US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Pax Romana: An interview with Andrea Riccardi

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The founder of the international lay movement of the Sant’Egidio Community explains how his group has been able to build peace, one conflict at a time.

When Andrea Riccardi and his high school friends began to help Rome’s poorest 42 years ago, they did not intend to work beyond the city. But the movement they launched now has about 50,000 members in more than 70 countries.

Huddle masses: The history of our immigrant church

By Moises Sandoval | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Lady Liberty has seen many tempest tossed generations set foot upon these shores. With each new wave of immigrants, the American Catholic Church has become a harbor that gets wider and deeper by the year. 

The way of the crossing

By Father Daniel Groody, C.S.C. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Immigrants today experience economic, social, legal, and pyschological crucifixions.

Last April I was working on a video documentary on the U.S.-Mexican border. It was Holy Week. Each day I talked with undocumented immigrants, church workers, coyote smugglers, and border patrol agents, trying to capture something of the complex and painful drama of illegal immigration.

How to turn a lukewarm parish into a hotbed of social justice

By Jack Jezreel | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
In a 1990s article from Salt of the Earth, Jack Jezreel wrote about the surprising success of JustFaith, the parish-based program on social justice, at its beginning.

In 1988, I decided to give parish work one more try. I reluctantly accepted a position as minister of social responsibility with Church of the Epiphany in Louisville, Kentucky, a position that focused on what today we call "parish social ministry."

Do your parish justice: An interview on Justfaith with Jack Jezreel

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The most vibrant parishes focus as much on ministry to the poor as they do on ministry in the liturgy, says the founder of JustFaith Ministries. 

In 1988 Jack Jezreel reluctantly became a parish social minister as a means to an end: to earn enough money to start a farm. "I realize that peace-and-justice work will always be done by only a handful of parishioners, it will most likely remain on the periphery of parish life, and it will be eyed suspiciously by most parishioners," he wrote in his job application for Church of the Epiphany in Louisville, Kentucky.

It's time to take our medicine: An interview with Sister Carol Keehan, D.C.

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Health care reform is about more than reducing insurance premiums, says this Catholic health care executive. It’s about caring for the sick.

On March 5, 2009, Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity and president of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), which represents more than 600 Catholic hospitals and medical facilities, participated in a White House roundtable on health care reform. The gathering included members of Congress, journalists, and invited interested parties, such as Keehan.

A Catholic doctor’s Good Samaritan plan

By Michael Grady | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
When I give talks on health care reform to faith communities, I often use the parable of the Good Samaritan.

After the priest and the Levite have passed by an injured traveler, the Samaritan man is moved with compassion, providing first aid and then medical care for the stranger. The parable poignantly exemplifies the core tenet of our Catholic social teaching: the respect for human dignity. Sadly, the United States is alone among industrialized societies in its failure to recognize the fundamental right to health care that human dignity demands.

More out of Africa

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A deal that sounds too good to be true probably is-especially for subsistence farmers.

Blessed are the peacemakers

By Heather Grennan Gary | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The first Catholic college to launch a peace studies program was Manhattan College in New York, which opened its Pacem in Terris Institute in 1965, offered its first interdisciplinary peace studies class a year later, and had an undergraduate major under way by 1971. Early in the program's development, Pope Paul VI took notice and sent his blessing, along with a message to the Institute's organizers encouraging the "efforts for education for peace" that were taking place.