U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 71, No. 12, December

Al-Salamu 'Alaykum: "Peace Be with You" in Any Language Must Be on Our Lips If It Is to Heal Our World
THOUGH THE FIRESTORM SPARKED BY POPE BENEDICT'S comments about Islam last fall seems to have died down, the lingering effects remain. It may take a while to forget the masses of Muslims throughout the world denouncing the pope in mostly peaceful rallies,...
Cramming for Christmas: Much like Students Preparing for Final Exams, We Should Be Mindful of Our Own Deadline
We college professors--especially those of us truly blessed to teach first-year students--are modern-day John the Baptists. On the first day of classes each fall, we take our places at our lecterns, computer desks, and laboratories--the banks of the...
Does God Cause Natural Disasters?
Scenes of hurricane-flooded cities, tsunami-devastated coastlines, war-ravaged countries, and other mass destruction and suffering can lead people of faith to ask the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people? For that matter, why do...
Even Unto Death
WHEN I HEARD THE NEWS THAT FOUR U.S. CHURCH women, including Jean Donovan, were raped and killed in El Salvador on Dec. 2, 1980, I was a senior at Duke University with plans to enter the Jesuits. But I was having second thoughts. What difference could...
Feedback
One charitable organization that I really believe in and why is ... Catholic Relief Services is geared to tackle the source of the poverty through education and development, as well as to give aid to alleviate the immediate needs of hunger and housing...
Following Yonder Star: Like the Magi, Today's Migrants Face Hardships as They Traverse Afar, but They Can Also Show Us How We're All on the Move
ONE OF MY MOST VIVID CHRISTMAS MEMORIES IS THE NACIMIENTO, OR NATIVITY SCENE, I SAW years ago in the home of Jesus and Emily Salazar in San Antonio. Their nacimiento extended along three walls the living room and was decorated with colorful serapes,...
French Connection: In Burgundy's Wine Country, Young People Peace and Perspective on Retreat at a Monastery in Taize
At first there is fidgeting. And clearing of throats. Legs crossed and uncrossed, positions shifted. But slowly the silence descends, and there is stillness. For 15 whole minutes, hundreds of teenagers and young adults are alone--together--with their...
Gimme Shelter: Las Posadas Is Good Practice for Welcoming Fellow Travelers Who Need Our Help
IT WAS DECEMBER AND THE NIGHT WAS CRISP AND CHILLY. From my doorway I watched in awe as a magnificent scene unfolded before me. A candlelight procession of men, women, and children praying and singing traditional posada songs was making its way down...
Go Ask Agamemnon; America's 'Gift' for Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Foretells a Future of More Strife
CASSANDRA IS REMEMBERED FOR HER GIFT OF PROPHecy, but her skills would not have seemed so impressive were it revealed, say, that she schemed for the destruction of Troy or the murder of Agamemnon even as she foretold their unfortunate ends. Like the...
Have a Very Moral Christmas; Can We Make John the Baptist's Call to Justice Part of This Joyful Season without Being Holiday Humbugs?
DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY! 'TIS THE season to be ... shopping, or baking, or sending cards, or something. Instead here I sit, asking myself a long list of moral questions: What's the right thing to do about Christmas? What's the best way...
It's a Privilege to Be Me
My dad loves Christmas shopping. He loves to spoil his family. He also likes to recall how, as a kid, he "got socks in a brown paper bag" for Christmas. I am thankful that my parents have always done all they can to give my brother and me what we want,...
Naughty and Nice
Merry Christmas to Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A Teach us your ways, O Lord. To the creators of Sudoku puzzles, and all who figure them out, merry Christmas. We have your number. Merry...
Racist like Me: The Editors Interview Jon Nilson
A relative of Jon Nilson once implied that the only reason Nilson had been given a scholarship to graduate school at the University of Notre Dame was that he had put in a good word for him. Nilson was completely furious. "I was one of the best prepared...
Stay Tuned? Americans Ought to Spend as Much Time Catching Up on Real-Life Cliffhangers as They Do on Their Favorite TV Shows
NINETEENTH-CENTURY NEWSPAPERS INVENTED the serial to boost their sales. Customers dying to know what had happened to the heroes and villains in Charles Dickens' latest comedy or Arthur Conan Doyle's most recent mystery would rush out to the newsstand...
The Queen
THE QUEEN Directed by Stephen Frears (Miramax, 2006) Just a year after her triumphal performance as the regal Elizabeth I in the HBO miniseries, Dame Helen Mirren has taken on the crown again in Stephen Frears' scathing study of the royal ruins...
Trading Spaces: The Moving Experience of Converts
Marcia Easterling was born and raised a Southern Baptist. She grew up and married a good Baptist man in the sanctuary of a Baptist church. So the first time her husband suggested they go to Mass at a Catholic church, she says, "I had enough Southern...
What Do You Get from Giving? Their Charitable Checks May Be Small Compared to Those of a Billionaire, but U.S. CATHOLIC Readers Have Faith That They Will Get Some Bang for Their Buck When They Give to Their Charities of Choice
CHRISTMAS CAME IN JUNE FOR THE GATES FAMILY THIS year when they received the largest philanthropic gift in history, worth $37 billion today. Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the world, announced last summer that he would give much of his fortune...
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