US Catholic Faith in Real Life

What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

By Santiago Cortes-Sjoberg | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
When and why did the church begin celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday?

The world was in the midst of the Great Depression in 1931 and the memories of World War I were still very much alive in the minds of Europeans when in Poland a sister of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), is said to have been personally visited by Jesus.

Honor, Islam, and American women

By A U.S. Catholic interview | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The editors ask Akbar Ahmed about the number of American women who convert to Islam and how they are treated in both cultures.

What do converts to Islam tell you about Islam in America?

Four out of five white converts to Islam are women, and they tell us a lot about how Muslims and non-Muslims see each other.

Boxed in: Do you need to be set free from stuff?

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Lent is a good time to ask whether the stuff we hold on to is actually holding us back.

Open space: God and silence

By Sister Sheryl Frances Chen | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Emptiness. Silence. Distance. It takes a while to learn God’s peculiar language.

My dad sent me a DVD of a documentary about the development of the Helvetica font. In my former life I was an editor, and I have always been interested in words and the art of printing.

You 2.0: Lenten upgrade

By Annemarie Scobey | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Lent is a time to upgrade your internal drives.

I was doing dishes in the kitchen last week when my son Jacob came in and started unloading the dishwasher. While generally dishwasher unloading is a job that belongs to the kids, I had not yet asked anyone to empty it.

“Who are you, and what have you done with Jacob?” I said to him. Jacob smiled—he knew what I meant. While I would never describe Jacob as lazy, he usually needs to be reminded to do his jobs around the house.

“Is this a new and improved version of Jacob?” I continued. “I like it.”

Visitation Rites

By Jason Kelly | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Convicted criminals rarely inspire much compassion. They are, after all, the people who actually do the things we have nightmares about-armed robbery, rape, murder. We want these people put away, sometimes for good. Isn't it what they deserve?

Spring of hope

By Marianne Comfort | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
With a sprinkle of water, an infant is reborn in Christ and welcomed into the Catholic community.

In some parts of the world, however, water is anything but a lifegiving force. Instead, it brings death, battles between humans and nature, and conflict among peoples over use of a precious resource.

Material issue

By Georgia Alexakis | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

It was a cold, winter day when one of Mary Lou Aiello's most memorable clients walked into the Care Center, five months pregnant and with only a thin winter coat to shield her from the rapidly amassing snow.

"Her fingers were blue from the cold," says Aiello, the Care Center's executive director. "I was trying to warm them up when she told me that she was wearing the only coat in the family. Her husband had gone to work in that kind of weather without one so she could come to the center.

Care Tactics

By Mariana Farrell | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare


"God bless you."

One of the legends behind saying "God bless you" originates in the belief that a person's heart stops for a fraction of a second during a sneeze. Even though that old wives' tale won't help cure the cold or allergy that caused the sneeze, people continue to say it.

Catholics might offer a different reason for saying "God bless you." The phrase does two fundamental things that Catholic leaders call for when they talk about caring for the sick.

At the hour of our death

By Martin E Marty | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Even death cannot rob us of our fundamental dignity as human persons. -From the U.S. bishops' Reflections on the Body, Cremation, and Catholic Funeral Rites

Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy because Christians care for the bodies of humans-even though they are deceased. "The dead deserve as respectful a burial as can be provided, this is a minimum," says Father Richard Rutherford of the University of Portland.