U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 75, No. 3, March

A Slow Fast: Think Giving Up Meat on Fridays during Lent Is Hard? Try Eating Just One Meal a Clay for All 40 Days
I HAVE A REGULAR PRACTICE OF SERIOUS FASTING. I DO IT once a decade. As a novice at age 26, I found it difficult to adjust to our Lenten monastic practice of soup and bread for our main meal on Wednesdays and Fridays, and bread and water on Ash...
Certifiably Catholic: Our Place in the Church Isn't Determined by Politics or Policy
IF THERE'S ONE LESSON AMERICANS CAN TAKE FROM THE last 12 months of our political life, it's that something called "bipartisanship" is long dead and buried. If the recent national debate on health care is an indication, anyone "reaching across the...
Did God Cause the Earthquake in Haiti?
When horrible things happen in the world, it's natural to seek an explanation. Explanations offer a sense of control and meaning in situations that seem devoid of both. The devastation in Haiti caused by the January earthquake has left many asking,...
Do You Hear the Cry of the Poor? Though It Grew Up in Latin America, Liberation Theology Continues to Have Lessons for the Faithful North of the Border
The editors interview Michael Lee People who think of "liberation theology" as a 1960s fad should get to know Fordham University Professor Michael Lee, one of a new generation of Catholic theologians. Lee's faith was transformed when he put it to...
Fighting the Blues: Americans Stripping Valuable Resources from People in a Faraway Land-Is This the Evening News or a Hollywood Blockbuster?
IN 1929 AL JOLSON TOLD AUDIENCES OF THE JAZZ SINGER THAT they ain't heard (or seen) nothin' yet, and he was right. They hadn't seen Judy Garland croon and dance down that dazzling yellow brick road to find The Wizard of Oz. They hadn't shuddered as...
Homegrown Clergy: One Bishop Makes the Case for a New Kind of Priesthood
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] MMUSONG IS A SMALL BUT VIBRANT CATHOLIC community of about 700 high in the mountains of South Africa. On Sundays the simple church building is full, but most of the time not for Mass, only for a service of the Word. Mass...
Journey to the Center of the Church: Dispatches from the History of Hispanic Catholics in the United States
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] From colonial times until recently, Hispanic Catholics in lands now in the United States have been on the margins of their church. During the Spanish and Mexican periods, Catholics lived too far from the seats of their dioceses....
Making Poverty Personal
Every high school student loves "movie day," but it was unfortunately rare at my Catholic high school. Lucky for us, Paulist Productions produced a movie that almost every religion teacher showed to students of my generation: Romero (1989), about the...
More out of Africa: A Deal That Sounds Too Good to Be True Probably Is-Especially for Subsistence Farmers
AFRICA'S SAVANNAHS AND PLAINS, EVEN ITS SMOLDERing desert dunes, have long maintained a strange allure for a certain kind of European visioniary--all that virgin land, all those resources, all that untapped potential, all that inconvenient wildlife...
One Family's Way of the Cross: A Journey with a Beloved Foster Daughter Brings Lent Home
WHEN OUR FOSTER DAUGHTER WAS 2, we had to give her up for Lent. She had lived with us for a little more than a year at the time, and over the course of that year her biological father had taken the parenting classes and met the conditions the court...
One Fast Move or I'm Gone
ONE FAST MOVE OR I'M GONE Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard (F-Stop/Atlantic Records, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Since his death in 1969, beat novelist Jack Kerouac has become a pop-culture perennial. Each generation of young rebels lays claim...
Ratzinger on the Record: Thirty-Seven Years Ago a Future Pope Told U.S. Catholic What Was on His Mind
"AT THE TIME OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL," AN article in the October 1973 issue of U.S. CATHOLIC recalled, "it was said the bishops were learning their two R's: Rahner and Ratzinger." The two German theologians had been among a group of highly influential...
Romero Revisited: El Salvador 30 Years Later
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The public grade school of La Palma, E1 Salvador sits on top of a hill. In its courtyard small children from poor families are gathering. They are graduates dressed in mortarboard caps, gray capes, and white gloves, each one...
Sins of the Father: The Suspect Actions of Abraham Should Give Us Pause about What Makes Him One of the Heroes of the Bible
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] MOST OF US GREW UP MENTALLY SUPPLYING A retroactive halo to the protagonists in the Bible. Churches have been named for the "proto-saints," as holy ones of the Old Testament are called. Michelangelo comfortably added prophets'...
Up in the Air
UP IN THE AIR Directed by Jason Reitman (Paramount Pictures, 2009) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The most unbelievable thing about Jason Reitman's slick black comedy is that there is anybody left in America who still likes to fly. But Ryan Bingham...
Via Dolorosa: When You're on Chemo, the Stations of the Cross Take on a Whole New Meaning
Growing up Catholic in the 1970s, I remember the older women in our parish staying after Mass and praying before the Stations of the Cross. They would walk silently and slowly, stopping to pray at each of the 14 depictions of Jesus' final hours. I...
Will Work for Peace: For Graduates of Peace Studies Programs at Catholic Universities, the Career Track Can Lead to All Kinds of Interesting Places
In her first job out of college, Erin Hivner has been able to do something many recent grads never get a chance to do: put her major to work. No, she didn't study engineering or accounting or education, majors that lead directly to jobs in their fields....

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