U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 73, No. 8, August

36 Questions Later: Being a Witness in an Annulment Is Never Easy-Especially If It's for Your Parents
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I had put it off for several weeks. The list of questions--simple black lines on a simple piece of white paper--confronted me each time I sat at my desk, but I pushed it aside in favor of other articles I was working on. It...
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Apology Accepted: Reconciliation Is More Than Baring Your Soul to a Confessor-It's a Place to Remember That We're Always Forgiven
CATHOLICS ARE LESS THAN TWO PERCENT OF THE POPULATION of Norway, and there are only nine priests in our diocese. That means one does not have much choice of confessors. When I was at a meeting much in Ireland, therefore, it occurred to me that I could...
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Between Iraq and No Place: Iraqis Are on the Move Away from Their Broken Nation. Who Will Be Responsible for Them?
IN THE BUILDUP TO THE IRAQ INVASION, THEN SECRETARY of State Colin Powell defined the "Pottery Barn" principle for President Bush in an attempt to highlight the seriousness of the military adventure being contemplating. "You break it, you own it,"...
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Coal
COAL Kathy Mattea (R.E.D. Distribution, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Kathy Mattea has always been an odd country music star. She's an environmental activist in a genre that often glorifies gas-guzzling trucks. She's a classically trained singer...
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Faith Does a Body Good: Teaching Kids to Respect Their Bodies Will Help Them Make Wise Decisions Later in Life
IT WAS A WARM FALL DAY, AND 2-YEAR-OLD JAMIE AND I were outside playing when she spotted the wading pool left over from the summer. Before I could stop her, she wriggled out of her sundress, whipped off her diaper, and climbed in. [ILLUSTRATION...
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Gag Order: Pumping Up Priesthood at the Expense of Lay Ministry Is No Way to Renew the Church
THE FULL, CONSCIOUS, AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION of laypeople in the liturgy took another hit in May, when Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis ordered pastors in his diocese to end lay preaching at Mass, effective with his retirement on...
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Give Me a Sign: How Do I Know I'm Doing God's Will?
Two years into her work at a New York advertising research firm, Joan Conroy realized her workdays were making her miserable. "A lot of it was just the way I was feeling when I would come home at the end of the day," says Conroy, 27. "I wasn't feeling...
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Go Hear It on the Mountain: Whether in Thunder and Lightning or in That Still, Small Voice, the High Places Are Where We Meet the Holy One
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD MUST HAVE BEEN A FORMIDABLE place to earn such a name. It was known by many others: Sinai, Horeb, Teman, Paran. No one knows what Sinai means, but Horeb is thought to mean "dry place." Paran is the desert...
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Let's Tailor the Seamless Garment: We Have Stretched out the Consistent Ethic of Life on Both Sides of the Political Debate, an Activist Argues. Trimming out All but the Key Issues Would Set Our Priorities Straight
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WE WERE A HOPEFUL BAND OF PROLIFE PEACENIKS, venturing out one summer day in 1979 to dialogue with other folks on the left. They were demonstrating in Cincinnati against a National Right to Life Convention. We passed leaflets...
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Poor on Purpose: Clare of Assisi Vowed to Live in Poverty Not for Its Own Sake but to Enrich Her Relationships with Others and God. Today Her Way of Life Is Not Just for Cloistered Nuns
FRANCIS AND CLARE. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS the better known of the two, it was Clare who most captured my attention at my Franciscan high school. From the beginning, there was something about her life that resonated deep in my being. Hers was the story...
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Raiders of the Lost Youth: Movie Franchises Typically Push out the Old Fogeys to Make Room for Fresh Faces, but One Film Hero Shows That You're Never Too Old to Finally Grow Up
HOW IRONIC THAT THE BABY BOOMERS WHO invented America's youth culture and led the sexual and political revolutions of the 1960s now complain about the delayed adolescence of their own children. As boomers move to the Sun Belt, swell the ranks of the...
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Reading God's Mind
"I'd give it about a 95 percent chance," I confidently told my skeptical father. It was about 15 summers ago, and I was explaining my decision to leave Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee to attend seminary another 500 miles away on the far side of...
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Recovering Catholics: We Can Learn a Lot from People Who Left the Church, Whether We Can Win Them Back or Not
For generations, the Baltimore Catechism taught that Catholics who miss Sunday Mass through their own fault commit a mortal sin, making the soul an enemy of God, depriving it of the right to everlasting happiness in heaven, and making it fit for everlasting...
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Smart People
SMART PEOPLE Directed by Noam Murro (Miramax, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In a land where brains and hard work are supposed to produce success and happiness, there are a lot of smart, miserable failures. Noam Murro's dark but heartfelt comedy...
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The Whole World in Our Hands: Poverty Is a Global Problem, and the Entire Human Family Will Have to Contribute to the Solution
As the first female secretary of Caritas Internationalis, the worldwide humanitarian agency of the Catholic Church, Lesley-Anne Knight is hopeful but pragmatic. Women are underrepresented in the confederation of 162 national agencies (Catholic Relief...
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What Happened to the Rosary at Wakes?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] One way of evacuating a funeral home via the back door is to have a priest come up the front stairs. Catholics of a certain vintage, such as those with vague lingering memories of the sinking of the Lusitania, may dread getting...
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Wonder Bread: If We Stop Expecting Miracles to Happen When We Receive Communion, We Will Find the Miracle within Ourselves and Those around Us
When I was 7 years old, as time for our First Communion neared, the story of Blessed Imelda was told to our class. As explained in Butler's Lives of the Saints, at the age of 13 Imelda yearned to be allowed to receive Communion. She was denied this...
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