US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The communion conundrum for Catholics with celiac disease

Catholics with celiac disease struggle for inclusion in the church's one body.

By Jean P. Kelly |
Article Your Faith

My three teenage daughters and I sat on jackets on the sidewalk. We were part of a much larger human jigsaw puzzle, one that morphed every few minutes from sitting to standing to kneeling on the sandpapery concrete in front of a Subway in downtown Philadelphia. 

We couldn’t see the altar except on the jumbotron, but no one hesitated saying the response: “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” 


Foodie Father Greg Boyle on the healing ministry of baking

Homeboy Bakery in Los Angeles is the site of reconciliation and transformation for ex-gang members.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Step into Homeboy Bakery and you might think it’s any other neighborhood bake shop. You can buy artisan breads, pastries, and cookies that are made every day from scratch. Take a step into the kitchen, though, and you’ll understand why it’s not just any other bakery. All of the bread and treats are made and sold by formerly incarcerated and rehabilitated gang members.

Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles is the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry program in the world. Homeboy Bakery, which opened in 1992, was the first of Homeboy Industries’ social enterprises. 


Is the U.S. truly a land of plenty?

The best solutions to food deserts often come from within the community.

By Jeff Parrott |
Article Justice

“Am I too late?” the young woman asked frantically as she ran into the community center.

The WellnessWorks Mobile Food Pantry was closing for the day, but Deborah Shaffer, regional director for Catholic Charities West Virginia, asked the woman if she needed help.

“She said, ‘Yes, we don’t have any food left in the house, and I haven’t eaten for two days because I wanted to make sure my kids had food,’ ” Shaffer recalls. “I just looked at her and I said, ‘You’ll eat today.’ ”


Veggie tales: The spiritual lessons of tending a garden

Much like Merton and de Mello, peas, carrots, and beans make great spiritual masters.

By Bryan Cones |
Article Your Faith

Genesis’ second chapter tells a story of how God planted a garden, then created human beings to till it. The reason is obvious: Gardens are a lot of work, so Yahweh needed help to keep Eden weeded.

I realized that this summer, the first season I’ve had my own backyard garden. The locavores, foodies, granolas, Amish, and other assorted environmentalists and farm types convinced me that it would be worth the effort to grow my own food. Plus, I hate to mow the grass, so vegetables seemed preferable to a lawn.