U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 73, No. 3, March

Baby's First Holy Week: A First-Time Mom Sees Easter Anew through the Eyes of Her Infant Son
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For Lent last year, I gave up Easter. To be more precise, I gave up the Easter and Holy Week services that I love. I wish I could say that this was a voluntary sacrifice, but it wasn't. It was the inevitable outcome of...
Back to Life: Cleared of a Wrongful Conviction, Kirk Bloodsworth Uses His New Life to Fight the Death Penalty
A former Chesapeake Bay crabber who easily tossed around 100-pound, ice-laden crates of crustaceans in his youth, Kirk Bloodsworth remains a formidable physical presence. Barrel-chested, brawny, and plainspoken, the 46-year-old Maryland Eastern Shore...
Fall Guy: Judas Might Seem like the Quintessential Enemy, but Was He Just Misunderstood?
JUDAS. HITLER. STALIN. POL POT. HISTORY HAS PRODUCED A short list of evildoers so widely reviled that their names have become shorthand for infamy. Whenever I've asked a group of churchgoers if they can name the residents of hell, this litany or similar...
Fast Food: Abstaining from Chicken Nuggets and Burgers during Lent Can Teach Us about Caring for Animals, Our Neighbors, and the Earth as Much as It Does about Self-Control
I ONCE THOUGHT THAT TO BE CATHOLIC MEANT TO EAT meat. It wasn't a holiday without Mass, Polish sausage, and turkey or ham. Even my family Christmas cookie recipe's secret ingredient is lard. God gave us dominion of animals. Meat on our plate is God's...
Guided Tours: For the Ultimate Getaway Why Not Create a Customized Travel Itinerary Designed with Your Spiritual Needs in Mind? Choose from Ignatian, Benedictine, Carmelite, or Franciscan Guides
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Like many parents of young children, Ivan Uberti likes to begin his family's supper by saying grace. But in addition to saying a traditional mealtime prayer, Uberti's family takes time for another, less common spiritual practice...
Isn't She Lovely? A New Arrival in the Family Reminds This Proud Aunt of Life's Tiny Miracles
"IT'S A REAL HONOR TO BE WITH SOMEONE ON THEIR first day of life, isn't it?" said my niece, cradling her hours-old daughter in her arms. "I know I should probably try to sleep, but I'm completely mesmerized." Her husband grinned at her, proud and bleary-eyed....
Let's Look Death in the Face: "Ashes to Ashes" May Remind Us of Our Mortality, but Cremation Doesn't Mesh with Our Catholic Faith and Tradition, This Writer Argues. He Prefers to Say Goodbye by Praying with the Body
I TOOK MY USUAL DEEP BREATH BEFORE heading into the funeral home. I both dread and look forward to wakes and funerals. I dread them because they so vividly remind me of my own mortality. I look forward to them because I get to see the "guest of honor"...
Road Scholar: St. Paul May Be Known as the "Apostle to the Gentiles," but His High Ideals Make Him an Apostle for Believers Today, Too: An Interview with Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor, O.P
When you ask Father Jerome Murphy-O'Connor why he studies St. Paul, you get a simple, down-to-earth answer: "He gave me my start, and that got me my job." The start was a doctoral thesis on Paul's approach to preaching, which eventually landed Murphy-O'Connor...
Start Spreading the Good News: The First (and Most Ignored) Rule of Preaching the Gospel: "Know Your Audience."
A FRIEND'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OCCASIONED ONE OF THE odder questions I've been asked lately: "Do you My questioner seemed genuinely curious--not hostile or incredulous--but I couldn't help feeling as if I'd been asked how often I sacrifice goats. The stylish,...
Tales from the Front
One of the perks of being a journalist is that some people have a story they want you to tell--and they're willing to take you to the story. The Kingdom of Jordan is one of those "people," and their tourism board often takes journalists from religious...
War Stories: Faith on the Line in Iraq and at Home
"There are no atheists in foxholes," the World War II adage goes. Certainly Catholics who have faced war in Iraq and their families say that the experience has strengthened faith both in foxholes and on the home front. These eight war stories provide...
Why Does Baptism Have to Be So Wet?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The gasps are audible at our Easter Vigil, when adults in parishes are baptized in cleverly disguised wading pools: "Was it really necessary to ruin their clothes?" Some may see this "overabundance" of water as too much of...
Womb for Rent: Have Infertile Couples Taken a Maternity Leave of Their Senses?
BEGINNING IN THE MID-1970S, AMERICANS WATCHED generations of manufacturing jobs outsourced overseas, leaving America's waves of grain far and permanently behind. More recently high-tech and service jobs likewise have departed into the hands of lower-wage,...