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Megan Sweas

Writer, Editor, Student of Life

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Clips

Change Is Happening in the Catholic Church, Just Not on Holy Thursday

Published by On Being, USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, March 24, 2016

Even when I feel disconnected from my faith, Holy Thursday draws me to church. The call to follow Jesus’ example and wash one another’s feet speaks to me, a marginal Catholic more interested in service than doctrine. Continue reading “Change Is Happening in the Catholic Church, Just Not on Holy Thursday”

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Will a Thriving Singles Scene Renew American Catholicism?

Published by Religion Dispatches, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, February 12, 2016

As the choir rehearses before St. Monica’s Sunday evening Mass, two blond women in skinny jeans slide into a pew in the rear of the church and chat quietly. A few pews back a woman wearing a mid-thigh length dress and a long sweater genuflects before beginning to pray. Before long, the church is filled with attractive people under 40.

St. Monica Catholic Community is a destination parish for young adults in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with a reputation for being the place where young, attractive Catholics go to seek somebody special—and I don’t mean Jesus.

Continue reading “Will a Thriving Singles Scene Renew American Catholicism?”

Praying for Rain in California

This piece originally appeared in the Yale ISM Review.

“As an American Indian, all my life I have been cursed with the myth of the ‘Indian rain dance,’” Johnny P. Flynn wrote in Religion Dispatches in 2012 when the United States Agricultural Secretary, Tom Vilsack, suggested a rain dance to end a drought. “I am here to say there is no such thing. Not in my Potawatomi tribe or in any other tribe across the Americas.” Weather-related rituals, Flynn wearily pointed out—including the Hopi’s famous late summer dances—recognize the season rather than bring on the rain.

That hasn’t stopped some from trying. Continue reading “Praying for Rain in California”

Cristo Rey model successful, but not for everyone

Education Dive interviewed Megan Sweas about Cristo Rey model of education, December 21, 2015

It also named Putting Education to Work as one of six books educators should read.

During her time as an editor at U.S. Catholic magazine, journalist Megan Sweas saw firsthand what graduates of the Cristo Rey network could accomplish. Continue reading “Cristo Rey model successful, but not for everyone”

Japanese Americans remember Pearl Harbor backlash and support Muslims

Published by Religion News Service, Deseret News December 11, 2015

After 9/11, Kathy Masaoka heard a Muslim woman on the radio describe her hesitancy to go to the market for fear of being attacked.

“It crystalized for me at that moment, that this must be how my parents felt and how my family felt after Pearl Harbor,” she said. Continue reading “Japanese Americans remember Pearl Harbor backlash and support Muslims”

Learning from History: The Japanese Internment and Reactions to Muslim Americans

Published by the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, November 24, 2015

When Roanoke, Virginia Mayor David Bowers referred to the internment of the Japanese Americans in the context of the terrorist attacks by ISIS, he wasn’t the first to see the parallels between World War II and today. Japanese and Muslim American community leaders also have recognized that the fear of Muslims following terrorist attacks reflects the fear of Japanese following Pearl Harbor. Continue reading “Learning from History: The Japanese Internment and Reactions to Muslim Americans”

Young Catholics drawn to Pope Francis. Church life and dogma? Not so much

Published by Religion News Service, September 24, 2015

LOS ANGELES (RNS) When Regina Bunye catches sight of Pope Francis in Philadelphia on Saturday (Sept. 26), it won’t be her first glimpse of the pontiff. Last year, she took part in a pilgrimage to Rome, where she got within 20 feet of Francis, who waved to her group.

“It’s kind of like seeing a rock star up close,” said Bunye, 36. “He is just a connection away from St. Peter and then Jesus … and he’s an incredible man.”

Like Bunye, the young adults descending on Philadelphia this week may be Francis’ biggest fans. Continue reading “Young Catholics drawn to Pope Francis. Church life and dogma? Not so much”

Is the Pope’s Concern for Immigration Just a “Numbers Game”?

Published by Religion Dispatches, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis may differ greatly in tone from Pope Benedict, but on many social issues Francis can expect the same pushback his predecessor received in the United States.

When Pope Benedict brought up immigration on his 2008 trip to the United States, for example, conservative voices argued that his support of immigrants was self-serving. Continue reading “Is the Pope’s Concern for Immigration Just a “Numbers Game”?”

Pope Francis Loves Nuns, But Can the Divide Between Sisters and Vatican Be Healed?

Published by Religion Dispatches and USC CRCC, September 16, 2015

Pope Francis confessed his love for a woman—for many women, actually—on national television this month. Continue reading “Pope Francis Loves Nuns, But Can the Divide Between Sisters and Vatican Be Healed?”

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