US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Does a multibillion-dollar renovation of Notre-Dame keep with Jesus’ vision for the church?

To build or not rebuild? In typical Catholic fashion, the answer is both/and.

By John Christman |
Article Culture Justice


Where were you on April 15 when you first saw flames tear through the ancient wood roof of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral? What thoughts and emotions gripped you as plumes of smoke rose from that sacred space? And, equally relevant, how did you react days later when protesters hit the streets of Paris waving placards that read “1 Billion for Notre-Dame! Zero for the Homeless!”?

Do Catholics need a new code of ethics for the digital age?

It's time for Christians to consider how technology impacts our relationships with one another and with God, says ethicist Kate Ott.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Culture

Professor and Christian ethicist Kate Ott had never taken a course on technology or digital ethics when she began to teach a class on the subject. Instead, most of her research and teaching involved issues of gender, healthy relationships, and violence prevention, specifically for teens. But diving into these issues, she found, led to questions about the role of technology in people’s lives.

It’s OK if kids play church

Don’t worry too much about being sacrilegious if your child wants to distribute communion with potato chips or baptize their dolls.

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Lifestyle

A joyful squeal erupts from the hallway outside of the kitchen as I prepare dinner.

“En garde!” shouts my son in the deepest, throatiest voice his 8 years can dig up.

“En garde!” volleys his 3-year-old sister in a voice far less successful at impersonating a pirate.

How can I keep them singing?

Family sing-a-longs can bring you closer to each other and to God—but they don’t have to be during Mass.

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Your Faith

There are many ways my husband and I differ, but perhaps the most significant is that I come from a family prone to spontaneous outbursts of song while he comes from a family prone to subtle nods as they listen to the car radio together.

When will we learn?

From Columbine, Red Lake, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and Parkland?

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog News

A couple of years ago, I taught Dave Cullen’s book Columbine (Twelve) to college freshmen, most of whom weren’t even born when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris gunned down 13 of their fellow high school students on April 20, 1999. My students were largely ignorant of the shooting with little understanding of how profoundly that day shaped their high school experience. They were surprised to learn that only 1 in 5 high schools had security cameras before 1999. Today, 3 in 5 do.

Nostalgia: The past in present tense

Why is nostalgia so painful?

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Your Faith

I love nostalgia even though it’s painful. The word has Greek roots in both the words “homecoming” and “pain.” Every time I go home to my parents’ house, I am hit with shades of it when I open a musty closet, run my fingers along untouched bookshelves, or rummage through dresser drawers that still contain small Mass books and buttons from when my brothers, sister, and I were little. A lot of people spend New Year’s thinking about what they will do in the year to come. I spent it thinking about what we did in years past.

25 days of Advent in action

This year, take the focus off presents and put it on serving God’s family.

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Lifestyle

If your kids are anything like mine, Advent has less to do with preparing for the arrival of baby Jesus and more to do with the studied preparation of Christmas lists. In an effort to combat an increasingly present-hungry holiday focus, a few years ago we started a Jesse Tree. Every morning, we added a new ornament to our Jesse Tree and read that day’s Bible story, which took us from creation to the birth of Christ.

In the college classroom, belief should be open for discussion

Professors should talk about their personal beliefs in the classroom—even if it makes students uneasy.

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Lifestyle

A few weeks ago I was standing in the back of a college classroom at the Catholic university where I teach while my students chatted with a guest speaker via Skype. The guest speaker was a deacon on his way to the priesthood and a graduate of the University of Saint Francis, where I teach. In the shadowy back aisle where I stood, I listened while Deacon Jay explained that he was not Catholic during his first three years at Saint Francis, but felt pulled toward the faith after a chance invite from a couple of girls to join them at Mass.

The way my son plays

Sometimes I don’t get my son, with his rough-and-tumble play and love of wrestling with his dad.

By Molly Jo Rose |
Article Lifestyle

Thwack. The kickball ricochets off the front of our house and the arguing begins. “Safe!” yells Henry. “Run to second!” yells Thomas. “I got you out!” yells Nate. “You’re all cheaters!” yells my son. Each declaration ratchets up to earsplitting levels. I watch from the window as they abandon the kickball and start to circle each other like lions weeding out the weak. By the time I finally throw open the door to intervene their passions are running so high and their fits of opinion are so strong only dogs can understand their shrieks.

Celebrate the gifts of this hour

Time never stops moving, so take a few minutes to celebrate the things that make life feel full.

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Lifestyle

I don’t know how old I was when I was first introduced to Henry David Thoreau’s admonition “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” but it must have been fairly young because it stuck to me in the rudimentary way of childhood when you accept fully the premise of a thing, when you swallow it down wholesale and it becomes you.