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
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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
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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.


Why ‘Madam Secretary’ breaks bold new ground

In CBS drama “Madam Secretary,” patriarchy matters a little less.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Madam Secretary (CBS, in its third season) breaks bold new ground in media portrayals of women leaders: Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s friends, family, colleagues, and even the President of the United States treat her as if, in fact, she can lead. 


‘Pure Comedy’ is pure joy

Father John Misty’s not actually a priest, but you should still give him a listen.

By Ann Christenson | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Pure Comedy
Father John Misty (Sub Pop, 2017)

Joshua Tillman is a prolific indie folk/rock musician with eight studio albums under his belt. But it’s under the name Father John Misty (a persona, not a priest) that Tillman has achieved notoriety.


The documentary that looks at the criminalization of black men

“13th” reminds us that America’s original sin of racism is still waiting to be confessed and cleansed.

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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13th, the documentary by Selma director Ava DuVernay about mass incarceration, was screened for the first time just days before the 2016 presidential election. In the film the first thing we hear is the voice of President Barack Obama saying that, while the United States is 5 percent of the world’s population, it locks up 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. 


Old churches are more than landmarks

Artist John Christman’s paintings reflect a dynamic, changing, and multicultural church.

By Jerry Bleem, O.F.M. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World begins by underscoring the church’s humanity and empathy: 

“The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts” (Gaudium et Spes).


‘Moana’ and the power of female friendship

“Moana” is the story of a young woman who brings healing to her tortured “sister” simply by being present.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

“Take your broken heart; make it into art,” Meryl Streep said through tears, quoting her late friend, fellow actress Carrie Fisher, when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes earlier this year. 

Streep’s controversial comments were directed at those who felt brokenhearted at the election of a certain president, but her visible grief for her lost friend reminded me—of all things—of a powerful scene in the Disney animated feature Moana


A cancelled series shows women’s inequality is still at work

Women can now wear pants in the office, but has so much really changed since the days of “Good Girls Revolt”?

By Pamela Hill Nettleton | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Once upon a time, in 1969, women weren’t “allowed” to wear slacks at the office. This wasn’t for modesty—miniskirts and tight dresses were fine, 9–5. The dress code was to keep gender differences clearly delineated, as in the classic insult to assertive wives: “She wears the pants in that family.” When the chino ceiling finally cracked in office buildings across America, women could wear trousers in public, but only if they also wore a matching jacket. The female pantsuit was born.


A new kind of music

Binta Niambi Brown infuses the music industry with her Catholic faith and passion for social justice.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Binta Niambi Brown has a resume that could make your head spin. 

She’s a former corporate lawyer turned arts entrepreneur. She’s a classically trained musician and plays 11 instruments. She’s a philanthropist committed to preserving America’s august cultural institutions, including the New York Philharmonic, the SummerStage Concert Series, and the American Theatre Wing. She’s a Tony voter and an advocate for arts education in underserved communities. 


The literary genius of Bob Dylan

Dylan's Nobel Prize opens up room in the cathedral of literature for every genius who has seen a light and can find a way to make us see it, too.

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Putting aside, for a moment, the election of a reality TV star as president of the United States, history may ultimately judge that the most significant cultural event of 2016 was actually the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan. That decision, handed down by those ultimate high-culture deciders in Stockholm, finally ratified the ascension of the American popular arts that began in the music and movies of the 1930s, built to a crescendo in the 1960s, and has been the new normal for most people ever since.


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