U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 70, No. 12, December

Can't Stop Christmas from Coming: When a Family Death Put the Holiday Celebration on Hold, One Woman Still Experienced the Joy of Jesus' Birth
Here in India, where I have lived for the past 23 years, people know how to make space for death. The old traditional Christian custom of spending two days on the wake and one for the funeral--though actually practiced by very few in the United States...
Good Counsel
By the time I was born, the Second Vatican Council was already eight years past and its reforms well underway. With my first J church memory being the local university parish--think guitars and groovy Paulist priests--it should come as no surprise...
Grand Jury Report Paints Ugly Picture in PA
PHILADELPHIA -- A grand jury has released a scathing report on the extent of the sexual abuse that took place in the Philadelphia archdiocese since the 1950s after reviewing allegations against 169 priests. While none of the crimes can be prosecuted...
Hung out to Dry: With the Plight of Katrina's Victims Broadcast on Every TV Station, America's Dirty Laundry-That the Richest Nation Has Millions of Impoverished Citizens-Was Aired for All the World to See
AUDIENCES OF STEVEN SPIELBERG'S SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER, War of the Worlds, saw life imitating art in September as a helpless nation watched television images of millions of homeless and devastated Americans caught in the wake of monstrous forces that made...
In the Spirit of the Game: Though Cheating and Corruption Can Be Par for the Course, Sports Also Have the Capacity to Reveal the Fullness of Human Possibilities
"I am an avid sports fan and a Christian theologian." I feel like an alcoholic confessing my addiction at a 12-step meeting. There is so much to criticize about professional and college sports in our culture, particularly from the perspective of Christian...
Merry Christmas
To the cardinals of the conclave who elected the new pope, and to Benedict XVI, merry Christmas. Remember the future, please. Merry Christmas to George Lucas, whose omega Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith, ends an era. You have not forgotten the...
Midlife Crisis? Vatican II Turns 40: With the Reforms of the Council Passing the Four-Decade Mark, It's a Good Time to Take a Look Back at Some of the Highlights
We called them the Coneheads, after the family of space aliens featured in a popular skit on Saturday Night Live in the '70s. A wall-sized black-and-white photo mural hung in the common room of my seminary, a family portrait of 2,000 bishops, each...
Not Another Christmas Letter! Those Annual Holiday Missives Don't Have to Be Your Father's Christmas Letter
EVERY CHRISTMAS SEASON MY MOM RETRIEVES "THE Book from storage and puts it on display on the living room coffee table. It's not a family Bible, but to us it's akin to scripture. I'm talking about the faded ivory scrapbook filled with every annual Christmas...
Portraits of Our Lady
When I visited a nursery in Tepoztlan, not far from Mexico City, a young man in his 20s, who was selling cacti and pansies, caught my attention thanks to the large quantity of tattoos on his body. I suspected that he also had one of the Virgin of Guadalupe....
The Greatest Story Never Foretold?
THE EDITORS INTERVIEW PAULINE A. VIVIANO "For a child has been born for us, a son given to us ... he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." These lines from Isaiah 9:6 are some of the most recognizable of...
The (UN)Official U.S. Catholic Christmas Gift Guide! in a Christian Conundrum about What to Buy Friends and Family for Christmas This Year? Here Are Some Fine Ideas for the Jesus Freak on Your List
JESUS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD Everyone knows clever T-shirts are the trend this year. And with that has come a whole slew of Christian-themed T's as well, most of which are kind of dorky. But this one--"Jesus is my copilot," available at www.DustyBrand.com/shirts/...
Vatican II, Schmatican II: Forty Years Later, a Young Catholic Wonders If It Isn't Time for a New Agenda
LEADING UP TO THIS MONTH'S 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF the closing of the Second Vatican Council, this year has been filled with workshops, symposia, and whole conferences dedicated to the discussion of Vatican II, the unfinished business of Vatican II, renewing...
Vatican Too Little, but Not Too Late? Forty Years after Vatican II, U.S. CATHOLIC Readers Enthusiastically Support Its Reforms. but Quite a Few Are Concerned That Some in the Church Are Trying to Turn Back the Clock
"AS POPE JOHN XXIII SAID, OUR role is to tend the garden, not guard the museum. We re spending too much time moving deck chairs while the ship founders." Eugene Mastrangelo of North Beach, Maryland summarizes well the sentiments of respondents to U.S....
War to the World: Decking the Halls of Power with Weapons of Little-Noticed Destruction
YAHOO LAUNCHED ITS LATEST FORAY INTO MULTIMEDIA news gathering in September by hiring war correspondent Kevin Sites to "star" in an around-the-world-in-a-gunsmoked-haze tour of the planet's war zones. Some might be tempted to dismiss Sites' efforts...
Where Did the "12 Days of Christmas" Come From?
As we're reminded every Advent, our Catholic Christmas customs are somewhat at odds with the secular "holiday season," which starts before Thanksgiving and goes on until the last college bowl game. But even though we Catholics wait a bit to get going,...
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