US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Liturgy gives college students a space to heal

The course of grieving is never smooth, but worship gives students a place to process their loss.

By Jessie Bazan |
Article Lifestyle

Not two minutes after transcribing my last interview for this story, my phone rang. An undergraduate student at St. John’s University, where I work, died suddenly just before Holy Week. I had just spent weeks listening to stories of loss from students and ministry professionals across the country. Now here was death, seeping hurt into my own home. My heavy heart grew heavier. I felt helpless.

The power of small group celebrations

At small group Masses, college students learn the importance of praying for and with each other.

By Katherine Jacob |
Article Your Faith

It was my last week at Marquette University before leaving for a semester to study abroad in France. I’d just finished my last two papers, and while my dorm room was not at all packed up for my departure the next day, I decided it was time to take a breather. At 9:15 p.m. I headed off with a few other girls from my floor to the Tuesday night Mass in the Joan of Arc Chapel. 

What is spirituality?

Building a relationship with God is a life-long process of transformation. The key is first figuring out where your heart lies.

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

What do you treasure the most? How do you imagine the world? Peter Feldmeier, professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo, says if you are willing to ask yourself these questions, then you’re on the way to defining your own spirituality.

An enchanted faith

Catholics understand that images, scents, smells, and even gestures are holy.

By Emily Sanna |
blog Your Faith

Catholicism hasn’t always come easily to me. As a religion major at a liberal arts college and then a woman at a divinity school where the curriculum was designed to prepare ministers for ordination, I was constantly asked to defend and explain my faith. “But aren’t you a feminist?” people would ask. Or, “Why don’t you become Episcopalian? They’re almost like Catholics—and you could get ordained!”

Prayer from scratch

Just like baking, prayer takes time, patience, and a dash of ingenuity.

By Emily Sanna |
Article Your Faith

Growing up, I spent one week every summer with my grandparents in upstate New York. It was a week full of traditions and rituals that were repeated year after year, immersing me not only in the love my grandparents and I shared, but also our family history. We went for walks in the woods, visited the tiny public library, and I played with giant pickle jars full of buttons. Most important, we baked molasses cookies.

A Catholic picks up the Anglican Book of Common Prayer

A weathered and worn prayer book reveals a spiritual life well lived.

By Jeffrey Essmann |
Article Your Faith

Ever since I first learned the Hail Mary, I have loved prayer. Perhaps Sister taught us the Glory Be first. It’s shorter, more repetitious; if you know the sign of the cross, you’re halfway there. But it’s the Hail Mary I remember, specifically the pleasure of the word amongst. It was the mystical heart of the prayer for me—at least when I was six. I also loved the hallowed in the Our Father, and that ignominious lurked somewhere among the stations of the cross. 

Desperately seeking Sophia

The biblical Sophia is more than metaphor; she is an expression of the presence of God.

By Joyce Rupp |
Article Your Faith

At a retreat where I referred to Sophia several times in my first presentation, a man suddenly stood up and blurted out: “Just who is this Sophia? Stop assuming that everyone here knows who you are talking about!” His interruption startled me, and it reminded me that many do not know this jewel in scripture, that Sophia is hidden from many.

Lessons from my garden

Gardening isn’t just an issue of environmental sustainability. It’s also good for your soul.

By Christine Lai |
Article Lifestyle
I sat down on my parents’ front lawn in Los Angeles and breathed in the fresh air. I dug my hands into the dirt, relishing the feeling. Then I began tearing out the grass. I despised the grass, in particular the amount of water it wasted in California’s record drought. I hated how yellow, brittle, and bald it was. I hated how difficult it was to remove, because of the thick roots that ran deep.

Knowing Jesus: How Catholics experience the Son of God

The first step to developing a relationship with Jesus is figuring out which Jesus you're looking for.

By Ruth Graham |
Article Your Faith
The first step to developing a relationship with Jesus is figuring out which Jesus you're looking for.

Why running can be prayer

By Nick Ripatrazone |
Article Your Faith
My wife and I run together at a local state park. “Together” is optimistic; I can no longer keep pace with her. We ran track together in college, but I am a few pounds heavier than in those days when I whipped around the track for the half-mile.