Can we use real bread at Mass?

By John Switzer| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology

A seminary pal of mine once remarked that he had no difficulty believing that Christ is present in holy communion. What he did question was the proposition that it was actually bread being used as a host.

Believe it or not, the hosts we use at Mass qualify as “real bread,” but they aren’t very good bread—at least not in any ordinary, earthly sense of the word. In accordance with one particular tradition of Western Christianity, canon law requires that the bread be unleavened (made without yeast).


Oscar Romero: A saint for the poor

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
Oscar Romero, now back on the path to sainthood, was called to conversion by ordinary Salvadorans.

How to stage an intervention with an alcoholic

By Wendy Donahue| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life

A good intervention is …

…planned. “The alcoholic can do a pretty good job of saying how wrong you are and who served him too many drinks,” says Father William Stenzel, a Chicago pastor and guest lecturer and spiritual director at Guest House treatment center for clergy and religious. “The best ones are organized interventions where he’s always free to choose.”

…clear. “If you choose not to get help, you’ve chosen to not work here.”


Identifying alcoholism in the workplace

By Father William Stenzel| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life

Even if you don’t work in a parish, you might find yourself affected at work by your manager’s alcoholism or addiction. Just as family members are affected by a loved one’s addiction, so too are work colleagues.  

Many of us spend more time each day with people at work than with family members. We might even say that our colleagues are “like family.” When our employment dynamics mimic family dynamics, there’s a good chance that we will also develop similar behavioral characteristics.


When Father has a drinking problem

By Wendy Donahue| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
A priest’s alcoholism becomes the parish’s affliction, too.

Every week or so, Father Ray toted a suitcase past the rectory offices. “Dry cleaning,” he’d say.

“Liquor bottles,” feared both the pastor and Mary Catherine Meek, who worked in the suburban Chicago parish. People caught whiffs of alcohol on Father Ray (not his real name) at Mass. He had undergone treatment for alcoholism before this assignment.

Confronted by the pastor, Father Ray denied relapsing. The pastor expressed his concerns to the diocese.


What should we make of the other gospels?

By Michael Peppard| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

If Catholics know anything at all about the Bible, we know that there are four gospels. But every so often, a newly discovered ancient text hits the headlines, such as the Gospel of Thomas (1945), the Gospel of Judas (2006), or the papyrus fragment last year that included a phrase about Jesus’ “wife.”

What are Catholics supposed to make of texts not included in the canon of the New Testament?

In short, be not afraid. While the fourfold gospel canon holds a mine of inexhaustible spiritual riches, there is also much to be learned from noncanonical sources.


Advising Pope Francis on the challenges ahead

By Online editor| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ecumenical & Interfaith Dialogue Environment Ethic of Life Faith and Science Immigration Marriage and Family Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments Social Justice Spirituality Vatican War and Peace Women

All sworn out: Lay Catholics shouldn't have to sign loyalty oaths

By Rosemarie Zagarri| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology Vatican Young Adults

Editors' note: 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.


Humbly support local churches

By Bishop Kevin Dowling| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Vatican
With the church at a crossroads, Catholics look to Pope Francis for guidance. Bishop Kevin Dowling advises the pope to restore power to the people.

What is the soul?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

When I was a teenager, I took a religious education correspondence course from the Paulist Fathers. They would send me booklets to read, and at the end of them were questions on the material that I would answer and send back. Then some anonymous Paulist priest would grade my answers and return them to me with the next pamphlet.


Pages