U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 69, No. 1, January

Catholic Humor Painfully Un-Funny
An extensive study by a noted researcher (myself) on the best of Catholic humor on the Internet uncovered depressing results. Mind you, it's a World Wide Web, so you'd think that at least somewhere on this vast globe would be a font of hysterical religious...
Clean Up on Aisle Five: Who Pays When Wal-Mart Keeps Prices-And Standards of Living-Low?
BEHIND EVERY GREAT FORTUNE IS A CRIME, WROTE Balzac. Sometimes they are big crimes--like selling I opium to Chinese peasants or war profiteering with Nazi industrialists--but just as often great family fortunes accumulate through the small, steady...
Don't Call Them Martyrs: All Major Religions Honor Their Martyrs. but What about Suicide Bombers?
NIGHTLY TELEVISION BOMBARDS US WITH PICTURES of young Muslims, some dressed in their burial shrouds, marching through the streets of the Middle East ready to offer themselves as martyrs." Almost as frequently we see the carnage that those who carry...
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Jesus Was No Stranger to Good Times, and Neither Should We Be. So Tell Your Fellow Parishioners to Turn That Frown Upside Down and Sing, Dance, and Raise a Glass-A Toast to the Good News!
GATHER A ROOMFUL OF EX-CATHOLICS TOGETHER, IF YOU DARE. Or go to just about any wedding or funeral Mass and talk with the relatives who don't go to church anymore (they usually make an exception for these occasions). Ask this disenfranchised crowd...
How Great Thou Art: Beauty Is Truly in the Eye of the Beholder When It Comes to Religious Art. Although They May Disagree about Traditional versus Modern Art, U.S. Catholic Readers Responding to Our Survey Do Agree on the Importance of Art in Spirituality and Worship
THERE WERE AT LEAST 90 OF us, and we were herded around Europe in large buses the summer of my junior year of college. It was the first time I'd traveled with anyone other than my family, and I quickly learned that everyone has a different notion of...
In the Chapel of Saint Otis: A Gym of One's Own Is, for Brian Doyle, a Gift of Holy Proportions
The gym is made completely of wood--floor, walls, ceiling, backboards. It is tiny, about two thirds the size of a regulation floor, and it has no out of bounds at all. It was built in 1897 and has never been renovated or repaired since, it is a matter...
Labor of Love: A Job That Makes You Feel like Kicking Up Your Heels Is Something Special. TV's Award-Winning Drama the West Wing Reminds Us How Good Work Can Be
AMERICANS SPEND A LOT MORE TIME ON THE THAN A JOB their parents did. The male breadwinners on Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver, who spent 40 hours a week in the office, have been replaced by working couples who are on the job a whopping 91...
Leap of Faith
My mother encouraged me to try out for track. I was one of those kids--head in the clouds, shy, feet too big. I didn't know what track was. But everyone--my older brother, my younger sister, and just about every other 5th through 8th grader at my school...
Let Us Play: The Fact That Sunday Afternoon Football Games Attract at Least as Much Devotion as Sunday Morning Church Services Is Evidence That Athletics Is a near Religion in America. Is There Something Sacramental about Sports?
Consider the similarities between football devotion and religious worship: Every fall weekend thousands of students and alumni here drape themselves in sacred colors (orange and blue), bear on their bodies images of their religious totem (gators),...
Picture This: A Renaissance of Religious Art: Could Your Parish Be a Patron of the Arts and Help Rekindle Some of the Spiritual Spark That Art Has Provided in Centuries Past?
High among humanity's enduring desires is making contact with the divine. We have flown a wild selection of kites hoping to reach from here to there. Mostly we used words--prayer, theology, Confessions, hymns, homilies, or silent syllables dreamed...
The Troubles I've Seen
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO JOHN HARPER, A CATHOLIC FROM BELFAST and former member of the Irish Republican Army, was a divided man, full of anger and shame--hiding, as he puts it, "from my own anxieties, my own fears." His life had been too tumultuous. In one...
What Euthiopians Are Hungry For: Two Decades after Its World-Famous Famine, Ethiopia Is in Trouble Again. but They Need More Than Just Food
Hailu Gebremariam stands in a tiny wheat field, proudly pointing to the fruits of his labor. Thanks to adequate rainfall this year, the golden grain has grown past his knees, and he hopes to harvest enough to feed his family of six and store some for...
Why Do We Hold Hands during the Our Father?
Asking how the practice, of holding hands at the Lord s Prayer began is like asking who invented kissing. We may never know for sure, but it's easy to guess. Some families and households hold hands to say grace before meals. Maybe this practice migrated...
Zero Tolerance for Torture: An Interview with Sister Dianna Ortiz, O.S.U
Fourteen years after her abduction and brutal torture and rape by Guatemalan security forces, Sister Dianna Ortiz remains haunted by the memories and trauma of that experience. When she talks about it--in pnblic speeches or interviews such as this...