears, We Should Ignore the Cowardly Lions within Us and Elect Lawmakers Who Demonstrate More Brains and Heart
WATCHING THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES chase one another back and forth across the country on the longest and most confusing campaign trail in modern history reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. Candidates are trying to find enough yellow bricks to keep their...
Paper Chase
Journalists are notorious pack-rats, and we especially love to save paper. We save clippings of our own articles, notebooks from every interview we've ever done, and files upon files of the writings of others, too. I recently threw out a small Dumpster's...
Pray It Forward: Whether Your List of Intentions Is Seven or 700 Items Long, Praying for Others Takes Us outside Ourselves and Connects Us with the Body of Christ
IN JOHN HASSLER'S 1990 NOVEL, NORTH OFHOPE (LOYOLA Classics), the kindly pastor, Msgr. Adrian Lawrence, tells the protagonist, Father Frank Healy," I am currently praying for 705 departed souls." Frank replies, "That's too many, Adrian." [ILLUSTRATION...
The Bible Tells Me So: The Good Book Is Full of Passages to Inspire Environmental Action
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. Max Ehrmann's "Desiderata" is more than elegant poetry; it is scientific fact. Humanity does not live outside nature; we are embedded in it. Furthermore nature is embedded in human...
Waste Not, Want Not: Earth-Friendly Living Starts at Home
My family's attempts to lessen our impact on the earth remind me of driving a car with manual transmission for the first time: When you finally take your foot off the clutch, the car lurches forward with a screech, then stalls. Eventually you get the...
We'll Never Turn Back
WE'LL NEVER TURN BACK By Mavis Staples (Anti Records, 2007) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 2005 legendary R&B/gospel singer Mavis Staples saw thousands of poor black people left for dead after Hurricane Katrina and had a powerful sense of deja...
We're All in the Same Boat: If the Story of the Flood Is Any Indication, Humanity Best Not Ask God to Choose between Us and the Rest of Earth's Creatures
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] FOR SOME FOLKS WHO DON'T GO TO CHURCH--AND FOR A fair amount who do--a walk in nature is practically a religious experience. It may even be a higher form of worship than the kind that happens on Sunday mornings. This isn't...
What's for Dinner? A Spoonful of Cooperation, a Pinch of Memories, and a Dash of Prayer Creates Family Peace
WE WHO WORK IN PARISHES TO PREPARE families for First Communion hear it over and over: Emphasize the importance of family meals, because Catholics' celebration of the Eucharist makes little sense without it. Jesus gave us this sacrament, after all,...