U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 74, No. 9, September

All My Children: Rita and Russ Hoffman Have Skipped the Drama While Fostering More Than 500 Children
Catholics have a reputation for large families, but Rita and Russ Hoffman may hold the record for the most kids. Over the past five decades, the 76-year-old couple in Moorhead, Minnesota has raised six of their own children and fostered more than 500...
Can I Have a Word with You? the Stories of Scripture Are Our Family Stories, Too
I AM SITTING IN THE PEW. THE FIRST READING ENDS; THE song leader begins the psalm. "What shall I return to the Lord," she sings, "for all the bounty he has given?" I see my daughter, a tall 14-year-old, in her alb up in the sacristy. She has come...
Class Acts
Dateline 1969: Cathy O'Connell sets off for her final year at St. Matthias grade school in Chicago. She carries a tan monthly tuition envelope with $11 inside. 1993: Cathy, now O'Connell-Cahill, and her husband enroll their son in Our Lady of Mercy...
Electric Dirt
ELECTRIC DIRT Levon Helm (Vanguard Records, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Beginning in 1969, Levon Helm, with his mates in The Band, helped save rock and roll from psychedelia and all its pomps. In a world crazed by fads and fashions, songs...
Fast Friends: The Way to Interreligious Understanding Sometimes Passes through an Empty Stomach
AS A CATHOLIC SCHOOL KID LIVING IN THE BIBLE BELT South, I grew up as a religious minority. When I was invited to attend an interfaith conference in Jordan, therefore, I didn't feel intimidated until I realized I had landed in a Muslim country where...
Final Exam: Can We Reinvent Catholic Schools?
Theresa Muniz remembers the nuns in her elementary school as strict, vigorously inspecting her appearance and demanding straight-laced behavior. But in her working-class Chicago neighborhood, her parish school offered what her parents wanted: a good...
Is Your Faith Working? When U.S. Catholic Readers Punch the Clock, They Don't Forget That They Are Still on God's Time, According to a Reader Survey in Honor of Labor Day
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "THE MORE WE STRIVE TO SECURE A COMMON GOOD COP, responding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them," Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his recent encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth). "Every...
Learning Experience: Catholic Schools Are Filling in the Teacher Gap with New Grads Looking for a Challenge
Elias Moo could be parlaying the University of Notre Dame degree he earned in 2007 into a lucrative career. Instead, the 24-year-old has spent the last two years living in Denver's inner city with four others who share his passion: serving as a teacher,...
Let Them Eat Cash: The Hungry of the World Make Uncommonly Good Investment Opportunity
AN ONLINE INVESTMENT BOARD HOSTS A LIVELY CHAT among a gaggle of eager Wall Street wannabes who cheer and jeer each other through to a near consensus on a winning strategy. Nothing unusual about that. It's the nature of their specific strategy that's...
Practice What You Teach: Sometimes Passion Is More Important Than the Lesson Plan
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] MY LITTLE SISTER EVIE WAS A BORN TEACHER. From the time she was in kindergarten, she'd arrive home from school and set up her own classroom on the sidewalk in front of our house. She'd drag out books and paper and crayons...
Priests off the Pedestal: A Holy-Card Priest Is Not the Best Patron to Lead 21st-Century Ministers into the Future
FATHER ALBERT HENKEL WAS A GOOD PRIEST. THOUGH gruff and grumbly on the outside, he was a kind and gentle pastor. The threat of a call to Father Henkel--never Father Al--was enough to strike fear into the heart of the most hardened misbehaver at the...
Re-Cycle Yourself: It's Time We Started Thinking of Bicycling as Serious Business Instead of Just Child's Play
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] EVERY NIGHT ON TV I SEE A DOZEN OR SO CAR COMmercials, even though America's auto industry is in free-fall. And yet although folks in this country spend nearly $6 billion annually buying close to 20 million bicycles and worldwide...
System Update Required: How Would Education Expert Father Joseph O'Keefe, S.J. Reboot Catholic Schools If He Could Start from Scratch? in a Time and Place Not So Far Away, O'Keefe Has Imagined a Catholic School Utopia Where Everyone Is Plugged into the Same Mission
For many years, Nearfutureville was a just small desert town with very few Catholics. Today, it is emblematic of the Catholic Church in the United States, with migrants from the Northeast and Midwest and immigrants from every part of the globe. Its...
The Terrible Brilliance
I'll tell you a story. There was a girl named Isabel. When she was 4 years old she got unbelievably sick. When she was 5 years old she stunningly wonderfully astoundingly got well. When she was 6 years old she got even sicker than before and soon she...
Up
UP Directed by Pete Docter (Pixar, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Ask anybody under 30 and they will tell you that Pixar is the animation studio. But the company that has stunned us with now 10 lush and dazzling computer animated films is also...
Welcome Center: The First Step to Unity among the People of the Book Is to Gather in One Place and Sit Down at One Table: An Interview with Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, S.J
One may not expect to find a Christian monastery in the mountains of Syria, much less one led by an Italian Jesuit. But Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi (The Monastery of St. Moses the Abyssinian) awaits the pilgrim willing to climb the hundreds of steps to...
When Do the Bread and Wine Become the Body and Blood of Christ?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The question of exactly when the eucharistic gifts become Christ's Body and Blood has commanded attention and debate for centuries. From the supper at Emmaus, disciples have cherished the Eucharist as the clearest sign of...