US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Incoming Missal

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article
Get ready for changes to your Sunday Mass.

Parish counciling

By Gregory F. Augustine Pierce| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article
Lord knows these organizations need some help serving their communities.

OK, children, gather around. I'll tell you what life was like before parish councils, back when my hair was brown and my dreams were green.

The pastor pretty much ran things, and that was fine with most of us. First of all, we didn't have to go to a lot of boring meetings. Second, we were free to complain to one another (and sometimes to him) about what was wrong with the parish without feeling one iota of guilt or responsibility. Finally, we didn't have to go to a lot of boring meetings.


Make room in the pew, and smile

By Darcee Thomason| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article

We were nervous walking into the new parish for the first time. My husband and I settled our three children into a pew near the rear for a quick escape if we needed. We brought a backpack of small toys and favorite books. Most of our concern stemmed from our then-6-year-old daughter, Rachel, who is severely autistic. Would she behave? Would she have a meltdown? Would the other parishioners accept our family, or would we see icy stares, hear the under-the-breath comments, be subjected to the unsolicited advice we had experienced elsewhere?


Tough love: The challenges of parenting special needs children

By Kristin Peterson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Having a child with special needs can test one’s faith in God and in the parish community.

As a theologian Mary Beth Walsh of Maplewood, New Jersey had studied about suffering and injustice. But not until Walsh learned that her son, Benedict, had autism did she really understand what she had learned.

“When Ben was diagnosed, my first reaction was normal—I was really disappointed and angry with God,” explains Walsh, a lecturer in theology and pastoral ministry at Caldwell College in New Jersey.


When bad things happen to good parishes

By Father Paul Boudreau| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article
Parishes can’t always anticipate impending disaster, but there’s plenty they can do to prepare and protect themselves from the worst.

Let's get political

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article
How parishes can successfully navigate this election year and promote faithful citizenship

5 ways to take the dread out of religious ed

By Bill Huebsch| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article

It was a typical Wednesday evening at the Parish Church. Gloria Jackson was preparing to meet her sixth-grade class for religious ed. This was the third class session in Gloria's short career as a volunteer catechist. Hers was a large, suburban parish and, because there were so many volunteer catechists, only those with problems received attention from the parish staff. Gloria was pretty much on her own with the sixth grade.


Big gifts come in small prayer groups

By María Ruiz Scaperlanda| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article

With a wink and a smile and a sueeze of the hand. Gilda Rodriguez naturally knows what question to ask, what personal thing to say to each person she greets. That's no small task in a group of 50 or so Spanish-speaking parishioners gathered at St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson, Arizona. As they do every Thursday for two hours, the men, women, and even teenagers come together to pray, sing, and share the Word of God with each other.


Can the church get in step with stepfamilies?

By Donna Hornik| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Bette Hausman and Don Storck are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together. If only it were as easy as scheduling the priest and ordering the cake for the Happily Ever After to begin. Storck prefers to complete his conversion to Catholicism first. The Pennsylvania couple must also wait for Storck's annulment to finalize. While they care for spiritual matters, Hausman's children make room for Storck inside their home.


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