U.S. Catholic

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

Articles from Vol. 78, No. 5, May

Affirm the Fruits of Ecumenical Dialogue
Fifty years ago the Second Vatican Council, called by Pope John XXIII, marked the formal entrance of the Catholic Church into the ecumenical movement. Indeed, the Catholic Church moved from the sidelines to become a dominant shaper of ecumenical work...
All Sworn Out: When Asked to Pledge Allegiance to the Church Hierarchy, Parish Volunteers Should Listen to Their Conscience
During the 2011-2012 academic year, I volunteered at our local parish in Arlington, Virginia as the lead catechist in my daughter's Sunday religious education class. As a college professor I understood some of the difficulties of teaching. Teaching...
A Mother's Thoughts on the Windows at Ascension Church
From where I sit in my pew at the 9 a.m. Mass, I can see the stained glass window, "Young Jesus in the Temple." Mary's hands are outstretched, reaching toward her precocious son, who preaches to the older rabbis. Jesus' hand is upraised. I can...
A World of Difference: Catholic Relief Services Circles the Globe to Provide Life-Changing Aid, but It Doesn't Have to Look Far for Inspiration-There Is Plenty in the Gospel
When Carolyn Woo was named in 2011 as the successor to retiring Catholic Relief Services (CRS) president Ken Hackett, she seemed an unlikely choice for the job. After all, Woo, then dean of the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business,...
Be a Shepherd of Peace
In his resignation statement, Benedict XVI, now the bishop emeritus of Rome, pointed to the great challenge these times present to the papal ministry, speaking in particular about "today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions...
Confessions of a Worrying Mother: Don't Get Hung Up on Anxiety-Try Prayer Instead
As a Catholic parent, I used to worry a little about my children's faith. And for good reason. The magisterium couldn't have known what kind of stress they were laying on me when they decided that I was the "primary religious teacher" of my own children....
Cover Boy
As you can see from nay photo, that title is not referring to nay career as a model. Rather, for the last 35 years or so, I have been shooting and designing the covers for this magazine. Unlike the jobs in finance that two of my sons-in-law chose,...
Crisis Averted: The Locusts Are Always Hungry-And Always Eating-The Prophet Joel Warns. He Calls Us to Repentance and toward the Lord Who Can Save Us
Interested in a strange bit of good news, albeit top-heavy with locusts? The Book of Joel might be just what you're looking for. If you attend the vigil Mass for Pentecost, you have a one-in-four chance of hearing a reading from this prophet. This...
Direct Deposit
Most savvy charity "shoppers" have learned that a little homework is required to ensure their donations are most effectively deployed in a world of need. That means that a quick visit to a vetting service such as Charity Navigator or Givewell.org is...
Ear to the Ground
Media coverage of the election of Pope Francis has returned over and over to his humility and simplicity, noting a bit obsessively his choice of regular black shoes over Pope Benedict's red ones. Left for now is another, more serious question about...
Face Up to Facebook
When Amy, mother of two teen boys and an 11-year-old girl, discovered that children in her daughter's class were using the social photo-sharing app Instagram inappropriately, she responded by not just taking action for her own daughter, she got all...
Humbly Support Local Churches
What should always be central in the life of the people of God--the church--is the experience that we are a pilgrim people. What that means is that we are a community of fallible disciples called by Jesus to continually incarnate his presence and transforming...
Hummingbird
HUMMINGBIRD Local Natives (Frenchkiss Records, 2013) If Martin Mull is right and "writing about music is like dancing about architecture," then there isn't much point to the music review. Except sometimes there are albums that are so structural...
Lead Us Forward on the Liturgy
One has to wonder whether Pope Benedict would have resigned the papacy had he foreseen the intensity of rising expectations that his action unleashed. Clearly since his announcement of resignation there has been a sense among many Catholics (not just...
Master Allusionist: With a Twinkle in His Eye, C.S. Lewis Disguised Profound Christian Mysteries in Deceptively Simple Works of Fiction
"That's Jesus, Mama!" shouted my cousin's exuberant daughter, Claire. Her mother was reading to her not from the gospels, but from the climactic scene of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, where a heroic lion lays down his life--allowing himself...
Quartet
QUARTET Directed by Dustin Hoffman (Weinstein Company, 2012) Imagine a kindergarten full of wildly talented octogenarians preparing to put on a school musical and you have a sense of first-time director Dustin Hoffman's predictable, silly, but...
Renew Dialogue with Women Religious
During this 50th anniversary year of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, I have vivid memories of the excitement with which each session was received. As Catholic sisters, we were especially called by the mandate of the council to renew consecrated...
Restore Credibility on Sex Abuse
If Pope Francis were to seek my counsel on how to handle the clergy sexual abuse crisis, my initial advice would be that he and every bishop in the world should meet and ask forgiveness from any victim who asked to see them. The first way to deal with...
Seek out the Weak and the Excluded
A few years ago I was invited to give a number of talks in Chile. At one moment, on the road from the airport to Santiago, my driver told me, "On the left of this road are all the slums of Santiago; on the right are the houses of the wealthy, protected...
Spiritual Exercises: Can Other Religious Practices Strengthen Your Catholic Core?
Christine French attends Mass every Sunday, sings in the choir, volunteers with Vacation Bible School, and participates in a Bible study. She's also a committed yogi who, whenever she's in her hometown of Omaha, makes a beeline to her favorite yoga...
Stuck in the Past: Both the Characters of Downton Abbey and the Church Hierarchy Are in Danger of Irrelevancy If They Don't Get Up to Speed
Fans of PBS's hugely popular Downton Abbey were shocked in February when the third season ended with the departure of Matthew Crawley from the show. Actor Dan Stevens, it seems, had grown tired of playing the role of heir to the Grantham dynasty and...
The Things We Keep: The Poet Says Love Calls Us to the Things of This World for a Second Finding
Spring is in the air and mornings all awash with angels. Some are in the sheets and shirts flying on clotheslines. Braced by angels, the air, and sunlit days, we swing into the yearly ritual called "spring-cleaning." Determined to rid ourselves...
The Vatican Diaries
THE VATICAN DIARIES By John Thavis (Vikinq, 2013) [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] License plates on cars registered in Vatican City bear the abbreviation SCV for Stato della Citta del Vaticano. The local joke in Rome is that the initials really stand...
Unite Our Diverse Church
In his pastoral visit to the United States in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI recognized that the world stood at a crossroads marked by two contrasting characteristics: "It is a time of great promise, as we see the human family in many ways drawing closer...
What Is the Soul?
When I was a teenager, I took a religious education correspondence course from the Paulist Fathers. They would send me booklets to read, and at the end of them were questions on the material that I would answer and send back. Then some anonymous Paulist...
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