U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 74, No. 5, May

Collection Racket: The Arresting Frequency of Parish Embezzlement
If the pastor had not stepped down, the embezzlement might have continued indefinitely. But when Father Brian Lisowski, pastor of St. Bede the Venerable, a large parish on Chicago's Southwest Side, resigned in 2004, the Sunday Mass collection suddenly...
Dream On: The Election of an African American President Has Stirred Excitement, but a Leading Black Theologian Says Visions of a "Postracial" America Are Premature and Misguided
At the root of her theology, says M. Shawn Copeland, is the pursuit of the question: What is the best, the most worthwhile way to live? While Christians understand that the reign of God is not an achievable result of human endeavors, we are called...
Feedback
I think the biggest benefit of Natural Family Planning is... It complies with church teaching. Rick Garza Clint, Texas Married couples can plan their families and bring their children into the world when it's best for them and their children....
Intensive Care: John Seffrin Is on a Mission to Make Cancer a Thing of the Past
John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society (ACS), accepted an award from Polish Cardinal Jozef Glemp in 2008. Although presented by a representative of the Catholic Church, the accolade had nothing to do with Seffrin's faith. Rather, it was in...
Litany of the Blessed Mother
Litany of the Blessed Mother (addendum) Mother most exasperated but calm in the face of total sneering and whining from her progeny whom she loves although sometimes she would like to upend them face first in the laundry bin which is ...
Milk
MILK Directed by Gus Van Sant (Focus Features, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As Sean Penn plays him in Gus Van Sant's new biopic, Harvey Milk is no Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, or Mahatma Gandhi. Penn's Milk is more complex, frail, and funny...
No Line on the Horizon
NO LINE ON THE HORIZON U2 (Universal-Island Records, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The work on this album started when U2 was in Fez, Morocco during an International Festival of Sacred Music. It was an appropriate context because for three...
Not Your Mother's Rhythm Method: Natural Family Planning Has Come a Long a Way, Baby. Not Only Does It Meet the Church's Moral Standard for Spacing Births, It Keeps a Marriage Going
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I MET MIKE WHILE WORKING AS AN ENGINEER FOR AN AEROSPACE company. Mike was a test pilot just out of the Air Force. He swept me off my feet--literally--by taking me on flights. After one flight we lunched from a picnic basket...
O Little Wall of Bethlehem: Israel's Security Fence Is Meant to Keep Terrorists out, but It Also Keeps Ordinary Palestinians Boxed In
The name Bethlehem summons feelings of joy and peace in many, but Jesus' birthplace today is far removed from an idyllic nativity scene. To reach it, pilgrims have to first cross the Israeli Defense Wall, dubbed "the wall of shame" or apartheid wall...
Sewn Together: An Idle Mind May Be the Devil's Workshop, but Busy Hands Are Where the Holy Spirit Hangs Out
I LOVE TO MAKE STUFF, WHICH DOESN'T MAKE ME MUCH different from many women I know. Lots of us like to knit, quilt, crochet, or do needlepoint for a whole variety of reasons: because it relaxes us, it empowers us and brings us joy to find we can make...
This Is Your Brain on Drugs: Today's Students Have a Drug Problem, but It's Not Exactly What You Might Think
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] CAN YOU IMAGINE ASKING STUDENTS TAKING THEIR SATs to pee in a cup? Or a high school valedictorian losing his place at an Ivy League school because his application essay was written with the aid of a performance-enhancing drug?...
Too Many Basket Cases
Yet another bad news story about the church? you may have sighed when you saw this month's cover. Haven't we had enough? But if your diocese is typical, you most likely have already been aware of at least one major embezzlement scandal in a parish...
Watch Your Steps: Mass Could Use the Hard Dose of Reality Offered by Those Recovering from Addiction
I GO TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY WITH A BUNCH OF ADDICTS. Well, technically, I've been going to church alongside the addicts. For the past 10 years a Narcotics Anonymous group has been meeting in the church basement during our Sunday evening liturgy....
What Do You Ask for This Child? Baptism Might Not Have Exactly Saved This Baby's Life, but It Showed His Family the Power of Love and Faith
As a religious educator, I have always taught that Baptism can be administered in an emergency by anyone with the right intentions using the ancient trinitarian formula. I never imagined, of course, that I would be that person, baptizing not a stranger...
What the World Needs Now: To Live as Jesus Did Is Our Real Calling in Life. Roman Collars and Veils Not Required
SETTING: COAL TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania. Time: the 1970s. Characters: parochial high school students. Event: the vocation fair. I was there, a typical adolescent in a bad plaid uniform, Peter-Pan collared white blouse, and penny loafers, contemplating...
When Enough Is Enough: Why a Future of Endless Economic Growth Is Not the Cure for What Ails the Earth
AFTER WANDERING AROUND AN ACADEMIC WILDERness for 30 or so years, a fella might be forgiven for indulging in a little schadenfreude before the spectacle of the West's recent mind-bending fall from grace. But University of Maryland professor Herman...
Why Can't Catholics Wed Outdoors?
Of the four wedding invitations currently posted on my refrigerator, only one is for a ceremony to be held in a church. The others? All will be outdoors: in a hotel garden, under a restaurant gazebo, or in a park. The beauty of God's creation seems...
You Look Just like Your Father: Canonized Saints Aren't the Only Ones Who Point Us to Holiness. Just Look Around
Some years ago, after Sunday Mass in a small Maine town where my wife and I were vacationing, a middle-aged woman approached and asked if I was a Dinn. I was completely surprised because I was only a visitor and we were a couple of hundred miles from...
You Must Remember This: As Time Goes by, Grief, Though Bittersweet, Keeps Those We've Lost near and Dear
ON OUR DINING ROOM TABLE SITS AN OLD REMINGTON typewriter we inherited from my uncle, who died last year. On it he wrote term papers during his years at DePaul University under the GI Bill, after he returned from fighting Nazis in Europe. "We knew...