U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 76, No. 1, January

Broke in the Burbs: The Country's Cities May No Longer Be the Epicenters of Poverty
AFTER 18 MONTHS OF UNEMPLOYMENT THAT HAS refused to budge below 9.6 percent, it will come as no shock to learn that poverty is on the rise in the United States. The latest data from the Census Bureau reveals that 44 million Americans--one in seven--are...
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Dig In: It's OK If You Don't like Beets. There's a Dish for Every Taste on the Catholic Table
JESUS MUST HAVE ENJOYED EATING. IF HIS OPPONENTS called him "a glutton and a drunkard," we can only guess that he loved a good dinner party. The scandal he caused, however, had less to do with what he ate than with whom: "tax collectors and sinners."...
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Femme Fidele: How Women Who Work for the Church Keep the Faith
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's lunchtime at St. Clement Parish in Chicago, and although some of the city's best restaurants are within walking distance, most of the staff members instead opt for microwaved leftovers and conversation with colleagues...
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Follow the Laity: Lay Ministry Is Here to Stay, Says This Theologian. but There Are Growing Pains Still to Come
When faced with the question "Who are the laity?" in the mid-19th century, John Henry Newman quipped, "Well, the church would look very foolish without them." Theologian and expert on lay ministry Zeni Fox describes laypeople as "the disciples of...
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Frosty Reception: A Casual Encounter in Greenland Has This American Pro-Life Activist Gritting Her Teeth
I was in the Arctic Circle, in Greenland, for some R&R and to learn about polar explorations. Having fallen in love with a pair of child's sealskin slippers, I was poised to buy them. "You are from the United States, no?" the woman behind the...
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Haven on Earth: The First "Safe Space" Program Can Be Found in the Earliest Chapters of the Bible
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU NEED A PLACE to hide? When I was a kid growing up in a bustling household of 10, finding some alone time was tough. But I soon discovered a place where I could sneak away for a few blissful hours of...
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Hereafter
HEREAFTER Directed by Clint Eastwood (Warner Brothers, 2010) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For almost half a century Clint Eastwood has been making films about death, but nearly all of these movies have been violent adventures in which death arrives...
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How Bland Thou Art: Religious Art Should Challenge and Inspire Our Lives of Faith-Not Put Us to Sleep
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO MY PROVINCIAL SUPERIOR appointed me to a committee charged with developing a monument for a new burial plot for the friars of my Franciscan community. After spirited discussions about the statement we...
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Let It Go
I'll tell you a story. Four years ago I sat at the end of my bed at 3 in the morning, in tears, furious, frightened, exhausted, as drained and hopeless as I have ever been in this bruised and blessed world, at the very end of the end of my rope, and...
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Mysteries of the Heart: Detectives in Literature and on Screen Could Use a Little Warmth in Their Quest to Solve Cold Cases
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN 1886 THE SCOTTISH NOVELIST ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON created a modern classic of horror fiction when he published The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, a psychological thriller in which the good and evil coursing...
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Our Ladies of Haiti: A Year after an Earthquake Killed More Than 230,000, Haiti Rebuilds Its Communities on a Strong Foundation: The Country's Brave and Faithful Women
To get to her house, Marie Josil walks through a blue tarp camp, where hundreds of makeshift shelters after the January 12, 2010 earthquake tumbled their Where the tent city ends, the cinderblock neighborhood begins. Her house, a two-room concrete...
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Postcards from the Pews: If You Get Yourself to Mass, You Never Quite Know What Will Hit You
MY DAUGHTER STANDS AT THE BACK OF CHURCH just before Mass, the tallest of the altar servers this year. She holds the processional cross, 6 feet long. Looking up, vigilant not to bang it on the low-hanging balcony, she hoists it far overhead and steps...
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Survivor Stories: Seven Lessons from the Sex Abuse Crisis from Those Who Suffered the Most
For more than a decade, stories in the media have highlighted the problem of clergy sexual abuse of minors. Much of the recent focus has been on Europe, though there have also been some particularly horrific new stories in this country, such as the...
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What Are Novenas?
For 16 years I prayed them with my entire family before Christmas; I prayed them as a teenager, for the repose of the soul of parents of friends; I prayed them as a teacher with students to honor the school's patroness, St. Rita of Cascia, on the days...
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Woman on a Mission: Sister Mary Vertucci's Faith Has Carried Her Far, and She Hopes It Carries the Girls She Works with in Tanzania Far, Too
She looks skywards. Her watery eyes sparkle under the morning sun as her mind races back in time and she recounts the night that she was to be circumcised and married off to a man old enough to be her grandfather. At only 15, Susana Mathayo knew...
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Working Women
In my first year as a seminarian in 1992 I attended the ordinations of our diocese's deacon class--always at Thanksgiving--where I ran into our then-director of evangelization, a Sister of Mercy. "The bishop is avoiding me," she told me with a grin....
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