US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Go outside and play

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Falls and fresh air can teach kids the most important lessons of faith and life.

If you want peace, cultivate creation," Pope Benedict XVI said in his 2010 World Day of Peace reflection, arguably a message not just for the new year but for the new decade. With one sentence Benedict adroitly tied together a gang of the major preoccupations of Catholic social teaching with Pope Paul VI's radical 1972 admonishment: "If you want peace, work for justice."

Will work for peace in everyday life

By Heather Grennan Gary| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

For Heidi Tousignant, the faith-formation director from Minnesota, having studied peace in college relates directly to some of her most important-and unpaid-work. As a parent "it absolutely enhances my vision of how to raise kids," she says. It's influenced her family's conversations, their values, their faith life, the decisions they make as a family, and what action they take in their community.

Book marked: Stories to raise your children by

By Mary Margaret Keaton| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
From nursery rhymes to fantasy anthologies, fill your shelves with stories to raise your children by.

Not your mother’s rhythm method

By Ann Green| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Natural Family Planning has come a long a way, baby. Not only does it meet the church’s moral standard for spacing births, it keeps a marriage going.

I met Mike while working as an engineer for an aerospace company. Mike was a test pilot just out of the Air Force. He swept me off my feet—literally—by taking me on flights. After one flight we lunched from a picnic basket he had packed. At the bottom of the basket was a small white box. I reached in, and Mike dropped to one knee.

Let them just eat cake: Modern birthdays are too much for everyone involved

By Linda Zwicky| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Limos, tiaras, and Build-A-Bears, oh my! It’s time to rein in the birthday madness and return to some old-fashioned fun, games, and values.

Our family’s initiation to the new era of children’s birthday parties began when our first child was 9 months old. I accepted an invitation to a birthday bash at an exclusive club. More than 40 guests attended a catered affair to celebrate an infant’s first year on the planet. The entertainment, presumably for the over-2 crowd, included a storyteller, and the evening was capped off with an impressive display of fireworks.

Parental guidance suggested: How to pass the faith on to teens

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Let’s agree that we’ve done a poor job passing on the faith to the current crop of Catholic adolescents. OK, now what do we do about it?

Sean Reynolds cheerfully agreed to torpedo tired old thinking at the National Symposium on Adolescent Catechesis last November.

Show & tell

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Six ways to teach your children the faith

Handing on the faith to one’s children is a learn-as-you-go thing. Often you find your heart in your mouth, like the day you drove off from the hospital with your first baby and thought wildly, “They’re letting us take this kid out of here?!” When my husband and I brought our newborn in for checkups during those first weeks, I couldn’t shake the notion that I was returning him like a library book, so the doctor could look him over and give us the OK to check him out again for a few more weeks.

Sticker shock

By Heather Grennan Gary| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Are Catholic colleges and universities worth the price of admission?

A Catholic education is worth the sacrifice

By Ed Wojcicki| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

I never imagined that crossing paths with homeless people would become a part of our children's grade school education. Who would put that on the curriculum? But it happened, unofficially anyway, as our city's transient people roamed freely on the other side of the fence near the school yard. With a degree of humor and fondness, the kids gave nicknames to the regulars. One was "The Sheriff" because he wore a toy badge as a daily accessory. Another was "Buddha" due to his physique and habit of sitting calmly on the church steps for hours.

Mom dad I'm gay

By Kathy Saunders| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Mary Ellen and Casey Lopata's lives changed drastically during Thanksgiving weekend 1983. That's when their oldest son, Jim, came home from college with the news that he was gay.

After a hectic holiday with four children, Mary Ellen Lopata remembers just sitting down that Saturday night when Jim walked in and asked to talk. As he started to cry he told her, "Mom, I'm lonely. I'm lonely for another man."

"It was his way of articulating how he felt as a young gay man," says his mother.