US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Day of Recollection: U.S. Catholic readers share thoughts on 9/11

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. CATHOLIC readers share their memories, regrets, concerns, and hopes. 

When Mary Ellen Kelly heard that a plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, she assumed it was an accident and rushed down the street for a better look. She was only a few hundred feet away when another plane sliced through the south tower, erupting into a fireball. She screamed and fled amid cries from the crowd of “Terrorism! It’s terrorism!”

The wages of war: The steep price of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A trillion-dollar price tag isn’t the only cost of war.

While most of the Country’s attention is fixed on how best to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the nation recently reached another milestone related to that event. Total military spending on Iraq and Afghanistan passed the $1 trillion mark at the end of April this year, and it is currently racing toward $1.5 trillion.

Is this just war?: Two Catholic perspectives on the war in Afghanistan

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
This interview from the December 2001 issue explores responses from two Catholics to the beginning of the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

Choking on ashes

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
In this column from November 2001, Kevin Clarke asks if justice, rather than retribution, can be served in response to America's worst terrorist attack.

I grew up in a family thick with cops and firemen in a New York suburb peopled by cops and firemen, so it was with a special dread that I watched a churning cloud of dust and debris and choking ash envelope people running for their lives in lower Manhattan on September 11, knowing that a fear that had haunted my childhood would be coming home that night as a terrible reality to hundreds of New York families.

What do you do with such pain?

By Tom McGrath| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
This column from the November 2001 issue in response to 9/11 comments that in the face of suffering we ought to seek a wisdom that can lead us out of the valley of death.

"If we don't transform our pain, we will always transmit it," says Franciscan priest Richard Rohr. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, such transformation has become all the more daunting, yet all the more necessary if we are to survive as a species--not to mention be faithful to our God.

Let's drop the bomb: It's time to get rid of nukes

By Bishop Leroy Matthiesen| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The U.S. bishops issued their 1983 pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace without a total condemnation of nuclear arms but planned to revisit the issue after the Cold War. More than 25 years later, the question is still on the table.

Sounding Boards are one person's take on a many-sided subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.

Preferential option for the Pentagon?

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
As the debt-ceiling debate stumbles toward resolution, this May 2005 column about the 2006 federal budget shows how little things have changed when it comes to our priorities.

The 2006 federal budget is slightly less than six gazillion pages of eye-straining statistics, outlandish bureaucratic acronyms, and unspeakable Orwellian babble, bound in no-nonsense government blue and suitable for months of obsessive home study or as a sturdy bludgeon against domestic intruders.

A few brave men: Answering God's call in Iraq

By Jackie Spinner| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Iraqi Catholics risk their lives to join the priesthood and serve their own in a turbulent state.

Father Daud Barber of the College of St. Ephram in Qaraqosh, Iraq once traveled to Egypt, Syria, and Germany to study music and play the oud, an ancient stringed instrument. He performed with the symphony in Lebanon, he recounts, his coal-colored eyes brightening at the memory.

Morally wounded: The spiritual costs of war

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Grisly photos of U.S. soldiers spotlight the spiritual injuries our men and women in combat sustain in war, as well as their tragic results.