US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The good enough family

The family photos we show to the world on social media or Christmas cards don’t show the true state of family life.

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill |
Article Lifestyle

No one wants to admit to having mice, because they think it reflects badly on their housekeeping skills. As if the mice are outside saying, “Hey, did you see that? They dropped a crumb on their kitchen floor. Let’s get in there!”

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Catholics have not cornered the market on truth

There’s a piece of truth in Catholicism, but that doesn’t diminish the truth found in other religions.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

When our son Liam, now 20, was in second grade, I have a clear memory of his focus on Catholicism. It was the year of his first communion, and in his Catholic school discussions of the faith, sacraments, and the connection to his life permeated every activity. 

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Can anyone be a godparent?

Godparents used to pay a much more prominent role in new Catholics’ faith formation.

By Father James Field |
Article Your Faith

Our culture subscribes to some notions of “godparent” that don’t exactly advance the pastoral plan of the church for this essential ministry. Even people who are unaffiliated or neutral in matters of religion often ask someone dear to them to be a godparent for a newborn. Sometimes it’s a way of affirming a longtime friend. It may also be a way of identifying who among the parents’ extended family might care for their child should calamity strike.

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Faithful parenting means getting creative now and then

Steering children in a positive direction often requires thinking outside the box.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

When Katie and Kevin’s son Matthew was 2, Katie was concerned that he was getting lost in between his older brother Bennett and his baby sister Annabelle. “He was a huge challenge. I couldn’t seem to connect with him the way I did with Bennett. He was so impulsive and emotional,” Katie says. She feared that Matthew’s difficulty could lead to a relationship fraught with issues. She decided that the way to steer him to a more attached and positive relationship was through time set aside just for him.

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Everyone deserves a Catholic education, regardless of means

Helping young people become followers of Christ means making Catholic education accessible to all.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Lifestyle

“Why do you send your boys to a Catholic school?” my sons’ pediatrician asked, looking at the St. Monica school sweatshirts and uniform pants my two boys had strewn over the floor of the examining room. It was the boys’ yearly checkup, in 2002, and they sat expectantly in their Hot Wheels underwear as their doctor walked in. 

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Taking attendance after loss

Don’t forget parents who have lost their children.

By Jessie Bazan |
Article Lifestyle

It’s that time of year when the parental back-to-school glow lights up playgrounds and parking lots. I drive past an elementary school every day on my way to work. Moms and dads drop off their children, beaming with a loving mix of pride, joy, and relief. We are back to the routine! Just think of all my son will learn! Imagine all the ways my daughter will grow this year! 

The scene is full of hope—and, for many, heartache. 

What about the parents whose children are not going back to school ever? 

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Forget apologies, give the sign of peace instead

A sign of peace, genuinely given, brings Christ into a situation.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Lifestyle Your Faith

I’ve always liked the sign of peace. As a child, it was my favorite part of our all-school liturgies. The sign of peace provided an excuse to move around a little—to stretch across pews and vigorously shake hands with as many classmates as I could before the teacher reined us in for the Lamb of God. In college, when I attended daily Mass at Marquette University’s tiny Joan of Arc Chapel, the sign of peace was a chance to hug a friend who had an exam the next day or a roommate whose mom was ill. 

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How to keep your family’s Sabbath holy

Sabbath should last more than just the hour of Mass.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

Our family has had trouble with the fourth commandment, keep holy the Sabbath day. It’s not that we skip Mass on Sunday, but rather that too often we only keep holy the Sabbath hour and a half (our time at Mass), rather than the Sabbath day itself. 

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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.

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What my dad taught me about holiness

My father taught me to pray with intensity and to be unafraid to kneel during Mass.

By Jean P. Kelly |
Article Lifestyle

For most of my childhood I was a little bit afraid of my father, a stranger who didn’t arrive home from his downtown office until after 6 p.m. and who then demanded silence while he watched the local television news, the network news, and another half hour of local reports before we ate dinner as a family at 7:30. If my brother, Kevin, managed to make my sister, Sue, suppress a laugh so that milk came out of her nose or someone made the mistake of putting their elbows on the table, we all flinched if Dad stood up quickly.

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