US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Great teacher: Albert the Great

By Edwin P. Christmann| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Eight centuries ago Albert the Great showed how theology and science
can walk hand in hand.

I teach graduate students how to teach math and science. On the first day of each semester, I ask, “Who can tell me something about Albertus Magnus, Albert the Great?” Students usually avoid making eye contact.

Doctor’s orders

By Karen Scott| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
To cure the maladies of both the medieval church and spiritual seekers today, Doctor of the Church Catherine of Siena prescribes meditating on Christ’s passion.

I first met Caterina Benincasa, better known as St. Catherine of Siena, during a trip to her hometown in Italy. I was a college student trying to figure out how to become Catholic and still have a good relationship with my non-Christian family. I had spent that happy summer program in Florence studying Renaissance history, discovering the beauty of religious art, and falling in love with God.

Don't trash our past: An interview with Robert Orsi on the history of devotions

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
In honor of the Feast of Saint Jude, we've dug up this interview with Robert Orsi from 2005 about the history of devotions--devotion to St. Jude being among the most popular.

Orsi is the Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America at Harvard Divinity School. His latest book, Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them (Princeton) follows Thank You, St. Jude (Yale) and The Madonna of 115th Street (Yale).

Conscientious courage

By Michael Hovey| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Franz Jägerstätter paved the way for those who object to war by following a higher order.

In April 1974, while serving at the U.S. Navy base in Sasebo, Japan, I visited the Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum in the nearby city of Nagasaki, the second city destroyed by an atomic bomb dropped by U.S. forces.

Poor on purpose

By Fran Ferder| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Clare of Assisi vowed to live in poverty not for its own sake but to enrich her relationships with others and God. Today her way of life is not just for cloistered nuns.

Francis and Clare. Even though he was the better known of the two, it was Clare who most captured my attention at my Franciscan high school. From the beginning, there was something about her life that resonated deep in my being.


By Greg Heffernan| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
St. Francis Xavier was a trusting missionary to the East.

Angels we have heard on low

Online Editor| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Angels are the personal manifestations of the earthbound grace of God. John Shea comments on the role of angels in the spiritual lives of people in an excerpt from A Month by Month Guide to Entertaining Angels by Mark Boyer.

A recent novel begins with a spaceship surging into outer space. One of the astronauts glances out the portal at the vast empty expanse. An angel wings by.

My guardian dear: Guardian angels in action

By Robert Reilly| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A personal cherub, ever this day, at your side? How else do you explain those close calls?

No one likes to be taken for granted. I suppose even pure spirits bristle at neglect. That's why I've spent a lot of time these past few years apologizing to my guardian angel.

Many adult Catholics dismiss the presence of these protectors as harmless residue from their parochial years. The widespread belief that each person receives a special angel to watch over their bodily and spiritual health has often been associated with the protection of children in both prayer and art.

Island Queen: A reflection on Our Lady of Charity

By María Ruiz Scaperlanda| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Our Lady of Charity warms the hearts of Cubans both on the island and dispersed throughout the world.

As Cuban refugees in Puerto Rico, my parents made it a priority in our upbringing for my brother Ignacio and me to learn Cuban history and traditions, from music and family stories to geography and José Martí’s poetry.

Blessed are you: John Paul II

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
How do we honor a pope whose complexities are still fresh in our memory?