National Catholic Reporter

The National Catholic Reporter is a Catholic newsweekly. It was founded in 1964 and is published 44 times a year by National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company Inc.Subjects include religion. The editor is Thomas Roberts.

Articles from Vol. 43, No. 17, February 23

Across the Lines of Faith
The description, part of an ongoing conversation I have enjoyed with the rabbi for some time now, was in a letter he sent me several years ago. It was one of the cleverest reductions of the complex relationship between Christians and Jews that I'd...
An Intimacy with Silence: Small Communities Share Their Contemplative Life with Others
It's an intimate and deeply stirring experience to sit in silent prayer with others. It's a simple practice that grounds and anchors everything that happens around it--manual work, hospitality, spoken prayer. Every day members of religious communities...
Bangladesh Nuns Grapple with New Realities
The Associates of Mary, Queen of Apostles congregation has a steady flow of vocations as it approaches 75 years, but its approach to formation, like its work, is adapting to meet new challenges. Unlike many congregations worldwide, its numbers have...
Barack's Blackness: Color vs. Experience
This question of blackness, which has arisen in the wake of Sen. Barack Obama's meteoric rise to fame and the brink of power, wasn't supposed to be part of the script. When the first black candidate ran for U.S. president, most of us presumed, the...
Catholics Swarm Halls of Congress
Rich Fowler, director of Catholic Charities for the Stockton, Calif., diocese, was explaining to the earnest young aide to Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., the direct impact that U.S. funds have in combating AIDS in Africa. "They call it the Lazarus...
Christians Must Reject All Killing: Arguments for Both Just War and Abortion Contradict Our Faith
On Jan. 31, after returning from a visit to Iraq, the new speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, called the situation there "catastrophic" and said, "The question is: How many more lives do we have to lose to prove that the president's plan is not...
Concern over Bioethics May Forge New Allies
For some time, the politics of bioethics in the West has fueled deep ideological polarization between a permissive left and a restrictive right. That was the dynamic when the front-burner issues were abortion and birth control, and it's still true...
Congregations Stress Indian Ways for Religious
Leaders of a locally founded men's religious congregation say they will strive to give an Indian face to Catholic religious life in the country. Fr. Subhash Jose, new superior general of the Indian Missionary Society, told fellow members they have...
Edwina Gateley's Dream
Edwina Gately has won a following as a poet, writer, minister and public speaker. Some attribute her prominence to her engaging, forthright personality: some to her woman-based spirituality: some to her strong sense of calling, which has led her in...
Fanning the Fire of Qi: Monk Builds Bridges between East and West, Science and Spirituality
Salesian Br. Bernard Seif has long spun his prayer wheels in two directions--East and West, Christian and Buddhist. His daily life includes the Western healing arts of psychology, spiritual counseling and time spent in the Liturgy of the Hours and...
Foreign Adventures: 'God Grew Tired of Us' Moves from Sudan to Pittsburgh; 'Mafioso' from Milan to a Sicilian Village
The documentary God Grew Tired of Us is a story of courage, determination and compassion that won the Grand Jury prize last year at the Sundance Film Festival. From 1983 to 2005, civil war raged in Sudan, killing millions in the Christian southern...
Hands off Iraq: Keep Checkbooks out, Urge Catholic Antiwar Groups
The Catholic peace and justice movement is redoubling its efforts to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq, while simultaneously insisting that the United States pay reparations to the Middle Eastern nation devastated by two U.S.-led wars and more than a...
Hard Truths about Prostitution
The sex trade is a multibillion dollar business in this country. In telling their life stories, the four former prostitutes who spoke at the fall retreat sponsored by the Sophia Circle brought to light some of the salient features of the prostitution...
Interwoven DNA of Catholics, Jews
It's a staple of organizational management that "no one is indispensable," that institutions are always greater than the sum of their parts. In reality, however, some parts are much less replaceable than others: Think the Chicago Bulls, for example,...
Jesuits Prepare to Rethink Everything: Members Must Decide Which Works to Emphasize, How to Reorganize
