U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 74, No. 3, March

American Dreams Deferred: Catholic Charities Struggle to Help Families Meet Basic Needs
"Here in San Jose, there's a street that they call the 'empty street' because every single house on it is foreclosed," says Gregory Kepferle, CEO of Catholic Charities in California's Santa Clara County. Kepferle reports that his office is seeing an...
Basketball Therapy: See the Spirit in Action at Your Local School Gym
MY HUSBAND IS NOT REALLY A BASKETBALL guy. He's a baseball guy. He can recite the lineup of the 1969 Cubs from memory and tell you why Cub third baseman Ron Santo belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. But he is now in his third year of coaching...
Can This Market Be Saved? A Catholic View of the Market Just May Be What's Needed to Rescue Our Economy from Its Moral Recession
If anything good comes out of the current economic crisis, it might be a more urgent discussion of morality in the marketplace, theologian and economist Daniel Finn says. Finn, a professor at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota and...
Catholic Confidential: This Newly Minted Member of the Church Still Wonders What She Got Herself Into
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A couple of times each month something stirs in my heart, and I know the only way to quiet the churning is to attend Mass. Once I'm there, however, I stare at the guy hanging on the wall and think, "What in the world am I...
Fast Break: Lent Is a Good Time to Call Time-Out on Our First World Feeding Frenzy
"EAT THE WORLD" IS THE SLOGAN OF THE FOOD COURT at a high-end Magnificent Mile mall in Chicago--and it delivers. From sushi to stir fry, pasta to pancakes, all that stands between an eater and a defenseless world is the cash to pay for it. Since the...
Got a Light? the Gospel of John Proposes a Heavenly Remedy to Dispel Earthly Darkness
THE SIGN OVER THE WEATHER-BEATEN DOOR READS, "Victory Over Darkness." It's an attractive idea on a street that holds few lovely things to engage the senses. The building hosts a support center for those determined to exit lives formerly governed by...
iRomero Vive! "The Harvest Comes Because of the Grain That Dies."
ONE YEAR SHY OF 30 YEARS AGO ON MARCH 24, 1980, standing before the altar of a small hospital chapel, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador held up his hands during his last Mass, consecrating this body and blood before his brothers and sisters....
Job Search
The Cones family had some celebrating to do last December when my youngest brother, Joseph, graduated from college. The parents were partying double: All offspring were officially out of school. There was just one wrinkle in the parental "Mission Accomplished"...
Kenya Rising: The Growing Kenyan Church Responds to the Challenges of a Young Democracy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Our mother, Kenya, we love you so much; we need you again," sing the students at St. Joseph Freinademetz Primary School in Ruai, outside of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. In early 2008 Kenya abandoned her children. When...
Mothers' Helper: Stephanie Garza, a Young New Leader in the Church, Creates Leaders out of Chicago Moms
The daughter of a Mexican-American mother and immigrant father, Stephanie Garza is no stranger to the Chicago community she works with as an organizer. She feels spiritually connected to the immigrant mothers there trying to strengthen their local...
Roamin' Collar: Pastors across the Country Serve Two, Three, or Even Seven Parishes. with Innovation and Flexibility, Parishes Are Learning as They Go
FATHER Ed Vanorny loves celebrating liturgy with his parishioners--even if that means traveling 185 miles to four faith communities every Saturday and Sunday to do it. "I think Mass I do energizes me all over again to barrel into the next one," says...
Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace
SIN BOLDLY: A FIELD GUIDE FOR GRACE By Cathleen Falsani (Zondervan, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As a journalist covering my own faith, I often question my "objectivity." Can I report on the Kenyan church (see cover story, pages 18-23) and...
Switching Stations: The Number Might Have Changed, but the Essence of This Lenten Tradition Is Still Alive
IN MY FORMATIVE YEARS, THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS WERE a central part of my Catholic experience. Some four decades later, I've grown, and the Stations have, too. I served as an altar boy at Stations before I attended as a participant. Carrying candle...
Talk to Me: An E-Mail-With or without Emoticons-Just Can't Capture the Complexity of Truly Human Communication
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHEN I STARTED GRAD SCHOOL IN ROME nearly 30 years ago, my primitive Italian made it tough to communicate with classmates, instructors, and the local populace. I misunderstood a lot of things, and every time I opened my mouth,...
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Directed by David Fincher (Paramount Pictures, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] David Fincher's movie version of a farcical short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald tells the backwards tale of a man born old who spends...
Whatever Happened I Apologize
WHATEVER HAPPENED I APOLOGIZE Jay Bennett (rockproper.com, 2008) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Back in the late 1990s, Wilco was the great American rock band, and Jay Bennett was one of its key members. Today Wilco is mostly a rotating cast of sidemen...
What's after Life? U.S. Catholic Readers Think Heaven's Doors Open Far Wider Than Our Reputation in Pop Culture Would Indicate
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE CATHOLICS IN AN OFTEN-REPEATED POPULAR JOKE are always surprised that they have company in heaven, but according to a recent Pew Forum survey. most would be much more surprised if they were the only ones there. In 2008...
Who Were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Chief Priests, and Elders?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "By what authority are you doing these things?" (Mark 11:27-28). With this and similar questions the gospels relentlessly portray Jesus' opponents--the chief priests, scribes, elders, Pharisees, and Sadducees--as bad guys...
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