US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Day by Day: The letters and journals of Dorothy Day

By Robert Ellsberg | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Thirty years after her death, Dorothy Day’s letters and diaries reveal an ordinary but committed woman trying to put love where there was none.

There is probably no more famous image of Dorothy Day than the iconic photo by Bob Fitch that shows her seated with a look of utter tranquility between two armed and imposing police officers. That photo was taken in 1973 when she was 75. The occasion was her final arrest while picketing with striking farmworkers in California.


Reading list

Online Editor | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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We couldn't include everyone's responses in the Feedback section of October 2010's Reader Survey, "Used books," so here is a selection of responses that includes some of our readers' favorite books and recommendations.

My favorite contemporary book addressing issues related to the Catholic faith today is...

Elizabeth Johnson's Truly Our Sister: A theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints. It strengthens one's love for Mary and helps to make Mary relevant in the lives of today's women.


It makes a difference whether you're Catholic

By James Breig | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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In the May 1979 Sounding Board that inspired the 75th anniversary essay of the same title by Angela C. Batie, James Breig explains why it matters if you're Catholic.

An acquaintance recently returned to the church after more than 10 years of apostasy. One motivation for coming back was the religious education of her son, who was nearing the age for First Communion. His growth had spurred her to reconsider her religious views.


More than a feeling: A desire for God

By James Martin, S.J. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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You're longing for God--you just don't know it, yet.

A few years ago I was having lunch with a friend who is an agnostic. I had just finished my annual eight-day retreat at my favorite place to pray, Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Massachusetts, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Despite her agnosticism, she was interested in hearing about my retreat. So I told her a little about my prayer.

After a few minutes she said, "Boy, it must be nice to have had an experience of God. There's nothing I want more."


Take your time

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.

On goes the alarm: 6 a.m. thirteen minutes of news, weather, and traffic. 6:13. Out of bed, into the shower. First sip of coffee. Pack lunch, make breakfast, finish coffee, brush teeth.

Here comes the bus--uncharacteristically on time. Nod to the driver. Nice to be early to work.


Catholic workers: How you can get to work

By Meghan Murphy-Gill | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Inspired by the people featured in our Catholic workers story, but still can't think of where you might want to get involved? The U.S. Catholic editors are here to help. We've compiled a list of different ways any old average Catholic can put their faith to work.

Already a regular volunteer? We'd love to hear about what you're doing in our comment section!


Catholic workers

By Michelle Bearden | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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These people of faith are volunteering outside the box when it comes to serving those in need. Read on to learn how they are putting their faith to work and find out how you can get started doing the same.  

Linda Smith: Teaching English to immigrants

Donald Douglas: Providing health care for the uninsured


Linda Smith: Teaching English to immigrants

By Michelle Bearden | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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When Ed Smith retired from his law practice, he and his wife, Linda, dreamed of all the things they would do.

But three months later, he was diagnosed with cancer. And five months after that, he died.

Linda Smith went from planning their long-awaited trip to Italy to organizing her beloved husband's funeral.

"You think you have all the time in the world," says Smith, 61. "Then you realize just how precious every moment is. There are no guarantees."


Donald Douglas: Providing health care for the uninsured

By Michelle Bearden | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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For nearly 40 years gastroenterologist Donald Douglas of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania practiced medicine in the traditional way. He worked in comfortable medical suites and hospitals with access to the best equipment that technology offered. Most of his patients had insurance coverage that allowed them to pursue the treatment they needed.

He could have retired from his profession, never stepping outside his comfort zone.


Sharyn Gildea: Making rosaries from flowers

By Michelle Bearden | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Six years ago, Sharyn Gildea descended to the darkest place a mother could possibly go.

David, her handsome, sweet son, plagued by depression and drugs, hanged himself at age 26. He left behind a young daughter named Ely and a broken-hearted mother.

"You're not sure how you will survive something like this," Gildea says, divorced and the mother of two other grown children.

She found her strength in God-and in rosaries. Not just praying rosaries, but making them out of dried flowers from life's milestones, such as funerals, weddings, and anniversaries.


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