US Catholic Faith in Real Life

How to stage an intervention with an alcoholic

By Wendy Donahue |

A good intervention is …

…planned. “The alcoholic can do a pretty good job of saying how wrong you are and who served him too many drinks,” says Father William Stenzel, a Chicago pastor and guest lecturer and spiritual director at Guest House treatment center for clergy and religious. “The best ones are organized interventions where he’s always free to choose.”

…clear. “If you choose not to get help, you’ve chosen to not work here.”

Speaking from experience

By Karen Dix |

Editors' note: Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.

Latino Catholics: Caught between two worlds

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
It's past time for the U.S. Catholic Church to make Hispanic ministry, especially to second-generation Latinos, a priority in everything we do.

When Catholic parishes notice uncomfortable tensions between parishioners of different backgrounds, one of the people they call in as a “fixer” is University of Notre Dame theologian Timothy Matovina. Parishes that want to get better at dealing with their lack of unity, says this expert on Latino Catholicism, must move away from thinking they should provide a “welcome” to fellow Catholics of other ethnicities.

The Latino priest shortage and three ways to respond

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
The editors of U.S. Catholic interview Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and executive director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

[Read more from Timothy Matovina on Latino Catholics in the United States.] 

Words fail us: Parishioners respond to the new Missal a year later

By Meghan Murphy-Gill |
Reporting straight from the pews after a year of the new translations, U.S. Catholic readers say they are still stumbling through the prayers.  

Stilted, awkward, unnatural, strange, choppy, clumsy, obtuse. If you read these words in a movie review, would you head for the ticket line or run in the opposite direction? What about wooden, tortured, terrible, ridiculous, inaccessible, or abominable? Are you at least intrigued by what could warrant such description? Would you want to check it out once a week?

What is the future of the liturgy?

By Father Anthony Ruff, O.S.B. |
Fifty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the church faces new challenges. In this final installment of a three-part series, Father Anthony Ruff says the best way to defend the church’s liturgical renewal is to celebrate the reformed liturgy as well as possible.

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

Say it like you mean it

By Jim Dinn |
When a lector shares the Word of God passionately, even if not perfectly, it can inspire Catholics in the pews to explore scripture as well.

My introduction to being a lector came through the invitation of another parish minister—not the pastor or another lector but the choir director. She encouraged me to minister at the lectern rather than in the choir loft. People familiar with my singing suggested that her discernment spared the whole parish.

Praying with your feet

By Jim Forest |
Getting in the pilgrim state of mind can be as easy as a walk in the park.

Few human activities are more basic than walking, and few more taken for granted. You need to watch an infant to be reminded that walking is a hard-won achievement. Learning to walk is one of the main projects of our first year of life. Somehow it dawns on us at a very early age that getting around on two legs might be better than crawling. Once this miracle is achieved and the parental applause dies down, it’s something we do daily, minus ovations, until accident or illness or old age stops us.