US Catholic Faith in Real Life

For ex-convicts, the three days that matter most

The first 72 hours after release from prison are critical to adjusting to life on the outside.

By Gwen McClure |
Article Justice

For 10 years Kaven Donald submitted biannual applications to his parole board. For 10 years they were denied. Finally in 2011 he was granted parole and a year later, at midnight on December 13, 2012, he walked away from Louisiana State Penitentiary. He had been in prison for 32 years.

His three daughters were waiting to greet him. They took him to his eldest daughter’s house and even after she went to bed all Donald wanted to do was sit outside. In prison there is no such thing as being outside after dark. 


The creation stories you probably haven’t heard

It’s time for the church to listen to indigenous people.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

For Shantha Ready Alonso, the fight for environmental justice goes back to the 15th century, to the doctrine of discovery, a series of papal bulls that started with Pope Nicholas V. These documents, for which the Vatican has yet to apologize or repudiate, gave European nations the pope’s blessing to colonize non-Christian lands and kill native peoples.


The church needs to work more closely with its LGBT members

The church must reconsider its treatment of LGBT persons, especially those who have been fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientations.

By Father Bryan Massingale |
Article Justice

I was visiting missionary friends in Turkana, a remote, arid, and desolate region of Kenya, in the summer of 2001. My friends had asked me to help baptize 40 nomadic women at a distant outstation chapel, about a three-hour drive from the main mission over rocky terrain and river beds that pass for roads. These women were shepherds who tended their communal flock of goats. (The men remained at home to care for the animals.)


Unemployment is down. Why are Americans worried about work?

Job insecurity persists even as U.S. unemployment rates hit new lows.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article News

For just about any modern industrial society, a 4.3 percent unemployment rate would be something to celebrate. That’s the level the United States hit in May, a 16-year low and continuing what has proved a historic run in job growth. The United States reached the enviable economic state of full employment. Full employment in the United States occurs at a base unemployment rate of 5.0 to 5.2 percent.


What does shipping have to do with your faith? More than a little.

A new podcast teaches consumers a lesson in globalization, its promise, and its potential liabilities.

By Michael Skaggs |
Article Justice

Most of us devote little thought to ocean-borne shipping. Yet it plays an enormous role in our lives, as around 90 percent of everything that needs to go from point A to point B does so on the seas. As Americans, globalization has risen to the top of our national discourse and as Catholic Christians, how globalized shipping affects workers and the environment resonates deeply with our sense of community, stewardship, and economic exchange.


A social safety net is not an optional expense

The priorities of the current administration are in stark contrast to those of Catholic social teaching.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article News

Figuring discretionary spending the better part of valor, President Trump and the U.S. Congress avoided another potential government shutdown in April and punted the 2017 budget down the road to September.


Was your food made by slaves?

A humanitarian crisis lurks in our modern food delivery system.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article Justice News

Strolling your supermarket aisles, you have one eye on your family’s food needs for the week and another on whatever bargains you may be able to pull off the shelf. You can be forgiven if, coupons in hand, you’re not worrying about avoiding food that includes hidden ingredients like, well, slavery. Sadly, in today’s interconnected food marketplace, compelled or uncompensated labor—even child slavery—provides a reliable competitive edge for many food exporters.


What we can learn from a Canadian response to refugees

A new Canadian program makes a point to celebrate refugees, rather than demonize them.

By Julia Pryce and Michael Kelly |
Article News

Ammar (not his real name), a refugee from Syria, entered Canada two years ago at the age of 14. When he first moved to Canada with his mother and sister, he was extremely shy and had no friends or sense of community. But now, at 16, Ammar is an active member of an innovative group mentoring and youth development program called “Conversation Club.” After becoming more immersed in the program, Ammar says, “Now I can speak freely to other people, to my friends like this. Like when I came here, I don’t have any friends. Then, I came here and made all my friends.”


Every child deserves a family: Caring the Catholic way

Now is the time to end the institutionalization of children everywhere, says Sean Callahan, president of Catholic Relief Services.

By Sean Callahan |
Article Justice

In the U.S., orphanages have long been phased out. Today social services are in place to support families and orphaned and other vulnerable children are cared for in foster homes until a permanent family is found or their existing family is able to care for them again. If we don’t accept orphanages in the U.S., why should we accept them in Guatemala, Haiti, and Ethiopia?


For Catholics with special needs, a religious education that includes

The church is a place where all are welcomed and where everyone belongs.

By Jennifer Szweda Jordan |
Article Your Faith

When Wendy Zimmerman wanted to join her boyfriend, Eddie Knack, for Sunday Mass, it took some doing.

Zimmerman has an intellectual disability that precludes her from driving and living fully independently. So over four weeks, a staff member from Zimmerman’s group home attended church with the couple. Each time the worker explained to Zimmerman where to exit in an emergency and where the restroom is so that Zimmerman would feel safe and comfortable. 

Now Zimmerman and Knack attend Mass on their own. They sit right up front.


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