US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Go outside, it’s good for your soul

Let your interior life be enriched by time spent outdoors.

By Beth Haile |
Article Your Faith

On a recent trip through Yellowstone, I encountered a couple crouched next to a tall spruce tree, binoculars up and muttering to each other. Then they grew excited, both spotting something, the man going for his camera, the woman on her smart phone. “I’ve got it!” she finally exclaimed. “A mountain chickadee!” They high-fived, overflowing with giddiness. 


Who cares? We do.

U.S. Catholic readers say Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ has inspired them to care for their common home.

By Laura Whitaker |
Article Justice News

It’s been almost a year since the June 2015 publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home) and, in that time, Pope Francis’ call for all people to take “swift and unified global action” to address the crisis posed by environmental degradation has spread across the world.


The fracked up economy

Fracking has once again made the United States an energy exporter—but at what cost?

By Kevin Clarke |
Article Justice

For the first time in decades the United States is approaching a level of energy independence considered impossible just a few years ago. The oil and natural gas “fracking” boom, coupled with an unusually warm winter and an Asian economic slowdown that has slaked the global thirst for oil, has translated into plunging oil prices. That means U.S. consumers have enjoyed home heating and gasoline prices at levels most thought they would never see again.


Does the earth have a prayer?

It is our practices—spiritual and otherwise—that will make a difference in the way we care for creation.

By Joan Brown, O.S.F. |
Article Your Faith

One night when I was 6 years old, while walking outdoors before bed, I gazed at the sky and found myself wrapped in the vast mantle of stars, the Milky Way. Standing in awe, my body felt both small and large. In that instant I felt God.

Now, years later, that memory restores me when I feel overwhelmed by the devastation of God’s creation or when spiritual questions overshadow me. What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose here? My answer is that I am stardust created in love by the divine mystery.


For God so loved the cosmos

When Christ became human, he also became part of the vast body of the cosmos.

By Elizabeth Johnson |
Article Justice

In our day concerns about ecology are rising. Climate change, pollution, and extinction of plant and animal species make us question harmful human treatment of the natural world.


Climate justice is a matter of faith

Climate change impacts everyone, but some populations are more at risk.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Sylvia Hood Washington didn’t set out to be an advocate for climate justice. “I don’t want to be on this mission,” she says. “My kids are out of college and graduate school and it would be so easy to sit back and plan a vacation to Hawaii.” But her personal experience with climate change and her feeling of responsibility to her community, her family, and her faith made it impossible to turn away from the need she saw around her.


Beef is off the table

Giving up meat is good for the planet and the spirit.

By Beth Haile |
Article Justice

Just before the United Nations (U.N.) Climate Conference in Paris, musician Paul McCartney wrote to British Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to push widespread implementation of Meat Free Monday in government buildings, schools, and universities. The Meat Free Monday campaign encourages people to commit to a vegetarian diet one day of the week—not necessarily Monday—in order to protect the planet. McCartney argued that by going meat free just one day a week, “U.N. member countries can reduce their carbon emissions up to 2 percent per year.”


Piranhas in the Chicago River

Ecologist Reuben Keller knows that caring for the planet requires thinking beyond the environmental sciences.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice News

Ecologist Reuben Keller knows that caring for the planet requires thinking beyond the environmental sciences.

Trek up to Reuben Keller’s Chicago office, and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of Lake Michigan on your way. Actually, you can nearly see it from his desk. It’s a fitting location for Keller, a freshwater ecologist and assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability.


Jessie Dye: Befriending creation through Earth Ministry

Through her work with Earth Ministry, Jessie Dye translates faith into climate action.

By Mallory McDuff |
Article Your Faith

Jessie Dye is rarely at a loss for words. And that’s a good thing, because she’s part of a grassroots climate movement that has no time for silence. When she testifies at public hearings, lobbies at the capitol, or preaches in sanctuaries, she often shares one phrase reflecting her very reason for being: “My name is Jessie Dye, and I am here on behalf of my faith.” 


War gone viral

Violent conflicts around the world are a breeding ground for dangerous diseases.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article Justice
While the world’s focus has properly shifted to the plight of Syrian refugees pressing against Europe’s southern borders, the brutal conflict in Yemen has attracted far less attention. The conflict there, trudging into its second year, has proved a match with the Syrian civil war in terms of disregard for noncombatant immunity and wanton destruction of ancient sites and civilian infrastructure.
 

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