In the service: Priests in the military
The U.S. armed forces are looking for a few good men-priests-to serve Catholics in uniform. But some question whether Father should rank among military officers.
For much of the previous year, Father Joe Porpiglia had a grueling routine-and he wasn't even running his parish in Buffalo. He was in Afghanistan as a U.S. chaplain, racing across a rugged and war-torn landscape in massive helicopters and transport planes. He served Mass and the sacraments to thousands of soldiers, but also offered counsel and comfort to anyone who sought him out.
Cuban comeback: Change is on the horizon in Cuba
Overcoming great obstacles, many Cubans are returning to the Catholic faith and helping renew the island’s church.
To this day Aldo Santos remembers with gratitude the frequent blackouts he experienced as a child in his native town of Holguín in northeast Cuba. Everyone in the neighborhood would come out of their house to gaze at the stars.
He would look up and ask his father about the moon and the planets and about a future full of dreams. He learned that even galaxies die, and it was then that he began to understand something about the end of things.
This means war: The increasing signs of yet another war in the middle east
Arguments for U.S. military action in Iran feel like a case of deja vu all over again.
Smoke and mirrors: Our nation's image is marred by social injustices
America’s inflated self-image doesn’t reflect our nation’s obvious flaws.
When Harry Potter looks at the magical Mirror of Erised, he sees what he wants to see: his heart’s desire (get it?), a happy and whole Potter family. Harry finds himself transfixed by the beautiful reflection. And that’s the danger of the wondrous mirror, the ever-wise Albus Dumbledore informs Harry: the distinct possibility of never being able to tear oneself away from its satisfying perspective.
Performance review: More feedback on President Obama
We don't normally publish the feedback from our Reader Surveys online, out of respect for the privacy of respondents (name and city are included in this section), but between the record amount or responses to our survey on President Obama and the passion with which our readers responded, we wanted to share them with our online readers.
We've included some of our favorite answers without any identifying information.
For Catholics, the greatest success of the Obama administration has been:
The passage of healthcare reform.
Performance review: Readers rate President Obama
U.S. Catholic readers provide a progress report on Barack Obama’s first term in office.
Hold your fire! Let's call a truce in the war on Christmas
To the barricades, patriots! Lock down the airports! Suspend the Constitution! Appropriate billions of dollars! Prepare a preemptive attack! The enemies, whoever they are, have launched a war on Christmas!
Work hard, pray hard: On Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton
The friendship of two spiritual giants reveals two remarkably different paths to the peace of Christ.
Few have written authoritative biographies of the 20th-century spiritual giants Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker, and Thomas Merton, the celebrated Trappist monk and writer. Fewer still knew them both. But Jim Forest, a former Catholic Worker himself, did, and his unique insight reveals the human side of two figures many Catholics revere as saints, if as yet uncanonized.
Starved for attention: Why budget cuts shouldn't include nixing foreign aid
With billions in aid on the chopping block, who is looking out for the world’s poor?
The first hard numbers emerging out of the famine in Somalia are staggering: Between May and August, U.S. aid officials estimate that more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 died in southern Somalia alone. The famine threatens 12 million in the region; the U.N. reports that 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll among children is certain to rise.