US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Parishes play a vital role in refugee resettlement

In the worldwide refugee crisis, U.S. Catholic parishes provide a warm welcome to those who must leave their homes.

By Peter Feuerherd |
Article News

When a woman had to quickly flee the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the United States after her husband was murdered because of political strife, parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Louisville, Kentucky were there for her. In the process of leaving her home country, she had lost track of her three sons. But with the help of the parish and social media, her sons were tracked down in Rwanda, where they had sought refuge, and were joined together with their mother. Parishioners at St. Francis helped facilitate the reunion.

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Why our criminal justice system imprisons us all

Catholic doctrine prioritizes mercy, compassion, and redemption. But these words are becoming more difficult to apply to America’s criminal-justice system.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article Justice

Note to readers: This feature was originally published in our June 1998 issue. While some of the statistics may be out of date, it is alarming how much of the story still holds true today.

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James Alison says ‘Everyone’s in’

Christ's death means that no one needs to be harmed in the name of maintaining community.

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

Christ is the “forgiving victim,” says James Alison, a Catholic priest, theologian, and author. This idea stems from Alison’s Christian interpretation of philosopher René Girard; his work is peppered with language like “the mimetic nature of desire” and “the scapegoat mechanism.”

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High school pallbearers minister to those who die alone

Arimathea pallbearer ministries teach teenage boys the true meaning of mercy.

By Katie Bahr |
Article Justice

It was a beautiful and breezy October morning when high school senior Joshua Gonzalez carried his first casket. Gonzalez was one of six students from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in Detroit, Michigan to serve as a pallbearer at the memorial service honoring three veterans—U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Joseph Michael Fitzryk, U.S. Army Spc. Ronald Lee LaValley, and U.S. Air Force Spc. Melvin R. Wilbourn. 

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Chicago's archbishop talks violence in the city

Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich says the church needs to speak up regarding gun violence.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Summers in Chicago are violent. It’s not the whole story of the City of Big Shoulders, but it’s one no resident can escape. By July of this year there were 1,900 shooting victims, the Chicago Tribune reported, or about 10 per day. Even beyond the city’s borders, gun violence plagues the nation.

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Holy disobedience

Standing up against injustice can be the hardest thing you ever do, but no one ever said following God would be easy.

By Jim Forest |
Article Justice

No is a word we should use more often.

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The sex talk: Earlier is better

Parents should talk to their kids about sex and sexuality long before adolescence.

By Claire Zulkey |
Article Lifestyle

I was behind and I didn’t even know it. Despite considering myself a progressive, open parent, I took our 3-year-old son to his annual doctor’s checkup only to realize I had already missed an important opportunity to educate him. After asking my son to disrobe, his pediatrician said, “I’m going to look at your private parts, but it’s okay because I’m your doctor and your mommy and daddy are here.” My son barely paid attention, but I realized that somewhere between baby proofing and the ABCs, I had forgotten to teach my son about who is allowed to look at his privates. 

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We cannot abandon transgender Catholics

Jesus would be present to transgender Catholics. Our faith teaches we should, too.

By Father Bryan Massingale |
Article Justice

In February I participated in a panel on transgender Catholics at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress called “Transgender in the Church: One Bread, One Body.” Almost 800 people attended this session, which testifies to the intense interest that this issue raises in both our society and the church. 

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Why the wealth gap is bad for everyone

Protecting the rich at the expense of the poor isn’t just immoral, says this economist—it is a recipe for economic disaster.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Charles Clark probably doesn’t win a lot of friends in his chosen profession when he says that most economists don’t really understand the economy. But even though he earns a living teaching economics at St. John’s University in New York, Clark believes that understanding how the economy really works requires more than just a classroom education.

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Why we should reconsider public aid

Twenty years ago was the end of welfare as we know it. It’s time to find a new way to support the needs of struggling families.

By Kevin Clarke |
Article News

One in five American children grows up poor, vulnerable to the physical, developmental, and neurological effects of poverty. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) now urges its physicians to add questions about family poverty to their standard children’s health assessments as a means of early detection of at-risk children. “Pediatricians deal on a daily basis with the intersection between poverty and health and the well-being of children,” says Dr. Benard Dreyer, president of the AAP. “They understand that they actually aren’t separate.”

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