US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Urban planting: Turning blight into bounty in the inner city

By Olga Bonfiglio | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Armed with soil and seeds, Catholics in blighted cities are taking social justice into their own hands.

In Camden, New Jersey a jumble of railroad tracks, freeways, and abandoned factories lace through the Waterfront South area on the Delaware River just across from Philadelphia. During heavy rains, a nearby wastewater treatment plant frequently leaks raw sewage onto the streets.

O death, where is thy ecological concern?

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Star power: The future of solar energy

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The energy policy of the future should be sung to the tune of “Here Comes the Sun.”

Events out of Japan persist in an irradiated gloom. The disaster unfolding in Fukushima Daiichi represents a level of calamity for which adjectives have yet to be invented. It’s quite possible that in the end, in a replay of the Chernobyl disaster, areas around the plant may not be suitable again for human habitation.

It's easy being green when building a church

By Judith Dupré | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Your Faith
It's not as difficult—or expensive—as you might think to build a green parish.

Church design is evolving as people reawaken to the ancient wisdom that the environment is a series of exquisite interconnections. Forward-looking congregations are building and renovating in ways that reflect the belief that God resides in the world and all creation resides within God.

Parks and re-Creation

By Megan Sweas | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A group of young people in the Bronx finds that by beautifying an old eyesore, they’ve unleashed a desire to serve their community.

David Shuffler walks through the park that he helped build in the South Bronx on his way to work.

Grass and young trees line his path through Concrete Plant Park, named after the factory that was once on the site. Some of the old factory structures remain—but they’ve been transformed into public art.

Don't be crude: End our oil addiction

By Dan Misleh | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Justice
It’s time to get the petroleum monkey off our backs.

Take the next exit: Avoid an economic traffic jam

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
When it comes to economic growth, the express lanes are closed.

You've probably heard friends complain about tie-ups in Los Angeles or Chicago or New York that transform already long commutes into sweaty practice runs for purgatory. But nothing compares to what motorists recently endured on a roadway heading into Beijing in August's mother-of-all traffic jams: an 11-day, diesel-clouded snarl, stretching more than 62 miles and entrapping thousands of trucks and motorists trying in vain to snail into China's capital city.

Problem children: Making trouble for Mother Earth

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Mother Earth can’t take much more of her human offspring’s hell-raising.

Scientists tell us that, by their count, the universe is somewhere between 13 and 14 billion years old, with the earth coming in at somewhere between 5 and 6 billion. According to traditional Jewish reckoning, on the other hand, creation is celebrating a much more modest 5,771 years this September 9.

Working for the common grid

By Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Reducing our collective carbon footprint can be as easy as plugging in.

In the old days all the cool guys and gals who wanted to show up “the man” devoted a lot of their creative geekiness to figuring out ways to get “off the grid,” devising Rube Goldberg-ish mechanicals and homemade micro-tech geared to living outside the nation’s energy infrastructure. It was laudable self-reliance—sometimes run amok—but it belongs to another age.

Why should parishes go green?

By Kristen Hannum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Your Faith
Five reasons Catholic communities should care about cleaning up the environment.

1. You don't have to believe in climate change to believe in its solution. Energy conservation and alternative energy use mean healthier children, improved national security, and lower heating and cooling bills for families and parishes. It's a "no regrets" strategy.