US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The King of In Between

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Garland Jeffreys (Luna Park Records, 2011)

OK, so the guy’s 68 years old, and it’s been about 15 years since his last record. And his sound is still anchored to a guitar-centered rock/reggae/soul amalgam he forged 37 years ago. “So?” as they would have said in Garland Jeffreys’ old Brooklyn neighborhood, “You wanna make something of it?”


Buck

By Patrick McCormick | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Directed by Cindy Meehl (Sundance Selects, 2011)

In Genesis 2 God responds to Adam’s isolation by creating animals to provide the lonely human with companions. Ever since, friendships formed with other creatures have nurtured our souls and reminded us how to befriend our human neighbors. Unfortunately, when we have forgotten how to be friends to animals, it often means we have lost that gift with people as well.


Will There Be Faith?

By A. Regina Schulte | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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By Thomas H. Groome (HarperOne, 2011)

Toward the end of his public ministry, Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). Religious educator Thomas H. Groome hopes to ensure that Christian faith will endure for future generations.


US Catholic Book Club: Where the Hell is God?

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Where the Hell is God?

By Richard Leonard, S.J.
Foreword by James Martin, S.J.

Review: An earthquake in Haiti, a tsunami in Japan, a child stricken with leukemia: What kind of God would allow such things? Jesuit priest Richard Leonard's own experience of family tragedy forced him to ask that question. He never discovered the "right" answer, but he knows a bad one when he sees it, and he explores seven of them.


TV's not a black-and-white issue

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Sister Rose Pacatte, a member of the Daughters of St. Paul who directs the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles, talks about television being more than just a boob tube but a moral laboratory.

It's a safe bet that Sister Rose Pacatte watches more TV and movies than you do. She even has TiVo, which only seriously addicted TV watchers will admit to. If you asked her about this, she would say, "Hey, it's all part of my job!" And you might nod and say indulgently, "Of course it is, Sister."


Divine Rebels: American Christian Activists for Social Justice

By Kristin Peterson | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Divine Rebels: American Christian Activists for Social Justice
By Deena Guzder (Lawrence Hill Books, 2011)

In her collection of profiles, Divine Rebels, Deena Guzder seeks to dispel the assumption that religion causes nothing but problems in modern society.


Hard Bargain

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Hard Bargain
Emmylou Harris (Nonesuch Records, 2011)

Emmylou Harris’ Hard Bargain is the joyous, bittersweet album that a 64-year-old country-rock legend should make. It looks backward to her beginnings (“The Road”) and mourns the dead (“The Ballad of Emmett Till”), but it also looks out on the present with compassion for all living creatures—a homeless man (“Home Sweet Home”), the victims of Katrina (“New Orleans”), and even a “Big Black Dog.”


The Spirit of Vatican II:

By Alfred J. Garrotto | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in America
By Colleen McDannell (Basic Books, 2011)

For many Catholics, the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) represents a Spirit-led initiative now being dismantled. For others it was a well-meant experiment gone awry. In The Spirit of Vatican II, Colleen McDannell explores those two extremes through the eyes of her parents, Margaret and Ken, whose lives span the pre-, mid-, and post-Vatican II church.


Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

By Megan Sweas | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
By Karen Armstrong (Knopf, 2010)

I read Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life shortly before Osama bin Laden was assassinated. In her last step, “Love your enemies,” Armstrong leads the reader through a meditation: “Bring to mind an ‘Enemy’ with a capital E.” I thought of bin Laden.


The Tree of Life

By Patrick McCormick | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Tree of Life
Directed by Terrence Malick (Fox Searchlight, 2011) 

Terrence Malick’s kaleidoscopic masterpiece about, well, everything raises several universal questions, but one query this dazzling juggernaut of a film answers definitively is why make movies?

Most contemporary films entertain 14-year-old boys with a barrage of rapid-fire special effects. Other movies translate novels into a cinematic narrative furnished with a tapestry of lovely images and scenery.


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