Making Sense of Bioethics: Considering the options for infertile couples

By Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

When Catholic couples experience trouble getting pregnant, they often seek medical help and begin to research what options are available to them.

A number of moral considerations and questions generally emerge during this process: Why are techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) considered immoral? What approaches will the Church allow us to try? What does our infertility mean, spiritually and personally, in the face of our fervent, but frustrated, desire for a baby?


The Catholic Difference: Questions of competence

By George Weigel

It’s a safe bet that 99.95 percent of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics have never heard of “La Civiltà Cattolica” (Catholic Civilization), a journal founded in 1850 by the Jesuits of Rome to combat the evils of the age (then taken to be secularist liberalism and freemasonry).

Its current circulation is perhaps half that of “First Things,” and while it has recently made attempts to broaden its readership by publishing English, Spanish, French and Korean editions, it’s also a safe bet that “Civiltà Cattolica” will remain a small-circulation magazine with a readership confined to what we might call “Catholic professionals:” clergy of various ranks; papal diplomats; officials of the Roman Curia; academics and pundits.


Idea of a Village conference: Learning God’s language of silence

By Ted King
The Sooner Catholic

The Idea of a Village conference held in June near Clear Creek Abbey in northeastern Oklahoma focused on Christian culture in a secular world. The theme for this year’s conference was the promotion of silence.

The speakers at the conference were Bishop James Conley, from the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb.; Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera, a Spanish investigative economic journalist; Father Francis Bethel, O.S.B., of Clear Creek Abbey; John Cuddeback, head of the philosophy department at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va.; and Daniel Kerr of Saint Martin's Academy.


Book Review: From atheist to Catholic: An accidental journey to find God 

By J.E. Helm
The Sooner Catholic

This book would be interesting reading even if the author didn’t end up in the Catholic Church. Jennifer Fulwiler’s “Something Other than God” is her story of life’s ups and downs that eventually landed her on the shores of faith.

The book is subtitled “How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It.” The title is taken from a quote by C. S. Lewis, who wrote that “all that we call history … (is) the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God that will make him happy.”


Have you ever heard about St. Drithelm?

By Pedro A. Moreno, O.P.
Director, Office of Hispanic Ministry

This 7th century native of England, with a strange name that I can’t even begin to pronounce, was for all accounts a very decent and devout Catholic. His loving wife and children seemed to be model Christians, and I haven’t found anything out of the ordinary written about them.

Then, came a unique epidemic that killed many throughout the country and even Drithelm became gravely ill. During the peak of his illness, he had a near-death experience. While his wife, friends and family were holding a vigil by his bedside, assuming he was transitioning into eternity, Drithelm arose from his bed and informed everyone that he was back!


A Millenial Journey in Faith: Creating a world view with principles, knowledge and Catholic wisdom

By Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick

This past spring, I had the privilege to attend my dad’s inauguration as president of Saint Gregory’s University. The day began with Mass in the abbey church, continued with lunch in the monastery, and peaked with the inauguration itself at the field house.

Throughout the events, I heard about the beginning of the Benedictine monks in Oklahoma, who arrived at the invitation of the Pottawattamie Nation long before the land run, the role of the university in the life of some of its graduates, and many reflections on the importance of the liberal arts. Each presenter placed the liberal arts at the center of learning, including a practical education oriented to career preparation.


VOICE defends those affected by payday lending

Leaders of a program at Saint Charles Borromeo called “Standing with the Poor against Payday Lending” spoke up recently against legislation they believed would be detrimental to the usually lower income citizens who are targeted by payday loans.

The project was funded by a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and supported by Voices Organized in Civic Engagement.


World 'sorely needs' Scouts' values of generosity, service, says nuncio

By Catholic News Service

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (CNS) -- Scouting develops generosity, service and fraternity, which are all values "our world sorely needs," the papal nuncio told Catholic Scouts gathered for a July 23 Mass during the annual Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree.

"These values are the antidote to the selfishness and individualism of our society," Archbishop Christophe Pierre said in his homily. "Scouting also encourages you to work together as a team, to share adventures, and to have a greater vision of life and creation."


Catholic charities want people to hear migrants' stories

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- No matter the position one takes on national migration policy, Pope Francis, Caritas Internationalis and national Catholic charities across the globe want Catholics to meet a migrant or refugee and listen to his or her story.

In late September, Pope Francis will launch the "Share the Journey" campaign, a two-year program of Caritas Internationalis to promote encounters between people on the move and people living in the countries they are leaving, passing through or arriving in.


Harry Potter still captivates fans, cultivating theological conversations

By Josephine von Dohlen
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) - Two decades since the publication of its first book, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling continues to draw countless readers into its pages, gaining ground among some faithful initially put off by the much-debated themes of magic and witchcraft.

The seven novels of the Harry Potter series carry the reader through the life of the orphaned Harry Potter, an 11-year-old boy who learns of the world of wizards and magic as he heads off to study at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. Each novel tells the story of another year at Hogwarts, as he discovers the history of his wizard parents and battles dark magic with his friends.