US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Away from the manger: An Advent Essay

By Frances M. Leap | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
As pieces of Teresa’s nativity set traverse afar, her niece catches unexpected glimpses of the Incarnation.

Do this in memory

By Ann O'Connor | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Gathering and displaying reminders of lost loved ones can connect us to our own personal communion of saints.

One day a friend of mine called a classmate from college with whom she had not talked in years, only to learn that the woman’s 7-month-old baby had recently died. Resisting her impulse to end the conversation quickly, my friend was inspired to ask what the baby was like. She must have been the first person to ask this question of the mother because her simple question released a flood of memories and they talked for a good, long time.

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).