On Jan. 6, preaching at the funeral of my friend Jim Loughran, a Jesuit and president of St. Peter's College, I looked out over the packed congregation from a high pulpit in St. Aedan Parish, glanced down at the 60 Jesuit concelebrants in the front...
Lent Is Time to Go to the Desert
First SUNDAY OF LENT Scripture readings Deuteronomy 26:4-10 Psalms 91 Romans 10:8-13 Luke 4:1-15 The readings for the first Sunday of Lent situate us in the desert--a place where believers have long retreated, physically or spiritually,...
Libby Trial Needless but for Robert Novak
With the CIA leak case finally in U.S. District Court in Washington and five charges of perjury and obstruction of justice facing Scooter Libby, it's worth remembering a few of the facts, starting with the major one that it was Robert Novak who in...
'Love Your Local Ecosystem,' Christian Brother Says
Everywhere he goes, Australian Christian Br. Moy Hitchen urges people to get out into nature and listen to the earth. "I'm trying to say, 'Love your local ecosystem,'" he said. "Get out there and find the rocks, the soft, the trees, the bushes,...
'My Wife Is Essential to My Ministry'
Ask an Orthodox clergyman to name the greatest support to his ministry and he will point to his wife--even if she's not in the room and even if he has a good secretary who is. A 2006 poll of 226 married Orthodox priests in four dioceses revealed...
'Nun School' for the 21st Century: An Outdated Version of the Novitiate Persists in Movies, Featuring Strict Rules, an Emphasis on Personal Piety, and Little Interaction with the outside World
I recently spent two years in "nun school." At least, that's the simplistic phrase I've come to use to describe the novitiate period of discernment and preparation for professing vows in August as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. It was...
Return to Peru: Two Franciscans in Their 80s Choose Mission for Their Retirement Years
When Catholics contribute to the annual collection for retired religious, chances are many donors see these elderly women and men reclining in their chairs reading, praying, knitting, snoozing, watching television, perhaps interacting with others in...
Sinai Icons Offer Insight into Ancient Monastery
Holy images of the saints, Jesus and Mary are greatly intertwined with the life of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, Egypt. The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is showing a collection of those images in an exhibition, "Holy...
Six Regional Mercy Communities to Merge
Six regional communities of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas will be one next year. As of July 1, 2008, the Sisters of Mercy will form one West Midwest community, which will include nearly 900 sisters and more than 500 Mercy associates and Companions...
Soul Sisters: Former Prostitutes Tell Their Stories to the Women Who Helped Them Leave the Sex Trade
"All my life all I ever wanted to be was shiny," said Brenda Myers-Powell, a 49-year-old African-American who remembers being a child looking out her grandmother's window at the hookers on the street below and saying, "I'll probably do that." For...
Study Compares Priestly Models: Catholic and Orthodox Clergy Surveyed on Morale, Support
Are American Orthodox and Catholic clergy content with their life choices to enter the priesthood? What are the chief sources of satisfaction in their priestly work and what major problems do they encounter on a daily basis? How does the decision to...
The Country's Overdue Mood Swing
The Dixie Chicks win five Grammy Awards and Congress decides to undertake an extended debate about Iraq, a debate that should have occurred years ago. The two are markedly different circumstances sharing a lone commonality, and that is that the country's...
Transformation: Vatican II Was Only a Beginning: Radical Changes Await Religious Life in 21st Century
The notion of what it means to be a sister has changed radically once since Claire Whalen became a Franciscan. She believes it is about to change again. When Whalen, 77, entered the convent 60 years ago, fresh out of high school in Cincinnati, she...
Trying to Measure the Unmeasurable
In 1863, Cornelius Vanderbilt gave $1 million to found a university to support the tenets of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and to create a campus where faith and reason could exist alongside each other. This year, Vanderbilt is the temporary...
Under Fire as 'Anti-Christian Bigots,' Edwards Staffers Quit
Two aides to presidential hopeful John Edwards quit their jobs with the campaign following allegations that they used anti-Catholic language on their personal blogs. Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League for Civil and Religious...