US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Great teacher: Albert the Great

Eight centuries ago Albert the Great showed how theology and science can walk hand in hand.

By Edwin P. Christmann |
Article Your Faith

I teach graduate students how to teach math and science. On the first day of each semester, I ask, “Who can tell me something about Albertus Magnus, Albert the Great?” Students usually avoid making eye contact.

Though they expect an explanation, instead of answering the original question, I go on to ask them, “Who can tell me something about Galileo Galilei?” Inevitably, the reply relates to Galileo’s controversy with the church. The students seem surprised when I tell them that Galileo’s notebooks mention Albert the Great 23 times.

The mystery of faith and science

Theologian Heidi Russell says that science doesn’t always have to shake up our core concept of God as creator.

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

Heidi Russell has a dream. “I would love to see parishes get a subscription to Scientific American,” she says. “And then have a group that discusses what’s in each issue, reads about what’s happening in science, and then asks, ‘What might science tell us about our faith?’ ”

Russell, who teaches theology at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, has a special interest in the relationship between science and faith. She speaks as passionately about neuroscience and quantum physics as she does about theology and God. 

Atoms, elements, and the grandeur of God

People look at me funny when I say that the periodic table ought to make one weep for joy. But how can you not be stricken by the precision of God's creation?

By Stacy A. Trasancos |
Article Your Faith

I like the word wayfarer. It fits us humans. We are all travelers on the road of life. Me? I take wayfaring seriously. I walk daily for a couple of hours, and this time outside has become as essential as food to me. Last winter I walked a total of 166 miles while listening to Robert Inglis narrate The Lord of the Rings trilogy on my phone. Treebeard came to life while I wandered, not too hastily, among giant pines.

Don’t make girls study STEM (unless they want to)

All-girls schools’ obsession with STEM education hurts what they do best.

By Sarah Butler |
Article Lifestyle

When I was a junior in high school—a Catholic, all-girls school—I advanced to the regional round of the state science exposition. My parents drove me to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry where I set up my meticulously decorated trifold project board and sat beside it for five hours. The judges came and went, and I gave my spiel. Occasionally a judge would notice I attended an all-girls school, say something like “girl power!” and comment on how my status as female and my apparent science aptitude was encouraging for women everywhere.

I was attracted to faith by magnets, yes magnets

Learning about electromagnetic fields gave me new language to understand God.

By Arthur Suggs |
Article Your Faith

I came to faith because of magnets.

A tiny piece of God's vast creation

Fossils remind us that we are one tiny—albeit, important—note in the magnificent song of God’s creation.

By Rhonda Miska |
Article Your Faith

On a cold, overcast December day, I found myself taking in with delight the natural world of millions of years ago during a visit to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History. I had a case of what I call “discernment blues,” though perhaps the official Ignatian term is desolation. There had been several deaths in the community in which I live, my grandmother’s health was declining, and several close friends were leaning on me for emotional support.

Should Catholics get an F in science?

Popular opinion says science and religion can't mix, but let's not pull out the dunce cap just yet.

By Ruth Graham |
Article Your Faith

When Heather Camm, a chemistry teacher at an all-girls Catholic high school, began designing a new, year-long course in scientific ethics, she knew she would have to address the one issue that could undercut the rest of her lessons. Before she could get to evolution, reproductive technology, nuclear energy, and the origins of the universe, she would have to discuss Galileo.

Piranhas in the Chicago River

Ecologist Reuben Keller knows that caring for the planet requires thinking beyond the environmental sciences.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice News

Ecologist Reuben Keller knows that caring for the planet requires thinking beyond the environmental sciences.

Trek up to Reuben Keller’s Chicago office, and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of Lake Michigan on your way. Actually, you can nearly see it from his desk. It’s a fitting location for Keller, a freshwater ecologist and assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability.

This is your brain on faith

By Ruth Graham |
Article Your Faith

It seems clear by this point that some spiritual experiences can be observed in the brain. But is it possible to use what scientists are learning about the brain to actually improve our spiritual lives?

Of two minds: Is the brain hardwired for faith?

By Ruth Graham |
Article Your Faith
If religious experiences can be seen on a brain scan or made more likely by a variation in a particular gene, what does that tell us about God and faith? It depends on who you ask.