US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Six ways to be a conscientious Catholic consumer

By Tom Beaudoin | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Tom Beaudoin looks at our "branded" economy and says it's time to integrate who we are with what we buy.

"I'm gonna have to check on that."
Lite jazz, then "Mail room, this is Jimmy."
"Um," I stalled, conjuring his face from the Midwestern twang of his greeting. He had a mullet and cranked the Allman Brothers and was one of the few people on earth to whom you would unreservedly loan money or confess besetting sins.
"Hello," he semi-drawled, radio in the background.

A reading from the prophet Bonnie: An Advent essay

By Father Ronald Raab, C.S.C. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
God’s messengers are often just as surprising as the words they bear.

Advent always opens me up. Just when I think I am in control of my life and ministry, I am confronted by the challenges of a new liturgical year. The prophets get under my skin. The gospels splash my soul to surprise and awaken me.

The billion prayer march

By Sarah Sharp | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The billion prayer march: a play in three short acts

Act I. Enter Extreme Poverty. Much wailing and grinding of teeth. She falls to the ground and crawls offstage. Enter Jon Denn. Much pacing and wringing of hands. He sits down at his computer and creates

Act II. Enter Minister and Congregants. All turn toward audience and pray, "The world now has the means to end extreme poverty, we pray we will have the will." Repeat one billion times.

Pray your own way

By Christina Capecchi | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
These aren't your grandma's devotions. Young adult Catholics are using non-traditional ways to get in touch with their spiritual side.

It's 11 p.m., and 31-year-old Tara Turner is wearing cotton pajamas, lying on her bed, deep in prayer. Her hands aren't folded; they're clasping a pink Game Boy.

As she digs to the center of the earth, attacking monsters en route, Turner communes with God.

"I pray as I play," she says. "When you've got your fingers and your eyes focused on this little critter on the screen, then your mind is more open to hearing God."

Escape to reality

By Sarah Sharp | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Vacations can make a difference

All work and no pray

By David Liners | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Anne Satorius ia a pretty typical hardworking, faithful Catholic. She teaches catechism at her parish in Milwaukee; she and her husband, Tim, edit the newspaper at their daughter's school (where they also serve on the PTO); she looks after her aging parents, helping with yard work and more; she is a full-time dental hygienist.

Cry aloud to God

By Sue Fox McGovern | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Every time Mary Borner goes to church at St. Thecla Parish in Chicago she pictures her husband's casket going down the aisle. She and Jack had been married 40 years when he died two years ago. Friends suggest she switch parishes, but Borner prefers to stay rooted and engaged in a place full of both joyous and devastating memories. "It would be easier to run away," she says, "but I have to face this."

Faith of a father

By Patrick T. Reardon | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Last year in our Parish Church, I preached on Father's Day. I'd never before given a true in-the-pulpit sermon, but I was there as a sort of expert witness. I'm a father, first of all. My wife, Cathy, and I have two children: David, who's 13, and Sarah, 10. And a couple of years ago I wrote a book on fatherhood called Daily Meditations (with Scripture) for Busy Dads (ACTA Publications, 1995).

The world is full of God

By Rabbi Lawrence Kushner | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

"Judaism," writes Rabbi Lawrence Kushner in his new book, Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians(Jewish Lights), "is a tradition that may at times, for Christians, feel strangely familiar." He adds, "To be sure, you can only have one religion at a time. But you can, from studying another one, even from the outside, learn to see your own spiritual tradition through a new lens." And so follows his eloquent and straightforward exposition of Jewish spirituality.

These souls are made for walking

By Michael J. Farrell | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

On an otherwise sunny day The Holy Mountain is enveloped in fog. It may be an omen. A hundred meters out, there's a white statue of the saint. Those who are going to turn back do so at the statue, the pilgrim has been told. Mere tourists. Staff in hand, the pilgrim pushes ahead. A pristine stream splashes down from the mountain-holy water too potent to be bottled. The trail of rough boulders and sharp stones circles behind a lesser mountain before attacking Croagh Patrick, locally called the Reek, a 2,510-foot-tall cone of white quartz pointing to heaven.