U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 70, No. 3, March

Empire Strikes Back; Every Empire Has Its Rise and Fall, but It Looks like American Imperialism Is on the Upswing
THIS SUMMER THE THIRD AND DARKEST CHAPTER of the Star Wars saga--Revenge of the Sith--will recount Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace and the Republic's descent into tyranny. Where once stood a righteous Jedi knight is now the villainous Darth Vader,...
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Exsultet! Rejoice!
It's a spectacular song. Late in the day on March 26, or in some places early in the wee hours of March 27, it will be sung. From Blessed Sacrament Parish in San Diego to St. John's Parish in Bangor, Maine; from St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Key...
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Feedback
Q: My most profound experience with a person in prison was ... When the prisoner asked if I would write his mother so she would know he had a friend. Sister Jean Junak, C.S.I. Ishpeming, Mich. I have mentored over 20 women in the past eight...
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Finding a Refuge at Dr. Cynthia's
Spying my camera bag and Western face on the main road leading out of the city of Mae Sot in northern Thailand, a young man slowed his scooter down until he was idling next to me. "Are you going to Dr. Cynthia's?" he asked. A short "moto" ride later,...
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For Us and for Our Salvation? Mel Gibson's the Passion Graphically Portrayed Christ's Death-And Perfectly Illustrated the Traditional Doctrine of Atonement. but If God Uses Torture to Save, What Does That Say to Victims of Violence, and What Does It Say about God?
That Jesus died for our sins is so ingrained in Christianity it seems almost absurd to question it. It's in our creed: "For our sake, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate." It's in our prayers: "Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world." It's...
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Go Directly to Jail: Even before the HBO Series Oz, Most People Were Rightly Fearful of Stepping Foot Inside the Big House. but Prison Ministry Isn't Just for a Brave Few, Argues J. Peter Nixon. All Catholics Are Called to Visit the Prisoner in Their Local Correctional Facility
HE WAS SIX FEET TALL, WITH A BLOND CREW cut and powerful muscles that filled out his orange prison jumpsuit. He grunted an assent when we asked him to sign in but returned to his seat quickly, without engaging anyone in conversation. During the...
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I Can See Clearly Now: How We Come into the World Is Not How We Must Remain. an Encounter with Jesus Can Be Life-Changing for the Physically and Spiritually Blind
ARE HUMAN BEINGS BORN CLUELESS, OR DO WE HAVE to work hard to get that way? It was once assumed that a person comes into this world as a tabula rasa ("blank slate") upon which life, learning, and experience write. More recent science indicates that...
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Merry Easter? Christmas Joy Is Great for Children, but Easter's Triumph Gives World-Weary Grown-Ups True Cause for Celebration
It's that time of year again, when schoolchildren are coloring pictures of Jesus hanging from a cross, and shop owners fill their windows with gaily colored cutouts of the scourging at the pillar. In the malls everyone's humming along with seasonal...
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Mission: Burma
In the Mae Sot day market some of thee culinary delicacies include live frogs and thrashing fish, dried grasshoppers, and maeng da, a pickled, 3-inch-long water bug whose strong family resemblance to the common cockroach is guaranteed to thwart even...
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Relief Worker
IT WAS NOT UNTIL SHE WAS AN ADULT THAT CARMEN Velasquez realized that she had been sitting in the back of the church. In her mother's hometown of Fort Madison, Iowa, the Catholic church had two unofficial seating sections--one in the front for the...
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Somebody's Knocking at My Door; St. Benedict Tells Us to "Receive All Visitors as Christ," but He Never Had to Deal with the Pesky Rascals from Up the Street. or Did He?
THERE ARE THREE SIBLINGS, THE OLDEST BEING ABOUT 8, who live up the street from my family. A little older than my children and much less supervised, they're always running from house to house looking for kids to play with. They knock on our door as...
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Tsunami Warning: To Avoid Another Disaster, We Must Stop Ignoring a World of Want
IN THE AWFUL AFTERMATH OF THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN tsunami, it's easy to wonder how a merciful and loving God could allow such a catastrophe. But comprehending God's providence is a challenge even to those among us burdened with divinity degrees, so here's...
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Where Is God in the Tsunami? the Ways of God Are Inscrutable, but I See God in the Outpouring of Love and Support
PARINKA WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER DEC. 26, 2004. IT was the day her mother was washed out to sea by the giant wave, leaving her an orphan at just 9 years old. Parinka is one of the lucky ones. Saved by her grandfather, she has a chance for a normal life,...
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Who's the Boss? the Editors Interview Richard Gaillardetz
Could you put that in layman's terms, please? With pleasure, says Richard R. Gaillardetz, author of By What Authority? A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful (Liturgical Press). While authority in the church may seem...
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Why Is Easter a "Floating" Holiday?
Two reasons account for why Easter's date changes every year, what our tradition calls a "moveable feast." The first reason has to do with the timing of the Jewish feast of Passover; the second has to do with the decision the church made in the year...
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