US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Is secularism standing in the way of raising our kids Catholic?

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
The editors interview theologian and religious education scholar Thomas Groome.

An increasingly secular culture is often blamed for the young generation’s lack of enthusiasm for religion. But is secular society truly a roadblock when it comes to raising our kids in the Catholic faith? Thomas Groome, author of Will There Be Faith? A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples (HarperOne, 2011), discusses the role of secularization in passing on the faith in this web-only excerpt from his interview with U.S. Catholic.

Show me the way: How can parents pass on the faith?

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Whether you’re a parent or a volunteer catechist, this theologian says the art of persuasion is key to handing on the faith. Want proof? Just watch Jesus in the gospels.

Thomas Groome learned this truth somewhat late in life: Even if you have been a major scholar in the field of religious education for decades, even if you speak internationally on the subject of handing on the faith, and lo, even if you are the primary author of three major catechetical series used by millions of children and young people, your own child will always be your toughest audience.

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.”

O come let us get ready

By Annemarie Scobey |
In the pre-Christmas rush, take time for Advent. 

Jamie and Carol and their four children, ages 9 to 15, try to avoid looking at any Christmas decorations before Advent begins. It’s a playful practice with a deeper meaning.

“We love to shop, and our favorite store hangs up their Christmas decorations in September,” Carol says. “We actually turn our heads, hold up our hands to shield our eyes, and say, ‘Don’t look! It’s not even Advent yet.’ ”

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.

Let’s talk about what? Telling your kids about "the birds and the bees"

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill |
Don’t swat away the birds and the bees. Start the conversation early with your kids.

The only test I ever flunked was in my freshman year of Catholic high school, when after being out sick a few days, I returned to biology to be handed—to my horror—a test asking us to label the parts of the male reproductive system.

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.”