US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Pride and prejudice: The uneasy relationship between gays and lesbians and their church

By Kristen Hannum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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As church leaders turn up the volume on same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian Catholics find themselves wondering just where they stand in their church.

On a clear, windy Sunday in March 2010, Father William Breslin told his parishioners at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Boulder, Colorado why the parish school would not re-enroll a child of same-sex parents for the coming school year.


The mamas and the papas: What it's like for Catholic parents of GLBT children

By Kristen Hannum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Parents have much to say about the church and their children.

The young priest preached on the sanctity of life at a Denver hospice. Afterward an older couple asked him if their son, who had died of AIDS, would be in hell forever. The priest said he couldn’t answer that.

More than 20 years later Shawn Reynolds still remembers the anguish on the couple’s faces. “He didn’t say anything about Christ’s love,” Reynolds says.


When do the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ?

By Father James Field | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The question of exactly when the eucharistic gifts become Christ's Body and Blood has commanded attention and debate for centuries.

From the supper at Emmaus, disciples have cherished the Eucharist as the clearest sign of the Risen Lord's abiding presence.


Built of living stones

By Cyprian Davis | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The history of African American Catholicism began with the arrival of the Spanish settlers in the 16th century in Florida. In fact, on the first page of the 16th-century baptismal registers are the names of black infants who were baptized into the Body of Christ along with white infants in St. Augustine Church.


Dancing with the stars: An interview with astronomer George Coyne, S.J.

By A U.S. Catholic interview | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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With 10,000 billion billion heavenly bodies in the cosmic ballroom, God has created a grand universe of possibilities.

As a priest and an astronomer, Jesuit Father George Coyne bridges the worlds of faith and science, but he’s quick to acknowledge that they serve two different purposes. “I can’t know if there is a God or if there is not a God by science,” he says.


Off the corporate ladder: Working for the church

By Leslie Scanlon | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Some professionals are quitting their day jobs and stepping up to a new spiritual calling.

if someone had told Barbara Evans a decade ago that she’d be working as the director of religious education for a parish in New Jersey, responsible for the faith formation of children and teenagers, she’d have told them they were crazy.


Degrees of service: More on lay ministry programs

By Leslie Scanlon | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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What types of lay ministry formation programs are available?

The answer varies—from shorter-term diocesan programs that might involve a class taken at night or on Saturdays for a month or two to formal university graduate school programs lasting several years.


Not in it for the money: Why some Catholics jump off the corporate ladder and into church ministry

By Leslie Scanlon | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Those who enter lay ecclesial formation programs do so for a variety of reasons, but not usually because they expect to find a job with a whopping paycheck at the end.

“Financially – if it were a pure financial decision, it would not make a lot of sense” to go to graduate school for such work, said Marti Jewell, an assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas, who has studied the development of lay formation programs.


Bring remarried Catholics back to the table

By Father Paul M. Zulehner | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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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.


Hold the applause: Save the praise for God alone

By Gregory F. Augustine Pierce | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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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.

We’re all part of the Body of Christ, so why are a select few soaking up all the attention at Mass?

At the end of the Christmas Eve Mass at my parish last year, the pastor said, “We’re going to have to sing one more song before we leave.” I looked at my wife, Kathy, and whispered, “Oh, no. They’re going to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus.”


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