US Catholic Faith in Real Life

My teenagers are a constant revelation

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Anyone who survives the dentist's drill should be able to pass this acid test. As I sit terrified in a car crammed with 15-year-old boys, my own at the wheel, I wonder, "Where is God now?" Rush hour traffic bolts feverishly, my stomach wrenches, my neck stiffens, rigid with tension. Acid rock on the radio fills the car with whining, shrieking dissonance. If Dante had had a teenaged driver, he surely would've added this trip to his circles of hell.

Please pass down the faith

By Karen Sue Smith| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Most parents, if asked, can tell you in two words what they want for their children: "the best." But what does "the best" mean when it comes to religious education? The real goal, after all, is to communicate the Catholic faith to the next generation so that it takes hold and endures. What can parents do to assist the Holy Spirit's transforming work? For today's children must become tomorrow's Catholic adults, assembling themselves to celebrate Mass, perform the works of justice and mercy, and embody Christ in the world.

How to help parishioners with the baby blues

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Mother's day is hard. Baptisms are really hard. Christmas, with all its talk of the birth of baby Jesus, isn't exactly a happy occasion either. Church should be a source of consolation during trying times, but for couples suffering from infertility, it's often an alienating, difficult place. And, although one in six couples now has difficulty conceiving or has experienced miscarriage, few parishes offer any services or even acknowledge the pain of infertility.

Will your kids' faith fly when they leave the nest?

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We stand together on the sidelines of our sons soccer match. A gaggle of parents stamping our feet against the creeping cold, huddling under umbrellas away from the drizzling rain which began just as the referees signaled the start of the game. Out on the field, the boys begin to look more and more alike-dripping hair, jerseys plastered to soaked backs, mud-encrusted socks that once were white.

Can Catholicism seem cool to your kids?

By Robert Ludwig| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

When your teenage daughter tells you that the Dalai Lama has a lot more going for him than the pope, do you have an answer for her? Just what about Catholicism makes it attractive tithe younger generation?

How to pass on the articles of faith

By Tom McGrath| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Years ago, I learned a lesson about passing on religious faith during a golden summer while my family was on vacation. My daughters were young, about ages 3 and 6, and we were staying with my wife's extended family in a spacious summer home just a short walk from Lake Michigan's beautiful shoreline.

Resources for children and violence

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Resources for "It's Time to Stop Training Our Kids to Kill"
(July 1999 USC Sounding Board by Lt. Col. David Grossman)

Longer version of Col. Grossman's piece (plus reprint information)

"Trained to Kill" (full article and reprints from Christianity Today)

How to contact television networks

Offers unexpected gifts

By Wendy M.Wright | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

I had never thought about it in quite that way. Never thought about parenting as a "charism." A calling perhaps. An undertaking of immense spiritual significance, certainly. But not a charism-a spirit-filled gift given for the enhancement of the wholec hurch. Not until I was asked to address the topic publicly. Then my instinctive response was, "If parenting is a charism, I'm pretty sure I don't possess it. Three children I have, a gift for parenting, I don't."

What could it really mean, I asked myself, to speak of parenting as a charism?

God is in the details

By Sue Fox McGovern | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

In parishes across the country, parents are turning to each other to find support and wisdom in their quest to raise good kids. Mothers, in particular, have been using resources such as MOMS: A Personal Journal (Resource Publications, 1992) to help them set up programs based on the MOMS (Ministry of Mothers Sharing) model. One such group meets at Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge,Illinois. Here is an excerpt from its recent newsletter:

Pass the faith please

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
On Palm Sunday 2007 Father Joseph Kraker poured water over the head of a baby boy in St. Vincent's Church in Akron, Ohio. "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," he said, grinning as the baby sent forth a mighty howl.