Cardinal Dolan prepares flock for a “real sense of grief” that will come with parish closings; 14% will merge

His column in this week’s Catholic New York, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of New York, sets the tone, without getting into specifics: Let me be candid: there will soon be a real sense of grief at some of our parishes as we get set to announce publicly what we’ve been preparing for the last five [Read More...]

The Talking Dead: “Cemeteries have a huge opportunity to evangelize”

Priests and deacons understand that key moments in life—baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, weddings and funerals—are often ripe opportunities for evangelization. With two important feasts approaching, All Saints and All Souls, CNS looks at the role cemeteries can play: Beyond their traditional roles as predictably quiet and often-beautiful places, “cemeteries have a huge opportunity to evangelize and a [Read More...]

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned: I texted during Mass

A 21st century problem gets a closer look this morning from CNS:  Entire families navigate their smartphones while sharing meals at restaurants. Students text in class. Parents take phone calls at their children’s sporting events and plays.It’s no surprise that cellphones affect even church.It has become common for parishes to place blurbs in their bulletins [Read More...]

Why do Catholics leave the Church?

A new survey for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois offers some clues. From Our Sunday Visitor: In their report “Joy and Grievance in an American Diocese,” the researchers indicate they targeted “those who had lapsed or drifted from the Church and are currently inactive in a diocesan parish.” The study also includes a survey [Read More...]

Why do Catholics stop going to Mass?

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is getting some interesting answers: Professors Phillip Hardy, Kelly Kendra and Brian Patterson surveyed 575 lapsed Roman Catholics from November 2012 to March 2013, asking them why they had stopped attending Mass or had left the church altogether; what might motivate them to return; and whether the church’s stance [Read More...]

Chicago church gives flock $500 each to spend on a good cause

From Reuters:  Churchgoers grumble that they always get hit with pleas for money. But congregants at a Chicago church this month got a surprise – they each received a check for $500, with instructions to go out and do something good with it. “I was just in disbelief,” said Valency Hastings, 42, when she got [Read More...]

Pittsburgh reminds Catholics: it’s a big Church

CNS photo/Chuck Austin, Pittsburgh Catholic From CNS:  An all-night vigil Sept. 13-14 at a Byzantine Catholic church in Pittsburgh provided an opportunity for people of faith to participate in the prayers of the various Catholic churches that are “essential facets” of the culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse city of Pittsburgh. St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic [Read More...]

Archbishop Listecki’s vision

An overview on the results of a recent archdiocesan synod, from The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:  Catholic laity — the people in the pews — will play a more prominent role in the life of the church in southeastern Wisconsin in the coming years, according to a declaration issued Sunday by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki. And local [Read More...]

Study: church is becoming more informal, diverse

The New York Times takes note:  Religious institutions often see themselves as countercultural — outposts in an increasingly secular society that challenge the culture with views and practices that are no longer mainstream. But inevitably, culture seeps in, affecting how clergy and laypeople dress and pray and behave toward one another. A new study — the [Read More...]

As another year of RCIA begins, meet some who have made the journey home

Here’s a story I suspect will resonate with many, from The Lowell Sun: A couple of years ago, Richard Lee of Billerica, a retired University of Massachusetts police officer, wasn’t enjoying his then-recent retirement. In fact, since a son died shortly after a premature birth 15 years before, his outlook on life wasn’t great. One day, [Read More...]


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