January 2010

Vol. 75, No. 1



Entered into evidence: Women religious respond to the Vatican investigation

By Heather Grennan Gary
More than 800 sisters took U.S. Catholic‘s survey on how they see the ongoing Vatican investigation of U.S. women religious. Heather Grennan Gary compiled their views on the state of their state in life.

The Sisters of Mercy are not McDonald’s

By Sister Sandra Schneiders, I.H.M.
What’s wrong with a little quality control from papal headquarters? Sister Sandra Schneiders, I.H.M. explains why franchise thinking about religious life is stuck in the drive-thru lane.

Character witnesses

By Heidi Schlumpf
More than 1,700 readers and other Catholics lined up to give testimony on the Vatican investigation of women religious in this Reader Survey. Most of them are ready to take the stand in their sisters’ defense.

Web only coverage of the Vatican investigation:

Under the watchful eye: LCWR investigated

A tale of two visitations


How not to talk about God

An interview with Karen Armstrong
Trying to “prove” the existence of God leads straight to atheism, say religion scholar Karen Armstrong. The first step back is to let God be more than our minds can imagine.


(Essays, short stories, and poems may not be available online.)

In the beginning

By Meinrad Scherer-Emunds
Wonder how your favorite Catholic magazine began its life 75 years ago? Our executive editor gets out the baby pictures as we begin our diamond jubilee year.

How do you say pro-life in French?

By Simon Caldwell
The goal of ending abortion may be the same, but pro-life movements abroad are as varied as the countries in the European Union, writes Simon Caldwell from London.

Are you smarter than a Protestant?

By Becky Garrison
Take this tongue-in-cheek quiz to find out how little you know about all those “other” baptized people. Don’t worry: She didn’t put anything in there about the Bible.

The amazing technicolor Communion dress

By Angela Batie
Though her First Communion dress was a bit of a fashion disaster, Angela Batie explains how it appropriately captures her not-quite-perfect relationship with her Catholic faith.

Practicing Catholic: No pain, no gain

By Bill Harkins
Sister Mary Patrick’s call to “offer it up” in grammar school may now seem a bit outdated, acknowledges Bill Harkins. But it can also be a way to tough it out with those who don’t get a choice about it when it hurts.


Editors’ Note

You May Be Right (Letters to the Editor)

Signs of the Times (News)

Catholic Tastes (Humor)

Culture in Context: Music, film, and book reviews

At Home with Our Faith  (Family spirituality)

Eye of the Beholder (Art meditation)

Glad You Asked: How similar are Catholics and Anglicans?


The Examined Life: Mind the gap
By Bryan Cones

Margin Notes: Welcome to the Motel California
By Kevin Clarke

Culture in Context: Mothers Superior
By Patrick McCormick

Testaments: No time but the present
By Alice Camille