U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 73, No. 5, May

Black and White and Read All Over: Political Cartoonist Mike Luckovich Adds Artful Humor to Newspapers and Controversies
At the height of Atlanta's recent water crisis, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue held a prayer vigil on the steps of the state capitol. An editorial cartoon from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) shows Perdue, surrounded by supplicating constituents,...
Breakfast at St. Mary's: When Graham Crackers and Sippy Cups Become the Main Course at the Lord's Supper, This Cranky Catholic Is Not Amused
I attended an interesting church breakfast a few weeks ago. No, it was not one of those sumptuous benedictory meals that our grandmothers and mothers used to put on to help the financial needs of their parishes during the past century. This meal was...
Bring Back Men in Black: Religious Clothing Allows Catholics to Make a Fashion Statement about Their Faith, Says a Young Priest Who Sports the Look That a Previous Generation Put Away
LIKE IT OR NOT, RELIGIOUS garb and clerical dress are making a comeback. This phenomenon can be hard to swallow for a certain generation of Catholics. It may seem that younger Catholics are attempting to undo their hard work and move backward into...
Dressed Up for Politics
Sitting in Senator Barack Obama's office and watching my fellow Catholics tell his staff about the need for affordable housing was my personal highlight of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Social Ministry Gathering. This year, my second at...
Feedback
When I see a Catholic priest in clerics or a religious in a traditional habit, my reaction is ... A feeling of utmost respect for their vocation. Seeing a priest in an ordinary, everyday place humanizes him and at the same time brings "holy" into...
Good Things Come in Nines: When at First You Don't Succeed, Pray, Pray, and Pray Again. A Novena Is Repetitive for a Reason; Its Nine Days Help Us Remember Others and Open Our Hearts
SIX YEARS AGO, I WAS AT A FOURTH OF JULY PARTY when a woman I know handed me a photocopied sheet. "I'm asking everyone to pray this novena for my fiance's brother, who is struggling with mental illness," she said. "You say the prayer nine days in a...
Greener Pastures: How Family Farmers Are Planting for a Sustainable Future
Russ Kremer had a near-death experience in 1989. On his central Missouri farm, he was bitten by a hog and contracted a form of strep resistant to at least five antibiotics. His hogs' feed included antibiotics to protect them--but not humans--from disease....
Home Sweet Biohazard: There's No Place like Home, as Long as Parents Prevent It from Becoming Toxic
THOROUGHLY MODERN PARENTS OF THE LATE 20TH CENTURY might have cracked open a tin of baby formula, poured it into a plastic bottle, and warmed it in a Teflon-coated pan before rushing it to baby's toy-littered nursery. Today's with-it 'rents think twice...
How Does God Answer Prayer?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Back in the day, the rock band The Doors performed a song titled "Petition the Lord with Prayer." Its refrain ran--in contrast to the title--"You cannot petition the Lord with prayer." I am not sure what Jim Morrison had...
In the Flesh: Bodies Matter Every Bit as Much as Souls in the Christian Scheme of Things
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SOME YEARS AGO A FRIEND UNDERWENT RADIATION treatments for cancer. Hair loss was to be expected, and my friend had already been bald on top for a while. Yet when he woke up the next day to find his hair shed all around him...
Is Torture Losing Its Shock Value? Our Government's Use of Torture Puts Being Both American and Catholic in Serious Conflict, Says This Theologian
Theological research doesn't often include reading detailed accounts of torture, but it did for William Cavanaugh, now a professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. "I read account after account of people's torture,...
Lord of the Dance: Current Hollywood Action Heroes Know Some Pretty Fancy Moves, but Audiences Could Benefit from a Little Disco Inferno
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] MOVING PICTURES WERE INVENTED TO SHOW US bodies in motion, and for more than a century, films have entertained us with actors performing every sort of physical action. Still, even in the movies and on TV, women have found...
Make It Personal: Millions Have Headed for the Exits without Getting the Best of What We Have to Offer
HAVE YOU ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL Lord and Savior?" is among the first religious questions I remember being asked. From the time I was 5 until I went to seminary at 19, the well-meaning Southern Baptists in my native Tennessee repeatedly...
Marry Me
MARRY ME St. Vincent (Beggars Banquet, 2007) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Marry Me, the first album from St. Vincent, takes the listener from one extreme to the other. Most of the music is light and jazzy, but the lyrics are laden with images of...
Morals of the Story: Kids Are Not Afraid to Discuss the "Controversial" Moral Issues. Let's Keep Talking about Them
THE ADOLESCENT COUSINS SIT TOGETHER AT THE extended family lunch. Their conversation ranges over bumpy terrain: the morality of torture, the legality of killing yourself, assisted suicide, abortion, and capital punishment. Moms, aunts, uncles listen...
Mother and Child Reunion: Prison Can Be an Unforgiving Place, Especially for Parents Who Are Far Away from Their Loved Ones. A Program in California Lets Moms and Their Kids Be a Family Again
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It is cold and dark when the chartered bus pulls out of San Francisco's Bayview District a little before 6 on a Sunday morning in late October. Eleven-year-old Dartanyan Holton is as frisky as a kid on a church trip to a theme...
There Will Be Blood
THERE WILL BE BLOOD Directed by Paul Anderson (Miramax, 2007) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Paul Anderson's adaptation of Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil! joins an impressive list of Hollywood classics lancing the boil of ambition and greed in the...
The Torture Show: Jack Bauer and 24 Have Made Torture Mainstream in American Homes and Psyches
NOT LONG AGO TORTURE SCENES WERE RARE ON TV, and both TV and the movies portrayed torturers as villains--sadists, terrorists, or Nazis who had surrendered their membership in the human race. But since 9/11 TV audiences and the heroes of prime-time...