U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 71, No. 8, August

An Inconvenient Truth
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH Directed by David Guggenheim (Paramount Classics, 2006) In David Guggenheim's new documentary former Vice President Al Gore (who calls himself the man "who used to be the next president of the United States") makes it clear...
Christmas Presence
Kathy Berken has lived in a L'Arche community in Clinton, Iowa since October 1999 and is currently the house coordinator for Arch III, where she and one other assistant live with five core members. The mother of two grown children, Berken worked for...
Continuing Ed: What the Church Can Learn from Campus Ministry
Mark Davidovich is a sophomore majoring in history and political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. When he left for college, he figured he'd attend Mass, but he was more interested in checking out other, non-religious activities....
For Extra Credit: Math and Other Problems Waiting for an Answer
[Q:] If a man is walking south along a beach at 1 mile an hour and a woman a mile behind him is walking south along the same beach at 2 miles an hour, at what point will they just totally misunderstand each other and fail to communicate in even the...
Going Public: 5 Ways to Help Your Kids Keep the Faith-Even at Public Schools
When Mary Clare Murray's 8-year-old daughter came home with questions about why Catholics worship statues, Murray gave a simple explanation. Catholics don't worship statues, said the mother of six from St. John the Beloved Parish in McLean, Virginia....
Good Shepherd
ON MY FIRST VISIT TO GUATEMALA, I STAYED WITH a priest who brought me to the neighboring village of Santiago Atitlan, where he told me the story of Father Stan Rother. The American, missionary, caught in the middle of Guatemala s civil war, wound up...
Happy Are They: The Beginning of Happiness Is Knowing Its True Source-And It's Closer Than You Think
HAPPINESS IS ARGUABLY AN IMPORTANT CONCEPT in American life. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are three things presumably safeguarded by our form of government. Personally, I'm all in favor of happiness and don't mind having some for myself....
Humanity Professor
Jean Vanier offers a simple summary of the purpose of the small community he began in 1964: "The secret of L'Arche is relationship: meeting people heart to heart; listening to people with their pain, their joy, their hope, their history." Harder to...
New Orleans Rising: Katrina One Year Later
Shortly after the epic hurricane, President Bush spoke of "the people down in Katrina"--a poignant malapropism for a new geography in the national mind: the region of devastation in the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast. New Orleans, fabled as the...
Running on Empty: Too Many Drivers and Not Enough Passengers-Could This Be the Explanation for Sky-High Gas Prices and Endless Miles of Asphalt?
"ON THE ROAD OF LIFE," THE POPULAR Volkswagen ad reads, "there are passengers and there are drivers. Drivers wanted." This simple but snappy line brought the Beetle back from the brink of extinction because, given the choice, who wouldn't rather be...
Sold out? Mainstream Success May Spoil Organic Agriculture
MY NAME IS KEVIN C. AND I AM A COSTCO-HOLIC. You gotta love a place where you can buy a 30-gallon jug of mayonnaise, season two of Battlestar Gallactica, 37 pounds of frozen ground beef, a flat-screen HDTV, and a cut-rate mahogany coffin all in one...
Stick 'Em Up: Put Your Hands in the Air like You Just Do Care When Praying to God
I'D FINALLY HAD IT WITH GOD. THINGS JUST WEREN'T going right, and I needed to let it out. But how do you read the riot act to the Almighty? I prepared my words, folded my hands as I'd been taught all my life, and got ready to let out the biggest screamer...
The Real Deal
Over lunch at a conference not too long ago, a friend and I were discussing the talk we'd just heard by a Catholic Worker about the connection between the Eucharist and her community life with the poor at her house. Though it was certainly not the...
These American Lives: Undocumented Stories
She is fighting to regain her composure and she is losing. Her narrative halts in midsentence, stalled in a sob, and Lourdes Solorzano's previously calm, confident face disintegrates into a portrait of plain heartache. Her red T-shirt is rhinestoned...
Use Only as Directed: Charges of Heresy Should Not Be Tossed about Casually. but When It Comes to the Basics of Our Belief, We Still Need to Call It like It Is
HERESY-HUNTING RIGHTLY HAS A BAD REPUTAtion these days. A lot of damage was done through the long centuries of Christian conflict by people willing to escalate theological debates into pitched battles, charge opponents with heresy, and manipulate political...
War without End
Chicago became the tale of two speeches recently when George W. Bush and James Carroll spoke about war on the same day. The president, having the worst of times, trotted out yet one more "turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror"...
Who Was St. Augustine, and Why Should I Care?
"Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new. Late have I love you!" So prayed the passionate theologian and pastor of the early church, St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430). As a precocious young man Augustine led a somewhat randy life, living...