US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Little has changed for immigrants 10 years after the Postville raid

Ten years after one of the nation’s largest immigration raids, faith communities are calling for a renewed commitment to immigration reform.

By Jeannine M. Pitas |
Article News

In the spring of 2008, a visitor to the small town of Postville, Iowa might have been surprised at what she found. In a region populated mostly by descendants of 19-century Western European immigrants, Postville’s population of about 2,000 people reflected a diversity normally not associated with rural America. Catholic and Protestant European Americans lived and worked alongside Hasidic Jews and immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere.

Family leave is a Catholic issue

Why Catholic institutions should strive for policies that support parents and kids.

By Jennon Bell Hoffmann |
Article Lifestyle Your Faith

Right after Tralonne Shorter began a new job at a women’s organization, she learned she was pregnant with her first child. What should have been an exciting year of preparation and anticipation was mired by the dismal realities Tralonne and many other women face when figuring out maternity leave. The women’s organization she worked for did not have a paid maternity leave policy, and because she was a new hire Tralonne wasn’t eligible for anything except short-term disability.

How your parish can help those suffering from depression

A pastoral response to depression requires more than just listening.

By Jessie Bazan |
Article Your Faith

During Holy Week 2016, an obituary written by a woman in Duluth, Minnesota caught national media attention. Eleni Pinnow wrote the obituary for her young adult sister Aletha. She began, “Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31, of Duluth (formerly of Oswego and Chicago, Illinois) died from depression and suicide on February 20, 2016.” 

Eviction: Not just a condition, but a cause of poverty

Eviction, says Pulitzer Prize-winner Matthew Desmond, has become a defining moment for low-income families.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Being evicted isn’t just a condition of poverty, it’s a cause, says Matthew Desmond, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown Books). 

While much research and conversation has been devoted to other poverty-related topics such as nutrition, education, and violence, the Princeton sociologist realized no one was looking at eviction or how housing affects poverty in America. 

A crucial first step to ending chronic homelessness

Housing first models are an efficient way to help the chronically homeless, but they’re just one part of the solution.

By Elizabeth Lefebvre |
Article Justice

The national headlines in 2015 were bold and attention grabbing. “Utah is winning the war on chronic homelessness with ‘Housing First’ program,” proclaimed the Los Angeles Times. “The surprisingly simple way Utah solved chronic homelessness and saved millions,” enticed the Washington Post. Mother Jones framed Utah’s story as, “The shockingly simple, surprisingly cost-effective way to end homelessness.” 

Let Catholic social teaching shape your new year

Our faith is too important to let slip.

By Jessie Bazan |
Article Your Faith

We all know the routine once Christmas enters the rearview mirror. Maybe we packed on a few holiday party pounds. Maybe we spent too much on gifts under the tree. No matter the ailment, there’s a new year just around the corner. “This is the year I keep my resolutions!” we proclaim—always in good faith to start. “No, really . . . this is it! I’m going to get healthy! I’m going to save money!”  

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.