US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The sex talk: Earlier is better

Parents should talk to their kids about sex and sexuality long before adolescence.

By Claire Zulkey |
Article Lifestyle

I was behind and I didn’t even know it. Despite considering myself a progressive, open parent, I took our 3-year-old son to his annual doctor’s checkup only to realize I had already missed an important opportunity to educate him. After asking my son to disrobe, his pediatrician said, “I’m going to look at your private parts, but it’s okay because I’m your doctor and your mommy and daddy are here.” My son barely paid attention, but I realized that somewhere between baby proofing and the ABCs, I had forgotten to teach my son about who is allowed to look at his privates. 

We cannot abandon transgender Catholics

Jesus would be present to transgender Catholics. Our faith teaches we should, too.

By Father Bryan Massingale |
Article Justice

In February I participated in a panel on transgender Catholics at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress called “Transgender in the Church: One Bread, One Body.” Almost 800 people attended this session, which testifies to the intense interest that this issue raises in both our society and the church. 

Why the wealth gap is bad for everyone

Protecting the rich at the expense of the poor isn’t just immoral, says this economist—it is a recipe for economic disaster.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Charles Clark probably doesn’t win a lot of friends in his chosen profession when he says that most economists don’t really understand the economy. But even though he earns a living teaching economics at St. John’s University in New York, Clark believes that understanding how the economy really works requires more than just a classroom education.

Why we should reconsider public aid

Twenty years ago was the end of welfare as we know it. It’s time to find a new way to support the needs of struggling families.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article News

One in five American children grows up poor, vulnerable to the physical, developmental, and neurological effects of poverty. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) now urges its physicians to add questions about family poverty to their standard children’s health assessments as a means of early detection of at-risk children. “Pediatricians deal on a daily basis with the intersection between poverty and health and the well-being of children,” says Dr. Benard Dreyer, president of the AAP. “They understand that they actually aren’t separate.”

How long?

Lament is necessary, but insufficient right now.

By Tobias Winright |
Article News

Editors’ note: Last year, we at U.S. Catholic interviewed Tobias Winright about police militarization and his theological reflection on the violence and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri after the killing of Michael Brown. Winright, a former police officer, is now a Catholic theologian and ethicist who focuses on questions of force and violence.

There's a better way to fight homelessness

Albuquerque’s new approach to helping the homeless is all about self-worth.

By Carrie Murphy |
Article Justice

It’s an uncharacteristically cloudy day in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a haze hovers in front of the sun. At 7 a.m., William Cole is already energetic, buzzing around the parking lot of St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, Albuquerque’s largest homeless shelter, employment hub, and housing program. He’s getting ready to drive a big white Dodge van around the city, picking up panhandlers and offering them the opportunity to work for the day.

Somos familia

A family is not just a mom, a dad, 2.5 kids, and a dog. Extending family relationships changes how we think about faith, church, social justice, and God.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Your Faith

It’s impossible to fully understand God. So humans come up with metaphors to try to explain our conviction of a loving God who holds us in community with each other. These images are rooted in our own experiences and cultures; the biblical image of God as a shepherd may not be as meaningful to people living in cities today.

Catholicism and LGBT discrimination

The Catholic Church can't just congratulate itself on condemning violence toward LGBT people. We need to do better and fight to end discrimination of all kinds.

By Father Paul Keller, C.M.F. |
blog Justice

We have once again witnessed a devastating and horrific act of mass murder. On June 12, 2016 a violent young man and fellow citizen who was heavily-armed, psychologically-troubled, and professing hatred of LGBT people and allegiance to a radical and violent form of Islam killed 49 people and injured another 53. These kinds of mass shootings happen regularly in the United States; this is the most recent and the most lethal.

An aging prison population

Seniors in prison face many challenges. The worst? Being betrayed by their own bodies.

By Laura Whitaker |
Article Justice

A life sentence takes on new meaning for prisoners serving time well into their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s. Hearing loss and dementia make it difficult for prisoners to comprehend or obey rules. The need for wheelchairs, walkers, and canes makes navigating the small, tight space configurations of most prisons very difficult. For the oldest prisoners, even the most basic activities, such as walking at a steady pace or dressing oneself, are difficult without assistance—something not every prison has the budget or staff to provide.

Urban renewal?

Urban renewal was meant to usher in new, modern cities. But what were once vibrant Catholic communities are now parking lots and office parks.

By Kim Etingoff |
Article Justice

In 1950s New Haven, Connecticut, the streets of the Oak Street neighborhood are filled with the fragrant smell of tomato sauce. Church bells ring, calling parishioners to Mass. The streets are lined with dozens of small grocery stores, drug stores, and cafés. It’s a working-class, dynamic community, and it feels like home.

Today, it’s impossible to find that scene in Oak Street. Instead, the neighborhood is home to parking lots, empty streets, and office buildings.