US Catholic Faith in Real Life

What ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ can teach us about the Amazon synod

The synod is a powerful lesson to spread filial love for all of creation.

By David Russell Mosley |
Article News

On October 15, 2017 Pope Francis announced that the Pan-Amazonian Synod would be taking place in Rome. The goal of the synod is to seek out new paths for evangelization, particularly in the area known as Amazonia, and shape “a Church with an Amazonian face,” according to the preparatory document for the synod published by the Vatican. The synod documents follow Pope Francis’ urging that care for creation necessarily includes care for the poor.

What will the Amazon synod do for the church?

At the Amazon synod, the church must stand with indigenous people to protect creation.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article News

The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was controversial long before this fall. Self-described orthodox Catholics have worried over its potential impact far from the Amazon. One of the issues to be discussed at the synod is the acute shortage of priests in the nine countries that make up Amazonia.

For this Chicago pastor, community justice means food justice

When you become a community-oriented church, the needs of your neighborhood become your reality.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Jonathan Brooks, known as “Pastah J” at Canaan Community Church in Englewood, a Chicago neighborhood, is quick to say that his church is community oriented, not justice oriented. “Justice is the result of living in community with one another,” he says. Parishes often focus on big issues such as creating world peace. Instead, says Brooks, they should build up their own community.

Looking for an act of climate reconciliation? Drive less.

Every action we take to lower environmental costs is an act of loving our neighbor.

By Kathleen Manning |
Article Justice

On Ash Wednesday we are told to “remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” It can be a bleak message and may be why some churches have opted to thumb ashes onto foreheads with a challenge to “turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.” But there is a challenge, albeit an implicit one, in “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”: How are we spending our brief time as not-dust? For me this has taken on a special urgency given the increasingly dire warnings about the ill effects of climate change and our vanishing ability to keep these effects at bay.

A Catholic worker devotes her energy to environmental activism

How one activist's faith inspired an act of nonviolent resistance against a power company.

By Jeannine M. Pitas |
Article Justice

“If there is a building on fire with a child trapped inside, but outside the building there’s a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, anyone in their right mind would go in to save the child,” says Brenna Cussen Anglada, a Catholic Worker who resides at St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm in Cuba City, Wisconsin and is an environmental activist.

Is consumerism controlling your Christmas?

We are pushing our planet to its limits for the sake of a few fun parties, and it's not OK.

By Susan Salaz |
Article Lifestyle


Blank calendar squares that suggest a relaxing autumn disappear when the November page is pulled. In December we go from flurries to a full-blown snowstorm of activities that fall fast upon our household in blizzard-like heaps. The short days leading up to Christmas are jam-packed, but even when they leave me exhausted, I love them. Every festivity and finishing touch makes the season special, even more so now with kids to share in our nostalgia.

Is your parish sustainable?

Are Catholics taking seriously Pope Francis' call to combat climate change?

By The Editors |
Article Lifestyle

In May, 2015 Pope Francis released Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home). In his second encyclical, the pope urges Catholics to be mindful of their environmental impact and to actively work for environmental justice. He says of the importance of sustainability, “Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.”

Have parishes taken this message seriously?

Image: Unsplash cc via Motah

Two documentaries that will change your perspective on the planet

Get down to Earth with ‘Behind the Curve’ and ‘One Strange Rock.’

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

Two documentaries currently trending on Netflix take a look at the planet from decidedly oppositional perspectives—and they might change how you think about the ground you stand on.

This Earth Day, consider a Franciscan ethic of fraternal love

If there is one figure in Catholic life inextricably linked with the care and protection of the planet, it is Francis of Assisi

By Kathleen Manning |
Article Justice

As we approach Earth Day on April 22, expect to hear about St. Francis. If there is one figure in Catholic life inextricably linked with the care and protection of the planet, it is Francis of Assisi. He is often depicted with animals and is famously the author of the Canticle of the Creatures, which praises God by praising creation. Our familiarity with Francis’ works and image obscures the fact that in the arc of Catholic teaching on the natural world, Francis was very much an outlier.

No one had to die for our sins.

It’s time to rethink the crucifixion, says theologian Elizabeth Johnson.

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

Care for creation often falls low on the list of priorities for the majority of Christians, with many even vocal that environmental stewardship isn’t a Christian call. There’s something deeply wrong with that, says Elizabeth A. Johnson, one of the church’s foremost theologians of the 20th and 21st centuries.