US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The high prices of living in poverty

By Kevin Clarke |
Article Justice
Avoiding bad choices is a lot easier when you’re not living on a shoestring budget.

What is the cost of being poor in America? Researchers have long known that because of a broad reduction in retail and other consumer choices experienced by America’s poor, it is often simply more expensive to be poor in the United States. Food shopping when you are poor in America doesn’t mean taking the minivan out to Costco; it can mean walking to the only “supermarket” in the neighborhood, often a small corner retail operation with high markups on food and household supplies.

Welcoming the stranger: Immigrants deserve our support, not scrutiny

In Philadelphia, people of faith are stepping forward to defend the rights of their hardworking brothers and sisters.

By Paul Witte |
Article Justice

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a city of great cultural diversity. I arrived here after working for 10 years with undocumented immigrants in Tennessee and Kentucky as a lay associate of the Glenmary Home Missioners. I knew I would continue to work with and for immigrants because of the profoundly deep experiences I had relating to them--that and the fact that I feel a deep connection with them being as I am the son of poor immigrants myself.

Poverty comes to Wisteria Lane: Serving the new suburban poor

By Meghan Murphy-Gill |
Article Justice
Numbers of poor people in the suburbs are growing twice as fast as their city counterparts. But many of these picket-fence poor don’t know where to get help—or can’t bring themselves to ask.

When Ellen got the phone call from Hope House, a long-term homeless shelter in Villa Park, Illinois, confirming an available room, she was overcome with relief. “The tears just flowed,” she says. “Even the woman on the other end was crying.”

Why homelessness shouldn't be a crime

By Paula Lomazzi |
Article Justice
Spending a night sleeping outside shouldn’t lead to a criminal record.

Sounding Boards are one person's take on a many-sided subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.

The true cost of our low-priced clothing

By Kevin Clarke |
Article Justice
Buyer beware: That low-priced shirt might have cost someone their life.

New York City made it easier to eat healthier a few years ago by requiring that calorie counts be included on restaurant menus and display boards. What a revelation! Sixteen hundred calories for that moldering pile of corn syrup-infused noodles; 1,300 for the “light” tuna platter? Who knew? Armed with more data, many New Yorkers now wave off that momentarily tempting triple-bacon calorie bomb and opt for something less likely to lead to an early coronary.

Catholics must take a stand in support of Walmart employees

By Jeffry Odell Korgen |
blog Justice

Guest blog

It would be hard to compete with Pharaoh in the realm of obduracy, but Walmart is giving the old man a run for his money. Like the Israelite brick makers of Exodus Chapters 5-11 Walmart workers, organized as OUR Walmart, are asking for respect—specifically, increasing the flexibility of working hours, moving up to full-time work when possible, and increasing pay to a minimum of $25,000 annually.

Practical resources for fighting wage theft

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

The best resource on wage theft is Kim Bobo’s outstanding book Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid—and What We Can Do About It (The New Press). Originally published in 2009 and updated in 2011, it includes a wealth of information about the problem as well as tons of practical tips on what both individuals and religious congregations can do about it.

What can the church do for worker justice in America?

U.S. employers routinely violate the seventh commandment when they refuse to pay their workers their legally mandated wages.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Growing up in what she describes as a “pretty conservative church background” in Ohio, Kim Bobo excelled at memorizing her Bible verses. “I won all the contests,” she remembers. “It has served me well in my life. You can’t really know the scriptures and not realize their core commitment to caring for our neighbor. My life has been about trying to figure out how I play a role in helping people and how I can do that in the most effective way possible.”