Rite of passage

By Janet Shook| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments
What began with giving a doll the sacrament of the sick ended up as a real-life lesson.

At the end of each school day, my first-grade students loved to play a game called “Dead Fish.” They’d all lie down on the rug, our imaginary pond, and play dead. If they moved, it was all over. They would be reeled in and proceed to get their backpacks and coats. The game was a fantastic way to settle down before dismissal. Many of the children ended up laughing or moving, but some won the game by staying motionless for 10 minutes.


Sinfully honest

By Kira Dault| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments
U.S. Catholic readers confess that sin isn’t what it used to be, but they still commit themselves to a virtuous lifestyle.

Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


Short story: Absolution

By Janet Cincotta| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments

When I entered the confessional that day I assumed I would be absolved of whatever transgressions I chose to reveal. From what I’ve been told, Father Charles has never been known to withhold his forgiveness and mercy. He understands the frailties of human virtue. He knows about the appetites of the flesh. In fact, I’ll wager he has surrendered to a few of them himself. So I expected to be forgiven. I did not, however, expect to be pitched into a full-blown midlife crisis as penance.


Should we hold hands during the Lord's prayer?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments
Holding hands (or not) is less important than praying in a “commonly bodily posture,” as the body of Christ.

Week Two: Lent provides a perfect opportunity for conversion

By Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Social Justice

Students of Pope Francis summarize his agenda with the phrase “pastoral conversion.” Lent is an especially suitable time to think and pray about conversion. But what is pastoral conversion?


Week One: Three keys to making holiness a habit during Lent

By Joe Paprocki| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Spirituality

Lent is a time to rid ourselves of habits that are doing little good, or even causing harm, to ourselves and others, and to replace them with habits that are life-giving. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. And contrary to the popular notion that habits can be changed in 21 days, experts tell us that it can take up to a year to change old habits and develop new ones. Lent is 40 days for a reason—holiness is a habit, and habits take time to take hold.


It's time to separate church and state marriages

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Prayer and Sacraments
The church should focus on marriage as a sacrament and leave civil marriages to a local judge.

Sounding Boards are one person's take on a many-sided subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


Why was Jesus baptized?

By Joseph McHugh| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
The baptism of Jesus was more than just a symbolic swim.

Don't be stingy with the sacraments

By Father Rosendo Urrabazo, C.M.F.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments
Instead of greeting people with the third degree, the church should welcome them with open arms.

Sounding Boards are one person's take on a many-sided subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.

One day a woman came to our church office just wanting me to bless her 3-year-old son. Boy, did he put up a fight. The only offices he knew were medical offices, and he thought I was going to give him a shot. Unfortunately, that little boy is not the only Catholic intimidated to visit a church office.


I soap and pray: How doing the dishes can inspire prayer

By Ed Block| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Spirituality
Wash your own dishes and see the spiritual insights that bubble up.

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