US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Only you? Shattering the myth of a soul mate

By Christine B. Whelan |

Recently my friend Angela called me in tears. Angela, 31, and her husband have been married for three years, and they are very well-suited: They can spend hours talking and laughing, are attracted to each other, get along with each other's friends and families, and agree on faith, politics, and financial matters. But recently, she told me, the "glow" had worn off. They were busy with their careers, and in moments of exhaustion each said some hurtful things to the other.

Stand alone moms: Catholic single parents tell their stories

By Heidi Schlumpf |

For Rosa Manriquez, it was the Catholic school’s father-daughter dance.

For Wendy Diez, it was the e-mail from the preschool teacher addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Diez.”

Dynamic duo: Pat and Patty Crowley

By Paul Leingang |

Pat and Patty Crowley will always be Pat-and-Patty to me—individuals but inseparable—even though I only came to know them through Patty alone. Pat died in 1974, shortly after my wife and I joined the Christian Family Movement. We didn’t know then the power of CFM and its straightforward approach.

More than two decades later my wife and I were among the couples who regularly met at Patty’s apartment to prepare for the CFM’s 50th anniversary conference in 1999.

Do you have faith in your vote?

By Heather Grennan Gary |
Catholics are valued voters for the candidates because they take their faith and their role in democracy seriously. In a 2008 U.S. Catholic survey, though, readers reveal that faith can lead voters in very different directions.

Looking at love and relationships

By Julie Hanlon Rubio |
Fifty years after the game-changing Second Vatican Council a new generation helps the church respond to today’s signs of the times. Theologian Julie Hanlon Rubio looks at love and committment.

Read more scholars on today's signs of the times.


In the face of widespread sexual promiscuity and strong negativity toward official Catholic teaching, the church needs to connect with the deepest hopes of its members by calling them to sexual relationships that are “authentic, vulnerable, and committed.”

Save the date: Kerry Cronin on the love lives of college students

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
The love lives of college students leave a lot to be desired, says this educator, who suggests old-school dating as a remedy.

While eating ice cream with a group of “beautiful, smart, extroverted, social people,“ Boston College seniors nearing graduation, Kerry Cronin asked them about their romantic lives. “Will there be crazy break-ups at the end of senior year? Are you going to try to stay together with people you’re dating?”

The 25-year itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage

By Wendy Donahue |
Divorce has doubled for couples over 50. Empty nesters share tales from the brink.

Even before Dick and Irene Reimbold’s younger daughter left for college, they were living what they call “the married single lifestyle” in Macomb, Michigan.

They owned a tax preparation business together. They attended Mass together. They slept separately and scarcely spoke, even at work.

“We went for over seven years without physical, sexual relations,” Dick says.

“There was nothing dramatic or traumatic,” Irene says about the deep disconnect. “It was a slow bleed.”

First aid for the second half of marriage

By Wendy Donahue |

(This story accompanies The 25-year-itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage.)

One way to sustain a marriage through the second half is to keep generating life as a couple, says Mary Jo Pedersen. Have a mission, whether it’s neighborhood cleanup, political campaigning, or mentoring other couples. “Nurture life; protect life in some way together.”

Empty nest? Now what? Tips for maintaining a marriage after the kids have gone

By Wendy Donahue |

This story accompanies The 25-year-itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage.)

David and Claudia Arp, founders of Marriage Alive and authors of The Second Half of Marriage (Zondervan), don’t fault couples for feeling drained when the last child leaves home.

“You’ve just survived the adolescent years,” Claudia says. Plus, says David, “The tendency is to get busy and avoid facing the challenges of this new stage of marriage.”