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.
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.”
Lament is necessary, but insufficient right now.
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.
Albuquerque’s new approach to helping the homeless is all about self-worth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seniors in prison face many challenges. The worst? Being betrayed by their own bodies.
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.
Urban renewal was meant to usher in new, modern cities. But what were once vibrant Catholic communities are now parking lots and office parks.
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.
Police militarization has led to excessive use of force, says Tobias Winright, an officer-turned-theologian.
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.
Climate change impacts everyone, but some populations are more at risk.
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.
Gay-straight alliances are a way to show LGBT teens God's love. How do they fare in Catholic high schools?
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.