U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 70, No. 4, April

An All-You-Can-Read Buffet: We May Need to Feed Our Brains before We Feed Our Bodies If We Are to Truly Grasp the Meaning of the Eucharist
ON THE FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI LAST YEAR Pope John Paul II called for a special year dedicated to the Eucharist, and Christians looking to nourish their eucharistic spirituality this year with a good read have been blessed with a bounty of literary...
Can You Hear Me Now? Are Laity Still Getting Bad Reception? A U.S. Catholic Survey on the Role of Laypeople in the Catholic Church
This past winter marked three years since the breaking of the most recent round of Catholic sex-abuse scandals in the United States, a moment when many laypeople suddenly realized they had not paid close enough attention to the church they call home....
Cinema Verite
For Lent this year our family has adapted an idea from Culture in Context columnist Patrick McCormick. In our March 1999 issue Pat had proposed that parishes pick a few great movies and host their own "Lenten film festivals." We're not inviting the...
Feedback
Q: One thing I've always wanted to do in the church but could not because I'm a layperson is ... Administer the sacrament of Reconciliation. As a spiritual director, I have often been confronted with that need. Donna Acquaviva Falling Waters,...
Forbidden Fruit
Talk about sticker shock. But it's not the price of a new car nor even a bill for a three-day stay in the hospital. It's the evolution "disclaimers" that some people would like stuck on the front of science textbooks. For some, the very question...
Hawaiian Saint Goes Back to N.Y
In preparation for her beatification, the remains of Mother Marianne Cope have been removed from her resting place in a settlement for leprosy patients in Kalaupapa, Hawaii, where she served for nearly 30 years. That community was featured in a photo...
Make a Splash at Sunday Mass: Baptisms Are a Family Affair-For the Whole Parish Family
In the movie classic It's a Wonderful Life George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and his future bride, Mary Hatch (Donna Reed), take an unintended plunge into the high school swimming pool during a Charleston contest, which they gamely try to continue even...
Metered Meditation: A Writer Takes Poetic License with Her Prayer Life
WHEN I WAS A COLLEGE STUDENT, MY MOTHER would call every week and ask if I went to church. After I had said no and heard the disappointment in her voice one too many times, I told her I joined a prayer group that met twice a week. Little did she know...
Million Dollar Sucker Punch: People with Disabilities Take on the Culture of Death
Note to readers: This column reveals a crucial plot twist in the movie Million Dollar Baby. AS A CATHOLIC I AGREE WITH OUR CHURCH'S STRONG stance against euthanasia. As a person with disabilities, that commitment was reinforced for me when I was...
Omission of Sin: When Did We Start Believing That There's No Such Thing as Sin and That We Ought to Feel Guilty about Feeling Guilty?
Thousands of essays and books in recent decades have dealt with human failings under various labels without once using the one-syllable, three-letter word that has more bite than any of its synonyms: sin. Actions traditionally regarded as sinful have...
Our Social Insecurity Complex: Catholics Are Called to Account for the Common Good, Not Just Personal Retirement
THE BEDRAGGLED MEN IN A SHUFFLING BREADLINE are frozen forever in bronze at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington. Their somber presence captures a moment when the American narrative of manifest economic destiny was staggered into silence...
Prayer on the Run: Staying in Touch with God Doesn't Require Hours a Day. Here Are Three Ways to Have a Spirited Life on the Fly
Go ahead. Admit it. You feel just a little guilty when it comes to prayer. Wish you prayed more. Wish you prayed better. Some days, wish you had prayed at all. These are actually good impulses, promptings of the Holy Spirit to deepen your relationship...
Reasonable Doubt: The Apostle Thomas Gets a Bad Rap. Who in Their Right Mind Wouldn't Ask to See the Risen Christ with Their Own Two Eyes?
IF SOMEONE TOLD YOU TODAY that she had seen Jesus with her own eyes, would you believe it? What if this testimony came from the person you trust most--your spouse, your parent or child, your best friend, your pastor--would your reaction be wholehearted...
Till Death Do Us Part: The Sudden Death of a Shepherd Reminds This Lost Sheep Why She Stays in the Fold
My Benedictine oblate friend Nancy exposed the broken heart of Christ to me. Nancy was the kind of person who took all the worst jobs for herself. She'd set up all the chairs for the oblate meeting by herself while I hung around the abbot talking...
What's a Deacon to Do?
In fact, one cannot give a single answer to the question "What do deacons do?" and be accurate everywhere in the United States. While all dioceses follow canon law, the ministry of deacons in different places can vary quite a bit. Our church has...
Wrongful Death
"Honorable people have disagreed about the justice of executing the guilty," Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J. writes in her new book the Death of Innocents (Random House, 2005), "but can anyone argue out the justice of executing the innocent?" Twelve...