US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Student teachers

By Lisa Calderone-Stewart| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Adults could learn a thing or two if only they listened more when young people of different faiths get together to talk.

One recent Monday morning a Catholic youth minister called to tell me about the teen from his parish who had just attended an interfaith youth event. The girl's family life had been tragic. Her father was in prison for killing her brother, and she was experimenting with drugs. She said she wasn't interested in talking about a God she didn't believe in anymore. But her mother insisted that she go.


How to build a healthier church: An interview with Donald B. Cozzens

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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"It's a zoo," sighs Father Donald B. Cozzens, who had been hoping for a quiet sabbatical to finish writing his next book. Instead, the bestselling author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood (Liturgical Press) has been patiently fielding an endless flood of calls from the national media. One day it's ABC News, the next day it's NPR, the Washington Post, or some pesky editor from U.S. Catholic!


A Slaughter of Innocence

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Making it through the dark night of the priest pedophilia crisis and arriving at truth and reconciliation requires an unflinching examination of our consciences.

Crisis Management: Working to make the church safe from sexual abuse

By Karen Dix| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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A religion educator explains the progams aimed at preventing and detecting sexual abuse in this article from 2006.

A mother's anguish

By Joan Ryan| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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In an essay from 2005, one mother shares the lifetime of suffering beneath the clergy sex-abuse headlines.

I am a mother of a son who was sexually abused by our parish priest. Since the exposure of this grim period in our church, I have wondered where I went wrong. Why did I fail to protect my son from the horrifie abuse he suffered for more than four years?


How to build a better priest

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The editors interview Father Robert Barron.

"For too long we've had a preferential option for mediocrity in the priesthood," laments Father Robert Barron, assistant professor of systematic theology at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. "Teilhard de Chardin said the priest calls down fire on the earth," says Barron. That's a far cry from "organizer of ministries," which is one of the dull-as-dishwater descriptions Barron remembers from his seminarian days. "Who's going to be lit on fire by a term like that?" he fumes.


Broken trust, broken lives: Survivors of priest sexual abuse speak out

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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For many, it is one of those assuring, evocative aromas, the kind that launches a cascade of warm and welcome childhood memories and recollections of sacred and peaceful moments. But for Christopher Dixon, it's the smell of burned candle, the blackened wax, that drives him away from Mass. It's a smell that never fails to remind him of "Father [John] Fischer with his finger pointing at me, 'Come here,' calling me back to the sacristy."


Whitewash or renewal?

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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In year two of the sex-abuse scandal, it it time for the laity to brush up on their leadership skills?

About 200 laypeople from some 50 Chicago-area parishes pack a hall one March evening at the Dominican Priory in River Forest, Illinois to hear Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) cofounder and ex-president James Muller make a pitch for their consciences and the future of the church.


Who's the boss?

By Father Paul Boudreau| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The priest shortage is generating some creative solutions to parish staffing, but they require a little flexibility and a healthy sense of humor on the part of everyone involved. 

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