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.


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.


Do dogs go to heaven?

Animals are part of God’s creation. But will they join us in heaven?

By Meghan Murphy-Gill and Shanna Johnson |
Article Your Faith

Humans have kept animals around for centuries. At first it was for hunting purposes, pest control, and general working tasks. It did not take long, however, for animals to start being bred and kept as companions. According to a 2015–2016 American Pet Products Association (APPA) survey, around 79.7 million households in America are home to a pet. It is clear animals hold a special place in our hearts. So when they die, as with our loved ones of the human variety, of course we want to know what becomes of them. Where do they fit into the world God has created? 


Women deacons won't solve the church's problems

Let’s ordain women deacons—and also rethink ordained ministry in the church.

By Meghan Murphy-Gill |
blog News

Over the past week, friends and acquaintances, news media and Catholic media have been all over this women deacons story. It’s exciting, no doubt, and my friends and acquainances have been practically breathless with elated praise for the pope’s interest in the possibility of women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church. 

I want to rejoice with them. But I have mixed feelings.


The good life

Can globalization exist without marginalization? For Miroslav Volf, the answer lies in differentiating between happiness and joy.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

What does it mean to live well? Is it to have a comfortable life, with the latest iPhone and a week-long vacation every year? Or is it to live a life of faith, working to create justice in the world? And are these two worldviews necessarily opposed to each other?


Don’t make Mary the feminine face of God

Marian images serve as compensation for the core male images of king, lord, and father. But compensation is only a partial remedy.

By Elizabeth Johnson |
Article Your Faith

In recent years a number of religious thinkers have begun to speak of Mary as the feminine face of God. Whether they appeal to the history of religions, to psychology, to the Christian history of Marian piety and theology, or to current Latin American and Hispanic devotional practices, these thinkers seek to remedy one of the problems of male-dominated religion by stating that god has a feminine dimension, which is made known through Mary.


What do Protestants think of Mary?

Since the Reformation, Protestant traditions have been shifting and changing. Beliefs about Mary are no exception.

By Kevin P. Considine |
Article Your Faith

Growing numbers of Mexican Americans are converting to Pentecostalism from Catholicism, and some are bringing their devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe with them. In many cases, this devotion occurs mainly in the privacy of the home, but Guadalupe’s religious and cultural importance cannot be stifled. Pentecostalism, which places great importance on the inerrancy of scripture, honors Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus but does not feel there is enough biblical evidence to give her any larger role in the work of salvation.


For God so loved the cosmos

When Christ became human, he also became part of the vast body of the cosmos.

By Elizabeth Johnson |
Article Justice

In our day concerns about ecology are rising. Climate change, pollution, and extinction of plant and animal species make us question harmful human treatment of the natural world.


Where there is pain, there is God

Human beings will never understand why suffering exists. But even in the midst of our pain, there is God.

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

We all know what it is to feel pain and loss. Whether from the loss of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis, or a natural disaster, everyone experiences suffering.

According to Robin Ryan, an associate professor of systematic theology at Catholic Theological Union and a Passionist priest, the presence of suffering is the one thing that most challenges our faith. “Suffering isn’t an elective course,” he says. “It’s not optional. Even if a person lives in a mansion and has a great job, suffering touches everybody and affects everybody’s faith.”


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.


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