US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Listen to the rural church

Our country relies on rural communities for everything from food to manufactured goods, yet many rural Catholics feel like second-class citizens.

By A U.S. Catholic interview |
Article Justice

“Rural matters,” says James Ennis, executive director of Catholic Rural Life. For 94 years, this organization has bridged the gap between urban and rural Catholics and served the unique needs of the Catholic Church in rural America.

Is your parish creating new Catholics?

Maybe it's time to rethink RCIA.

By Diana Macalintal |
Article Your Faith

When Rocio showed up at our parish, she knew nothing about the Catholic Church. All she knew was that her life was filled with darkness and she hungered for something more. It was January, and our RCIA sessions had begun months before. So our catechetical team asked Rocio to come to Mass each Sunday and hang out with the community. We hoped this would keep her interested until she could join the next RCIA in the fall and we could teach her about becoming a Catholic.

It's OK to be late to Mass

Showing up is what matters, says this priest.

By John Molyneux, C.M.F. |
Article Your Faith

During his weekly general audience last December, Pope Francis addressed the issue of punctuality at Mass. He said: “It is not a good habit to be looking at the clock” and calculating how much of the beginning of the Mass would be OK to miss and still fulfill one’s obligation. Get to Mass early—not late, he said, because it is during the introductory rites that “we begin to adore God in community” and “to prepare the heart for this celebration with the community.”

How to time travel at Mass

Christ is beyond time, and the Mass has much in common with a time travel adventure.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith |
Article Culture

My church welcomed new parishioners last week, and as we sat around a conference table eating strawberries and celery sticks, our priest passed around the liturgical calendar, explaining that here, time works differently. 

How are the Sunday readings chosen?

After the 16th-century Council of Trent, all the readings and prayers for Mass had been collected in a single book called the Roman Missal.

By David Philippart |
Article Your Faith

Scripture is proclaimed on Sunday according to a schedule of passages called a lectionary. For Roman Catholics it is the Lectionary for Mass and for many other Western churches, the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). 

How your parish can help those suffering from depression

A pastoral response to depression requires more than just listening.

By Jessie Bazan |
Article Your Faith

During Holy Week 2016, an obituary written by a woman in Duluth, Minnesota caught national media attention. Eleni Pinnow wrote the obituary for her young adult sister Aletha. She began, “Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31, of Duluth (formerly of Oswego and Chicago, Illinois) died from depression and suicide on February 20, 2016.” 

What’s the problem with women deacons?

Nothing, says this scholar of women’s ordination in the early church.

By Phyllis Zagano |
Article Your Faith
At least 25 years ago the late Archbishop of New York Cardinal John O’Connor told me there were secret discussions in Rome about restoring women to the ordained diaconate. The problem, he said, was that they could not figure out how to ordain women as deacons and not as priests. 

The confusion remains. One priest, a convert to Catholicism, wrote me recently:  “It seems somewhat disingenuous for an expert in women’s ordination to the diaconate to then insist that there is no connection with women priests.”