US Catholic Faith in Real Life

How parishes can help infertile couples

By Patrick T. Reardon | Print this pagePrint |
These are just some of the ways that the parish can be a resource to couples experiencing infertility.

• Raise the issue of infertility at the pre-Cana marriage preparation meetings. It would alert couples to the reality that conceiving a baby isn’t always easy, while providing an opportunity to walk through the do’s and don’ts of church teaching.

• Establish a diocesan network of support for infertile couples, regardless of what treatment choices they have made or are considering.

Hard to conceive: Sometimes getting pregnant isn't easy--or possible

By Patrick T. Reardon | Print this pagePrint |
Alternatives such as those offered by Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha don’t work for every couple.

And in vitro fertilization (IVF) is not an easy step to take for those struggling with infertility, both because of moral and monetary concerns. Still, the desire for children, which many attribute to God, outweighs everything for couples such as the Mahons.

Admission deferred: Modern barriers to vocations

By J.D. Long-García | Print this pagePrint |
Feeling called to religious life, many men and women are finding they first need to overcome a few obstacles in their path.

Finally, after years of shoving it down into the recesses of her subconscious, after hiding from it in college, Katie Press was ready to join a religious congregation. She’d earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a Master of Divinity, and had already begun teaching at a school run by the Sisters of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She knew that these sisters would be her community for the rest of her life.

Hispanics in the pews, not on the altar

By J.D. Long-García | Print this pagePrint |
Over the last several years, priestly ordination classes have gotten younger and more diverse, according to a 2011 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate out of Georgetown University.

There are more Asian and black vocations. Asians are actually overrepresented, making up 4 percent of the U.S. Catholic population and 10 percent of the ordination class.

But, perplexingly, that isn’t the case with Hispanics.

Rerum roots: A brief history of American Catholic support for unions

By Kristen Hannum | Print this pagePrint |
Cardinal James Gibbons' support for the Knights of Labor in the late 19th century helped lay the groundwork for Rerum Novarum.

U.S. cardinal should get some credit for being an impetus for Rerum Novarum, the first papal encyclical that spoke to the rights of workers.

Born-again Catholics: Evangelicals crossing the Tiber

By J. Peter Nixon | Print this pagePrint |
Former denizens of evangelical arenas are finding new homes in the age-old sanctuaries of Catholicism.

It took Mark Shea four tries to become a Catholic.

Raised without any religious instruction, Shea had embraced evangelical Christianity as a college student at the University of Washington in the late 1970s. “There was a little non-denominational group that came together on the dorm floor next to mine,” Shea says. “We got together for Bible study, Saturday night praise and worship, that sort of thing.”

Just what is an 'evangelical,' anyway?

By J. Peter Nixon | Print this pagePrint |
“President tries to woo evangelical vote.” “Evangelicals condemn biblical scholar.” While there are no shortage of headlines that include the word “evangelical,” writers rarely make clear what they mean by the term.

Evangelicals embrace beliefs that many other Christians—including many Catholics—share, such as the authority of scripture and the centrality of personal faith in Jesus Christ. So what makes them distinct?

The times they were a'changing: Mark Massa on the Catholic '60s

By A U.S. Catholic interview | Print this pagePrint |
A church historian explains why the events of the 1960s still echo through the church 40 years later.

Mark Massa, S.J. was 14 years old on the First Sunday of Advent, 1964, when Catholics across the country arrived at Mass to find the priest facing them across the altar and—even more jarring—speaking in English and expecting them to respond. The disappearing Latin Mass was but the first of many old certainties that would be blown up during the next few years.

You can go home again: Catholics return to the church

By Kristin Peterson | Print this pagePrint |
People leave the Catholic Church for a host of reasons, but exactly what brings them back?

For many Catholics it is a Sunday routine, but for Laura Bendini, going back to church on Sunday was extremely intimidating. For the first two weeks she didn't even make it inside. She couldn't find parking outside of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington, Virginia, so she just went home, somewhat relieved. When she did make it inside she snuck up to the balcony and stood in the back, behind all the families with squirming and squealing kids.

They're baaack! What's behind the return of the exorcist

By Daniel Burke | Print this pagePrint |
After a decades-long absence, interest in demonic possession—and the ritual to defeat it—is on the rise.

For more than a decade, Frank, a software consultant who lives near Silicon Valley, California has been haunted by depression and rage. Searching for remedies to lift his dark mood, Frank, 52, tried pills, therapy, even channeling spirits. Nothing worked.