US Catholic Faith in Real Life

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.


James McLaughlin: Filing taxes for the poor

By Michelle Bearden | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Nobody likes to do taxes. That includes James McLaughlin, a Chicago-based attorney with the firm Kirkland & Ellis.

But there's an upside to the process, especially when you're doing those taxes gratis for people who need assistance with the complicated forms but can't afford it.

"When you tell someone he's getting a refund of $3,000, he gives you a smile that lights up the sky," McLaughlin, 31, says. "It's a wonderful thing to be able to deliver news like that."


Through a glass darkly: How Catholics struggle with mental illness

By Anna Weaver | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Mental illness is still murky territory for those who experience it, their families, and their church.

Not long after Rich Salazar moved to DeKalb, Illinois from California, he found himself knocking at the door of St. Mary's Church. The then-college student had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was in crisis mode. Unable to reach his mother at work and not knowing where else to go, Salazar told himself, "I have to go to church."


Be here now: The benefits of living in the present

By Kathy Daley | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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There's no time like the present for living in God's presence.

On Call: An excerpt from Paul Wilkes' In Due Season

By Paul Wilkes | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Body of Christ is the best medicine for body and soul, regardless of whether we are "worthy" to receive him.

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