USCCB report: Young Catholics “agree to disagree” about some Church teachings

From Catholic News Agency:  While a failure to understand doctrine is present in many segments of the Catholic population, young adults are exhibiting an alarmingly casual attitude towards accepting Church teaching, a study commissioned by the U.S. bishops has found.“They feel completely Catholic even while disagreeing with the Church. We often heard ‘the Pope is [Read More...]

Bringing it all back to Jesus

Writer (and former Paulist priest) James Carroll offers his thoughts on what’s ailing the Catholic Church in Sunday’s New York Times: Sometimes, when I kneel alone in a pew in the far back shadows of a church, face buried in my hands, a forbidden thought intrudes: You should have left all this behind a long time [Read More...]

Ways churches drive away first-time visitors

Any of this look familiar? This comes from Protestant writer and theologian Thom S. Rainer, but I can’t help but think it has Catholic applications, as well. We live in an era of rampant church-shopping. How hard are parishes trying to make themselves appealing? Check it out: If you attend a church regularly, you’ve probably [Read More...]

R.I.P., Mary Newman

Every parish has its familiar fixtures: the windows, the statues, the shrines, the candles.  At my parish in Queens for years we have also had a determined little woman with a delicate Irish brogue and a world-weary smile: Mary Newman. She was a force of nature. Mary was unquestionably the most determined and tireless fundraiser [Read More...]

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...]