US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Jason Isbell's brilliant lyrics describe the struggle of blue collar life

A review of Jason Isbell's newest album, Something more than free

By Danny Duncan Collum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The release of Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free was as much of a mainstream media event as one can expect in this age of audience fragmentation. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard charts in country, rock, and folk, and it garnered Isbell profiles everywhere from The New Yorker to NPR.  


Isolated brothers rely on movies and each other in ‘The Wolfpack'

By Kathleen Manning | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Wolfpack
Directed by Crystal Moselle (Kotva Films, 2015)
After watching Star Wars as kids, no wrapping paper roll in my house was safe; my brothers and I stole them for light saber battles. The Wolfpack opens with a similar scene of kids recreating movies, but only slowly does this documentary reveal the strange necessity of their movie play. 
 

Is social justice the same as socialism?

By Kathy McGourty | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Lately there have been accusations that a church with a social justice mission is one that supports socialism.

Conservative TV personality Glenn Beck told Christians, "I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice' or ‘economic justice' on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. . . . If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop."


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.


The faith of an unarmed war hero

“Hacksaw Ridge” chronicles an unwavering faith lived out in midst of war's violence and gore.

By Kathleen Manning | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Hacksaw Ridge
Directed by Mel Gibson (Summit Entertainment, 2016)
 

What is a good death?

The recent loss of so many beloved cultural figures is a reminder to get our spiritual houses in order.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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We lost so many beloved cultural figures in 2016 that the year might go down in history as the Year of Celebrity Death. 

The losses hit my generation hard. The same year I turned 40 I said goodbye to heroes whose immortality I’d taken for granted. People like Prince and David Bowie, in particular, seemed too otherworldly for something as mundane as death. But it turns out no human being is too cool to die.  


A story of northern racism

In “The South Side,” Natalie Moore points out that while cultural diversity is worth celebrating, high-poverty black segregation is not.

By Rosie McCarty | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The South Side
By Natalie Y. Moore (St. Martin’s Press, 2016)

Women and Christian witness

“The Strength of Her Witness,” edited by Elizabeth Johnson, contains articles by women around the world on the importance of Christ’s incarnation.

By Emily Sanna | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women
Edited by Elizabeth Johnson (Orbis Books, 2016)

“What difference do women’s voices make in interpreting the meaning of Jesus Christ?” asks Elizabeth Johnson in her introduction to The Strength of Her Witness. This book, edited by Johnson, attempts to answer that question.


Another reason to love ‘Gilmore Girls’

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are proof that families are forged not by following social and cultural scripts, but by following the heart.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Oh, to live in Stars Hollow, where crabby but hunky Luke runs the diner, quirky Kirk holds a long string of peculiar jobs, and a single mother and her daughter can be seen as a legitimate and respectable family.

On television and in film, single mothers are too often portrayed as hapless victims, struggling to raise children in the absence of a male breadwinner. Media’s single moms live in dismal apartments in gritty neighborhoods, dress in thrift-shop clothing, and seem wearily defeated by life. They have bad posture, bad hair, and bad luck. 


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