US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Born-again Catholics: Evangelicals crossing the Tiber

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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 | Email this pageShare
“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 | Email this pageShare
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 | Email this pageShare
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 | Email this pageShare
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.

The scandal continues: Clergy sex abuse crisis

By Anne M. Burke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Despite the steps taken to protect children in recent years, Justice Anne Burke says that recent development suggest little has changed for the hierarchy.

Just when it appeared that the fallout over the abuse scandal in our own nation could not get any worse, the other shoe dropped in Philadelphia. A large number of accused clerics had never been removed from active ministry by either the past or current archbishop of Philadelphia.

When in Rome: John Paull II's legacy at the Vatican

By Richard R. Gaillardetz| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
In his 26 years as pope, John Paul II gave new shape to the papacy, Richard R. Gaillardetz reflected shortly after his death. With his beatification, it's worth looking back on his papal legacy to see whether Pope Benedict XVI has followed in John Paul II’s footsteps or found his own way.

Habemus papam. We have a pope. The election of Pope Benedict XVI marks the conclusion of one of the most significant transitional moments in Roman Catholicism, rivaled only, perhaps, by the convocation of an ecumenical council.

Our lips are sealed: Why young Catholics don't confess

By Robert Nugent, S.D.S.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A priest ponders ways to get young Catholics to confession.

He was a 16-year-old Catholic high school student who entered my confessional during a school reconciliation service at a local retreat house where I assist with confessions. “I’ve done everything,” he said, like some penitents when they don’t know where to begin or how to get started.

What's right with this picture? Young Latinos take the lead

By Agustin Gurza| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Young Latinos are changing the face of Catholic youth ministry.

Judgment call: Bishop v. conscience

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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, a lot of soul-searching, and the combined intensity of 40 teenagers.