U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 76, No. 3, March

City of Refuge
CITY OF REFUGE Abigail Washburn (Rounder Records, 2011) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The banjo is the most American of instruments, arriving with the slaves from West Africa but quickly adopted by their poor white neighbors. By the mid-20th century,...
Collateral Damage: If Profit Is the Prime Motive, the Poor Will Always Get the Raw End of the Deal
WHEN LIVES ARE ON THE BALANCE SHEET, how should a credit program for the poor work best? India's Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty reports that at least 70 suicides in the state of Andhra Pradesh in 2010 were the result of emotional stress generated...
Home Builder: Angela Hurlock Does More Than House Families; She Builds Community in South Chicago
In 2004 Angela Hurlock looked at the empty lots in South Chicago and saw the possibility to do God's work. At first glance, South Chicago is a neighborhood of gaps. Vacant lots pockmark the residential blocks; cracked paved roads abut the fenced expanses...
How the West Wasn't: It May Take True Grit to Avenge a Murder, but the Gritty Truth Is That Revenge Only Works in the Movies
I GREW UP WATCHING WESTERNS LIKE OTHER BOOMERS, SO when critics praised Joel and Ethan Coen's remake of True Grit as a splendid classic Western a la John Ford, I decided to treat myself to the guilty pleasure of an old-fashioned sagebrush saga. ...
Judgment Call: A Bishop's Authority Cannot Replace the Graced Conscience of the Baptized
I'LL NEVER FORGET MY FIRST SERIOUS ARGUMENT WITH A priest: I was a senior in high school and co-director of a retreat. A highlight of the experience was a surprise letter from our parents, often an emotional moment after a long weekend of little sleep,...
Lives of the Saints Deleted Scenes: These Are the Holy People Who Didn't Quite Make the Cut-Until They Did
Alphonsus Rodriguez must have thought he had it made. Yes, there had been a few bumps in the road. His education had been cut short when his father died and Alphonsus had to return home to Segovia, Spain, destined to take over the family wool business,...
No Place like Home: Real Estate Has Its Pitfalls, but What about Investing in a Spiritual Home?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] OWNING A HOUSE HAS LONG BEEN CONSIDERED AS the American Dream. Certainly there are many advantages to this scenario. Normally homeowning means enjoying more room than you ever could hope to have in the average apartment. You...
Open Space: Emptiness. Silence. Distance. It Takes a While to Learn God's Peculiar Language
My dad sent me a DVD of a documentary about the development of the Helvetica font. In my former life I was an editor, and I have always been interested in words and the art of printing. In the documentary a font designer said what made Helvetica...
Sabor Catolico
When my niece was about 8 years old, she instituted a new Christmas tradition in our family: an individual religious message for each member of the family to be read at Christmas Eve dinner. The family is moderately religious, but even her father,...
Spanglish Lessons: Who's the Norm, and Who's the Diversity? So Wonders This Latina Theologian, Who Suggests That Tensions in a Parish May Not Be Such Bad Thing after All
Asked to introduce herself at a Hispanic ministry meeting a few years ago, Carmen Nanko-Fernandez gave her name and then added, tongue firmly planted in cheek, "I'm a theologian, and my preferred theological method is pastoral hostility." [ILLUSTRATION...
The King's Speech
THE KING'S SPEECH Directed by Tom Hooper (The Weinstein Company, 2010) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In a season of gunslingers (True Grit) and brawlers (The Fighter), Tom Hooper has made a film about courage in which no one draws a gun or throws...
What Is the History of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?
It seems that a lot of parishes are starting to have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, either as a regular practice or just on occasion. Is this something new? Isn't the celebration of the Mass enough? Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is not...
What's Right with This Picture? Young Latinos Are Changing the Face of Catholic Youth Ministry
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Rey Malave noticed the nervous teenager who had been chosen to say the Our Father at a diocesan youth rally in central Florida a few years ago. The kid was quiet and a little jittery. The veteran youth leader assumed it was...
When I Was a Stranger ... ... You Sent Me a Box of Envelopes. Surely We Need to Warm Up the Welcome at Our Parishes, Lest We Become St. Mary of the Cold Shoulder
ONE PLACE WE CAN AND SHOULD BE REMINDED OF what true hospitality is--and given a chance to practice it--is in our parish. I learned this lesson the hard way when my husband and I moved with our young family to a new town several years back. While...
Why I Love Being a Priest: Hint: It's Not for the Fame and Fortune
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I love being a priest for all the usual reasons. The usual reasons are excellent. I revere them. Here are some other reasons: I love being a priest because it is great TO be something that has been around so long that it...
You 2.0: Lent Is a Time to Upgrade Your Internal Drives
I WAS DOING DISHES IN THE KITCHEN LAST WEEK WHEN MY son Jacob came in and started unloading the dishwasher. While generally dishwasher unloading is a job that belongs to the kids, I had not yet asked anyone to empty it. "Who are you, and what have...
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