US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Our health care system needs a heart transplant

By Thomas G. Pretlow, M.D. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
And our politicians need a brain transplant. Universal health care is the most compassionate option we have, argues a Catholic doctor, and it’s the smartest, most economical solution as well.

The Congo’s killing fields

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Families separated. Millions left for dead. Do we share some of the blame?

Patrick Mwnyamahord knows where his father is buried because a neighbor showed him that small place. What he doesn't know is how his father got there, and there was no one he could safely ask, not then. Twelve years ago he and his family made one of a series of sudden escapes from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into nearby Burundi. On this particular exodus his father was too ill to travel and the family had to leave him.

In ‘The Florida Project,’ a glimpse of a troubled—and magical—childhood

An impoverished childhood spent near Magic Kingdom shows that reality and mystery are both important.

By Ann Christenson | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Kids are seen and heard a lot in The Florida Project, set during one hot, sticky summer in a $35-a-night motel near that true Orlando resort Walt Disney World.

Converted into homes, former churches find a new way to speak

What to do with sparsely populated church buildings is a great challenge to parishes and dioceses, and there are no easy answers.

By John Christman | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Walk down a city street in New York City or take a short drive through Chicago and you are likely to see numerous churches. Take a closer look at one of these buildings, however, and you might be startled to realize you are actually looking at an apartment building or condominium.

In ‘Still Pilgrim,’ a reminder of why prayer works so well

The title of Angela Alaimo O’Donnell’s new volume is both a paradox and an invitation.

By Nick Ripatrazone | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Still Pilgrim
by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Paraclete Press, 2017)

The title Still Pilgrim is both a paradox and an invitation. As Christians we are called to be pilgrims—to move and journey both within and outside ourselves—and yet we are also called to contemplate. Angela Alaimo O’Donnell quotes both T. S. Eliot and Psalm 46 to show that stillness is a deliberate action in an endlessly moving world. In O’Donnell’s poems, stillness means devotion.

A coming-of-age narrative that gets it right

‘Anne with an E’ explores the complexities and nuances of female adolescence.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Judging by the stories media tell us, boys are the only humans perplexed by puberty. Film and television tales of moving from adolescence to adulthood focus primarily on young men, as though girls did not also lurch awkwardly toward maturity. Think of Boyhood, The Sandlot, Stand By Me, This Boy’s Life, Almost Famous, Big, The Summer of ’42, Breaking Away.

Fifty years after the Detroit rebellion, is the jury still out?

The United States is still waiting to hear if black lives matter.

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Entirely too much attention has been paid this year to the 50th anniversary of the 1967 “Summer of Love.” That’s when a small fraction of America’s white youth deranged itself and outraged its elders with a very public fit of drug-induced self-indulgence. But in black America, 1967 was a summer of uprisings as African Americans reacted to decades of police brutality with a display of long-suppressed rage. In city after city—from Houston to Newark—the rebellions bubbled up.

The unofficial patron saint of the Internet

Marshall McLuhan weaves together mystical threads of theology with the perspective on modern life that made him a communications guru.

By Peter Feuerherd | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Marshall McLuhan is now known as an unofficial patron saint of the Internet, a communication theorist who predicted a linked world united in a global village. McLuhan, who died in 1980, expounded his theories well before the laptop and the cellphone became an essential part of modern life.

Our bad habit

‘The Little Hours,’ the recent film that fixates on nuns having fun, isn’t all that funny.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Even the Old Testament writers—not generally thought of as a funny lot—knew the healing power of humor: 

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine,” says the book of Proverbs (17:22).

Why I want to play Bruce Springsteen at my funeral

The kingdom of heaven is like the train in Springsteen’s ‘Land of Hopes and Dreams,’ filled with saints and sinners, losers and winners.

By Patrick Gallagher | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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On an exotic vacation our son took with my brother and sister-in-law, all travelers brought a playlist of five songs that said something about them. Fallen not far from the tree, my son’s list included two Bruce Springsteen songs (from 15 years before his birth).