US Catholic Faith in Real Life

How long?

Lament is necessary, but insufficient right now.

By Tobias Winright |
Article News

Editors’ note: Last year, we at U.S. Catholic interviewed Tobias Winright about police militarization and his theological reflection on the violence and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri after the killing of Michael Brown. Winright, a former police officer, is now a Catholic theologian and ethicist who focuses on questions of force and violence.

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There's a better way to fight homelessness

Albuquerque’s new approach to helping the homeless is all about self-worth.

By Carrie Murphy |
Article Justice

It’s an uncharacteristically cloudy day in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a haze hovers in front of the sun. At 7 a.m., William Cole is already energetic, buzzing around the parking lot of St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, Albuquerque’s largest homeless shelter, employment hub, and housing program. He’s getting ready to drive a big white Dodge van around the city, picking up panhandlers and offering them the opportunity to work for the day.

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Somos familia

A family is not just a mom, a dad, 2.5 kids, and a dog. Extending family relationships changes how we think about faith, church, social justice, and God.

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

It’s impossible to fully understand God. So humans come up with metaphors to try to explain our conviction of a loving God who holds us in community with each other. These images are rooted in our own experiences and cultures; the biblical image of God as a shepherd may not be as meaningful to people living in cities today.

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Catholicism and LGBT discrimination

The Catholic Church can't just congratulate itself on condemning violence toward LGBT people. We need to do better and fight to end discrimination of all kinds.

By Father Paul Keller, C.M.F. |
blog Justice

We have once again witnessed a devastating and horrific act of mass murder. On June 12, 2016 a violent young man and fellow citizen who was heavily-armed, psychologically-troubled, and professing hatred of LGBT people and allegiance to a radical and violent form of Islam killed 49 people and injured another 53. These kinds of mass shootings happen regularly in the United States; this is the most recent and the most lethal.

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An aging prison population

Seniors in prison face many challenges. The worst? Being betrayed by their own bodies.

By Laura Whitaker |
Article Justice

A life sentence takes on new meaning for prisoners serving time well into their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s. Hearing loss and dementia make it difficult for prisoners to comprehend or obey rules. The need for wheelchairs, walkers, and canes makes navigating the small, tight space configurations of most prisons very difficult. For the oldest prisoners, even the most basic activities, such as walking at a steady pace or dressing oneself, are difficult without assistance—something not every prison has the budget or staff to provide.

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Urban renewal?

Urban renewal was meant to usher in new, modern cities. But what were once vibrant Catholic communities are now parking lots and office parks.

By Kim Etingoff |
Article Justice

In 1950s New Haven, Connecticut, the streets of the Oak Street neighborhood are filled with the fragrant smell of tomato sauce. Church bells ring, calling parishioners to Mass. The streets are lined with dozens of small grocery stores, drug stores, and cafés. It’s a working-class, dynamic community, and it feels like home.

Today, it’s impossible to find that scene in Oak Street. Instead, the neighborhood is home to parking lots, empty streets, and office buildings.

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A better way to serve and protect

Police militarization has led to excessive use of force, says Tobias Winright, an officer-turned-theologian.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Tobias Winright’s first exposure to the life of a police officer came from a somewhat unlikely source: his mother. After his parents divorced when he was 10 years old, Winright moved to Florida with his three younger brothers and their mother, who took a job as a patrol officer. She worked her way up the ranks, serving as a hostage negotiator and homicide detective, once earning second place honors as deputy sheriff of the year for the entire state of Florida.

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Climate justice is a matter of faith

Climate change impacts everyone, but some populations are more at risk.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

Sylvia Hood Washington didn’t set out to be an advocate for climate justice. “I don’t want to be on this mission,” she says. “My kids are out of college and graduate school and it would be so easy to sit back and plan a vacation to Hawaii.” But her personal experience with climate change and her feeling of responsibility to her community, her family, and her faith made it impossible to turn away from the need she saw around her.

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Are Catholic high schools supporting their LGBT students?

Gay-straight alliances are a way to show LGBT teens God's love. How do they fare in Catholic high schools?

By Renée K. Gadoua |
Article Lifestyle

Andrew Perez joined his high school’s gay-straight alliance (GSA) because he believed in Pope Francis’ message of love for all people. His religion class at Xavier High School, a Jesuit boys school in Manhattan, discussed sexuality and the pope’s response. “I was interested to hear Pope Francis say [gay people] are welcomed with open arms,” Perez, now a senior, says. “A lot of [gay people] are under the impression that they are not accepted.” He joined the group because “as a straight male I thought it was important to stand up for a group in my school who may not be comfortable,” he says.

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When help isn't helpful

Despite our best intentions, sometimes we fail at aiding our aging parents. Joyce Rupp says empathy is a good place to start.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Lifestyle

Despite our best intentions, sometimes we fail at aiding our aging parents. Joyce Rupp says empathy is a good place to start.

Servant of Mary Sister Joyce Rupp has come a long way since she started work as a spiritual director in the mid-1970s. “I remember the first time I worked with someone,” she says. “I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to ruin somebody’s soul because I’ll say something wrong.’ ”

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