US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Not for Profit

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities
By Martha Nussbaum (Princeton University Press, 2010)

In an age of globalization, governments and corporations expect colleges and universities to train students for employment. But University of Chicago professor Martha Nussbaum believes students need more than a solid technical education, for colleges and universities are also in the business of forming global citizens who can participate in and strengthen democratic societies.


My Room in the Trees

By Meghan Murphy-Gill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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My Room in the Trees
The Innocence Mission (Badman, 2010)

On the Innocence Mission's most straightforward folk album yet, Karen Peris sings of seasons, of weather (mostly rain), of Monday mornings, of driving, and of East Coast states in simple but profound poetry. There is the sound of deep heartache behind My Room in the Trees, but it's not presented without the characteristic hope that makes the Innocence Mission one of the most refreshing and soul nourishing bands to listen to--particularly on days when you feel like wallowing in self-pity.


American Slang

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Gaslight Anthem (Side One Dummy, 2010)


iPray: Smartphone apps for the faithful

By Christopher Williston| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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No need to lug volumes of spiritual readings around—God’s on your smartphone.

It took me months to save up the money to buy the four leather-bound volumes of the liturgy of the hours. As the 28-year-old primary breadwinner of a family of five, the $39.99 per volume set was not a high priority in our budget.

But after pinching every penny, I purchased all four volumes in a pristine white box. The next day I proudly showed off one volume, with its eight bookmark ribbons, to a friend.

"Isn't this great?" I asked.


Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

By Kristin Peterson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
By Gregory Boyle, S.J. (Free Press, 2010)

While reading the stories of the “homies” that Father Gregory Boyle, S.J. has worked with for the past 20 years at his Homeboy Industries ministry among gang members in Los Angeles, it is easy to forget that these young people probably strike fear in most Americans. They are from the toughest neighborhoods, have shot and killed others, and have done time in prison.


Toy Story 3

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Directed by Lee Unkrich (Disney/Pixar, 2010)

In the third chapter of Pixar's saga about a boy's toys, the plastic and wooden playthings that fill their owner's toybox face the sad reality that their child-owner has grown up and is heading to college, and they are about to be kicked to the curb like a pair of empty-nester parents.


The Foundling

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Mary Gauthier (Razor and Tie, 2010)

Singer-songwriter extraordinaire Mary Gauthier (“go-shay”) has a voice like a rusty string on a slide guitar. But that never held Bob Dylan back, and in Gauthier’s musical vision, pretty is hardly the point.

That same jarring, unvarnished quality runs through her lyrics. A recovering alcoholic, early in her career Gauthier laid her disease on the line with a song that proclaimed, “fish swim, birds fly . . . I drink.”


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (Music Box Films, 2009) 

Fans of the late Stieg Larsson’s crime trilogy (a dark Harry Potter for adult murder mystery fans) will want to see this Swedish-language film tracking the first volume of heroine Lisbeth Salander’s contest with the forces of villainy.
But be warned that Lisbeth is no Nancy Drew, and this is no “cozy” mystery. More hardboiled than Sam Spade or Philip Marlow, Salander makes even Helen Mirren’s Superintendent Detective Jane Tennison seem as quaint as Miss Marple.


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