A 140-character look at two popes

Because communicating today is simple and inexpensive, we often mistakenly believe those words have little meaning, writes columnist Erick Rommel. That belief is incorrect. You can still learn a lot about a person in just a few words. Take for instance the Twitter messages of two people, Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI.

Helping your loved one give up the keys

Bill Dodds was lucky. The columnist's parents knew when it was time for them to quit driving. They stopped without being asked. There are better ways to discuss this challenging topic with elderly loved ones than swooping in one day and confiscating the car keys.

In world leadership, what we should ask for this Christmas

The enthusiasm over Pope Francis's pontificate and the funeral of Nelson Mandela reflect a hunger for leaders who live what they preach, who are servant leaders leading with humility and love.

Kairos can open a teen’s heart to God, if you let him

High school senior Melanie DeFrancisco describes a Kairos retreat as life-changing. In her own words, she tells how the amazing and unique experience has touched and changed her own life. She believes God is calling teenagers and everyone to open the door and let him come into our lives and change them for the better.

Look into the faces of poor people

While writing a check to charity or donating canned goods are important, they don't replace reaching out to people in need with a hand of friendship, a listening ear and a commitment to work together with them to make changes in society.

Couple driven apart over how to discipline children

In their Marriage Matters column, Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain wrestle with the question of whether "sparing the rod" is a good or bad way to discipline children.

Immigration reform is no game – it’s the right thing to do

A university group’s “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game” prompted Father Gus Puleo, pastor of a parish that serves many immigrant families, to ponder the DREAM Act and the bigger immigration issue.

A Catholic writer not for the faint of heart

Flannery O'Connor doesn't buy into part-time Christianity, writes columnist Effie Caldarola. In O'Connor's novels she focused on the mystery of the Incarnation. Accepting Jesus was a matter of life or death, not a Sunday morning nicety.

Talk about accountability — it’s time for business ethics

The recent $13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement has Jesuit Father William Byron thinking about ethical conversations. And a good place to start is a report that says the 2008 financial crisis was avoidable: it was the result of human actions, inactions and misjudgments, and warning signs were ignored.

NCYC shows young people are eager to embrace their faith

There were hugs, handshakes and high fives shared throughout the weekend. Lots of them. When you're among 23,000 of your peers having the time of your life, teenagers do that kind of thing.