U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 76, No. 4, April

...And Now a Word from Your Sponsor: In a Letter to His 11 Godchildren, a Godfather Explains Why He Remains a Catholic-Despite Both His and the Church's Shortfalls
My wife and I have 11 godchildren. For whatever reason, we began to acquire most of them after we reached age 50. Because neither of us is famous for our sanctity, we are sometimes a bit amazed that we continue to be asked to assume this responsibility....
Are There Different Lists of the Ten Commandments?
So much is debated about the Bible that you'd hope when it comes to the Ten Commandments, at least, you're on solid ground. There are 10, right? And they're chiseled in stone--quite literally--so we know exactly what they are, number by number. Or...
A Time to Plant: Life Lessons in Work, Prayer, and Dirt
A TIME TO PLANT: LIFE LESSONS IN WORK, PRAYER, AND DIRT By Kyle T. Kramer (Ave Maria Press, 2010) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] If you've ever felt that you just knew something about yourself in your bones, something that you should be or do, but...
Boxed In: Lent Is a Good Time to Ask Whether the Stuff We Hold on to Is Actually Holding Us Back
EXTRA SPACE STORAGE IS THE BLUNTLY SELF-DESCRIPTIVE name of one of many companies that, in exchange for monthly rent, will let you stow all that junk you can no longer fit in your closet, attic, car trunk, or parents' basement. There are an astonishing...
Cutthroat Choreography: What Do Gangsters and Ballerinas Have in Common? A Deadly Drive, According to the Latest Dance Thriller Black Swan
BLACK SWAN IS A MOVIE ABOUT THE BALLET IN THE same way The Godfather is a film about the family business. Like Francis Ford Coppola's tragic tale of Michael Corleone's descent into slaughter, Darren Aronofsky's seemingly arthouse film about ballet...
Don't Be Crude: It's Time to Get the Petroleum Monkey off Our Backs
HELLO, MY NAME IS DAN, AND I'M ADDICTED TO OIL. I recently looked around me to catalog all the things made from oil. The plastics in and of themselves were almost too numerous to count: milk and juice bottles, plastic cups and plates, office chair...
Feedback
Americans won't get serious about our dependence on oil until... Greener technologies show us a way out of the mire. LuAnn Kowar Chicago, Ill. We're out of oil and starting more wars. Bill Magness Cincinnati, Ohio We hit bottom--but...
Let England Shake
LET ENGLAND SHAKE P.J. Harvey (Vagrant Records, 2011) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] England's reputation as an island of eccentrics is longstanding, and for the past two decades P.J. Harvey has done her bit to uphold it. Polly Jean comes by it naturally,...
Lip Service: The Liturgy of Good Friday Gathers Believers of Every Generation before the Tree of Life
THOSE OF US IN OUR 60S AND BEYOND REMEMBER SOMETHING like this from our youthful Good Fridays: After what seemed like an eternity of Latin readings (mostly John's account of the Passion), followed by another eternity (during which the interesting part...
New Homes for Old Treasures
As Catholic demographics shift and shrinking budgets demand consolidation, churches close. Because canon law prohibits the sale of sacred objects--such as crucifixes, chalices, and Stations of the Cross--and calls for their disposal only if they are...
New Life
My family recently held its first baby shower. Around the same time that this magazine is due in readers' mailboxes, my nephew is due to enter the world. I can't help but wonder what kind of world he will grow up in. This question was on my mind...
On Fertile Ground: The Holiness of the Eucharist Is Alive in the Soil with Which We Work
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The smell of horses and leather filled the air as I made the last harness adjustments, stepped behind the team of willing Belgians, and drove them to the walking plow that stood at the head of the garden. Trace chains clinked...
Parks & Re-Creation: A Group of Young People in the Bronx Finds That by Beautifying an Old Eyesore, They've Unleashed a Desire to Serve Their Community
David Shuffler walks through the park that he helped build in the South Bronx on his way to work. Grass and young trees line his path through Concrete Plant Park, named after the factory that was once on the site. Some of the old factory structures...
The Fighter
THE FIGHTER Directed by David O. Russell (Paramount, 2010) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Boxing films are invariably tales of lion-hearted toughs from the wrong side of the tracks overcoming insuperable odds. But great fight movies are more than...
Traitors among Us: Is Judas Hated Because He Is a Failed Apostle or Because We See Ourselves in Him?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I STOOD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AND WATCHED THE car pull away. The man of my dreams was at the wheel of that vehicle. He was driving away from me. Forever. It was a young woman's tragic soap opera moment, an hour when...
Tweet like an Egyptian: The Internet Keeps Its Promise in the Arab World
IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB, HTML wizards maintained the googly-eyed optimism of people who thought they were changing the world. Here was a civically electrifying form of communication that would obliterate time and space and the distance...
Universal Savior: An Ever-Expanding Universe Needs Believers Who See Themselves as the Ever-Expanding Presence of Christ in the World
While some see modern science as a challenge to faith, Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio sees it as an opportunity to think in new ways about God, creation, and the incarnation. The age of the universe alone requires us to talk about creation and Christ...
Upon This Empty Lot: Parishes Building New Churches Struggle to Find the Right Marriage of Bricks and Mortar to House the Body of Christ
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On the last Sunday of every month, Father John Jamnicky gets on a scale. Within moments his weight loss is posted on a big chart in the fellowship room of his church. "At 65, I have, probably lost and gained more weight than...
Will You Be There? the Liturgies of Holy Week Let Us Walk with Christ through Death to Life
I SUSPECT WHEN OUR KIDS LOOK BACK UPON THE FAITH moments of their childhood, they will have memories of Christmas, yes, and the parade of Sundays of Ordinary Time, but what will really stick with them is Holy Week. I checked this out with my daughter...