5 ways to take the dread out of religious ed

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

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 Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments

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.


Big gifts come in small prayer groups

By María Ruiz Scaperlanda| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments

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
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

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.


Can the church get in step with stepfamilies?

By Donna Hornik| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

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.


Has the church been in the family's way?

U.S. Catholic| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family

The development of Christian family values is a central aspect of Christianity's ongoing self-interpretation in the 20th century. That development is linked to the growth of lay ministries, to the continuing reconciliation between the long-opposed body and the soul, and to the Vatican II shift toward seeing the church as being in service to the world (rather than the reverse). All of these changes are simultaneous, gradual, and interrelated.


Is your parish a good friend of the family?

U.S. Catholic| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

When I wrote a column several years ago about our church's silence on wife and child abuse, I was stunned at the number of letters I received from ordinary faithful Catholics living in abusive families. One short letter summed up the many:

"My husband abuses us physically and verbally all week long, but is considered a pillar of the parish because he ushers, counts money, and receives Communion every Sunday. We've heard dozens of sermons on volunteering in the parish but not one on abuse as a sin. Does the church ever think of what the family's like outside the pew?"


Is your parish a good friend of the family?

U.S. Catholic| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

When I wrote a column several years ago about our church's silence on wife and child abuse, I was stunned at the number of letters I received from ordinary faithful Catholics living in abusive families. One short letter summed up the many:

"My husband abuses us physically and verbally all week long, but is considered a pillar of the parish because he ushers, counts money, and receives Communion every Sunday. We've heard dozens of sermons on volunteering in the parish but not one on abuse as a sin. Does the church ever think of what the family's like outside the pew?"


Out of Africa -- The Editors Interview Father James Chukwuma Okoye, C.S.Sp.

By Father James ChukwumaOkoye| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Scripture and Theology Spirituality

We hear that the church is growing fast in Africa. What's behind that growth?

In parts of Africa it is not growing. But where it is, I think we have to consider the grace of God. Because God's grace is mediated through culture, many also think it is because traditional African religion is close to Catholicism. The traditional religion is sacramental, with sacred words, places, and events.


What do you get out of Mass?

By Mary Lynn Hendrickson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments

No doubt U.S. Catholic Reader C. Wall of Woodstock, Illinois speaks for many when she succinctly sums up what does and doesn't make for a good experience of the Mass. Good: "My family by my side, great homily, with a community I know." And the clinkers? "Poor, long, aimless homilies. Music I can't sing along with."


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