U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 68, No. 1, January

All for One and One for All: We Have Been Given an Abundance of Good Grace, and We're Called to Share It. (Practicing Catholic)
THE COUNSEL FOR THE DEFENSE DRONED. PLODDING back and forth before the jury box, he bludgeoned the panel with his case, belaboring every point, and filled the air with excruciating minutiae, lifting his chin and dragging his vowels in a most irksome...
An Investment in Peace. (Editors' Note)
Last weekend my parents and I traveled to Georgia for what has become an annual family trip--to Fort Benning for a protest against the School of the Americas, the U.S. Army's own "terrorist training camp" for Latin American soldiers, who have often...
Courage under Fire: Hollywood Is Selling Us a Bill of Goods in Suggesting That a War Becomes Good through the Bravery and Loyalty of Its Combatants. (Culture in Context)
YOU NEED JUST ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE A PACIFIST in the latest film version of The Four Feathers--coward. Earlier adaptations of A. E. W. Mason s 1902 swashbuckler about a soldier resigning, his commission to avoid combat in Her Majesty's most recent...
Deliver Us from Evil. (Interview)
Evil is probably the last thing people think of when they first meet Ivone Gebara. The Brazilian Sister of Notre Dame exudes grace and intelligence and compassion, and her smile brightens up a room. But evil is precisely what Gebara has been thinking...
Feedback. (Sounding Board)
Q: My best experience with the sacrament of Reconciliation was ... At a communal penance service with general absolution. It made me very aware of the communal aspect of my sins. Patricia Lagges Melrose Park, Ill. My parish priest is an excellent...
Get a New Beatitude: When Jesus Preached the Beatitudes, He Gave Us a Gift-Not Another "To Do" List
We hear it as another list of things to do. "You thought the Commandments were tough. Wait until you get to the Beatitudes! In a nation addicted to doing, we are working out our salvation with fear and trembling. We forget it is all gift. We forget...
Heed the Hungry: Forcing Genetically Modified Food on Unwilling People Makes Us Corporal Dorks of Mercy. (Margin Notes)
HIV, HUNGER, AND DROUGHT ARE PROVING A lethal triumvirate throughout southern Africa. The climate has turned cruel, crops are failing, and many African subsistence farmers are too sick to work. The U.N. estimates that more than 14 million people may...
It Would Be a Sin to Lose General Absolution: A Longtime Pastor Argues That the Church's Movement to Limit the Sacrament of Reconciliation to Individual Confession Ignores the Fact That Many Catholics Are Having Powerful Experiences of God's Mercy at Communal Penance Services. (Sounding Board)
IN THE WINTER OF 1952 I LEARNED HOW TO GO TO CONFESSION. In second grade we had the opportunity to make our first venture into those triple closets at the back of the church, the symbols of privacy and, we hoped, anonymity. Sister taught us the precise...
No Bones about It? (News: Signs of the Times)
Talk about sibling rivalry! James, the "brother of Jesus," seems to be getting more press than the Savior these days. Ever since the discovery of an ossuary--a limestone burial box for bones--with the Aramaic inscription "Jacob (James), son of Joseph,...
Offensive and Heartless. (Letters: You May Be Right)
I was surprised and offended by the November cover story, "What makes a good funeral?" (interview with Thomas Lynch). I really couldn't accept the many references to the "bad news" and the deceased as "the dead guy." The tone of the article is offensive...
Saint Bridget's Diary: A Saintly Role Model, Indeed! (the Examined Life)
RECENTLY, ON THE SEVENTH CENTENARY OF THE birth of Saint Bridget of Sweden, the pope sent a message to Saint Bridget's Order of the Most Holy Savior, praising its foundress as "an example for women today ... so that they will be protagonists of a society...
Spirituality Cafe
"WHEN the song of the angel is still, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their sheep, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release...
The Massacre of the Innocents. (Meditation)
IT WAS NOT ESPECIALLY PRETTY, the world into which Jesus was born. The Palestine of Jesus' day was a world of grinding poverty for the masses, hard labor for a daily pittance, and brutal military occupiers whose preferred method of crowd control was...
The Things I Hold Onto: Seemingly Worthless Trinkets Can Become for Us Treasures of Memories and Grace
Fifteen years ago my mother gave me a night-light, translucent plastic molded into the shape of praying hands, palm to palm except for the white bulb hidden in the center. When I opened it at our extended-family Christmas gathering in western New York,...
Tough Turf: One School's Gang War
Joining a gang is just a rite of passage for a lot of young people in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood. In the gangs, they find belonging, respect, and purpose. Hanging out and protecting the neighborhood turf are the bonding rituals these...
We Interrupt This Program to Bring You a New Message: How Laypeople Are Teaching a Priest to Adjust His Listening
If some members of the clergy and hierarchy needed a little "hearing aid" for the deaf ears they have often turned to the laity, they may have found it in the sexual abuse scandal currently plaguing the Catholic Church. Given the increasingly vocal...
What Is an Octave? (Glad You Asked: Q&A on Church Teaching)
"Octave" has its linguistic roots in the Latin word for eight, octo. Musicians speak of octaves when they refer to the eight-note distance between matching tones, but the church's liturgical calendar has its own use for the word as well. In effect,...
What's in a Name? When We Accept the Name "Christian," We Enter into an Unending Covenant-To Love One Another and Be Loved in Return. (Testaments)
I RODE MY BIKE to the top of the hill and looked down at the town spread out below me. I was 12 and facing the most serious decision of my young life. This hill was the place where I did all of my important thinking. Seeing the whole town in front...
Where's Your Piggy Going to Market? the Dividends of Faith-Based Investing
During his 25 years of investing in the markets, Paul McInerny had never given much thought to what his Catholic beliefs had to do with his portfolio. McInerny, president of Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and his wife, Carol, a...
Why Water Down Baptism? (Letters: You May Be Right)
NOVEMBER'S SOUNDING BOARD, "IS BAPTISM A GOD-given rite? by Michael J. Daley sadly demonstrates that there is a lack of norms to be followed by parishes. We see a refusal in one parish only to be met by a joyous reception in another. What's wrong with...