Making all things new: how a Manhattan church was saved

A heartening story from this morning’s New York Times:  For more than 160 years, St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church has borne witness as transformation after transformation has cascaded through the Lower East Side. Yet conflict, drama and wrenching change occurred within its walls, too: In the church founded by Irish immigrants who fled the famine [Read More...]

Closed abbey searching for another religious group to take it over

You’ll remember that the Blue Cloud Abbey closed its doors last summer. Now, the search is on for another religious group or community to take it over. Details:  Caretakers at Blue Cloud Abbey, the Benedictine monastery overlooking the Whetstone Valley in northeast South Dakota, are looking for another religious order to occupy their vacant premises. [Read More...]

Crime wave hits New York churches

From the New York Daily News:  Is nothing sacred? Priests at some Bronx churches have seen an uptick in crimes inside and around their houses of worship. Purses are stolen from pews during Communion. Cars parked outside get broken into during Mass. “It’s very sad,” said Rev. Francis Skelly of Immaculate Conception Church in Melrose. [Read More...]

Speaking of altar rails…one priest’s experience

Fr. Jay Finelli of the Diocese of Providence stumbled on yesterday’s post and recounted on his blog his own experience with adding an altar rail at his parish: Since installing the altar rail in 2010, a number of people requested to use if at all of our Masses. We began using the altar rail for [Read More...]

Massachusetts diocese sells Catholic church; town will turn it into a library

Details, from Mendon, Massachusetts:  The town has bought St. Michael the Archangel Church and plans to convert the former house of worship on North Avenue into a public library. The Diocese of Worcester sold St. Michael’s and its attached rectory for $360,000. The new library would replace the Taft Public Library, which is at 18 [Read More...]

Amazing: how monks rebuilt a monastery from Spain in California

From the New York Times:  The rebirth of a medieval Cistercian monastery building here on a patch of rural Northern California land was, of course, improbable. William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon, brought the dismantled Santa Maria de Óvila monastery from Spain but failed to restore it. The City of San Francisco, after some fitful starts [Read More...]

Yes, it’s still Christmas

The lights are still ablaze in Princeton, New Jersey, where I stepped into St. Paul’s Church Thursday night and encountered the glorious scene above. The church was just lovely. Thanks to Msgr. Joseph Rosie, Deacon Jim Knipper and the wonderful folks at St. Paul’s for their hospitality and warm welcome in support of “Hungry and You [Read More...]

A “bucket list” for the Year of Faith

A reader in Cincinnati brought this to my attention.  It comes from St. Cecilia’s Church in Oakley, Ohio.   The pastor has posted a “bucket list” for the Year of Faith, with 33 ideas to enrich and enliven your spiritual life in the months head.  A sample: Join the parish, if you are not already [Read More...]

New cathedral will use old windows

And they’re beauties, as the sample above shows. Details:  The Catholic Diocese of Raleigh has purchased 42  stained glass windows for the new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. The Diocese has received more than $52 million in pledges so far, it said Wednesday. The majority of the windows were created by Paula Balano, who became [Read More...]

Abbey restoration: “an epic moment of history”

History buffs, take note:  Restoration work on a monastery dating back to 1196 is expected to be completed six months ahead of schedule. The £4.7m Torre Abbey project in Torquay, Devon, started in January with an original completion date of 2014. But Torbay Council said it was predicted the restoration would now be completed in [Read More...]


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