Anti-Catholic protestors harass D.C. parishes, condemning “evils” of Catholicism

From The Washington Post:  Roman Catholic leaders have sent e-mails of warning to dozens of Washington and Maryland priests after protesters with bullhorns yelling anti-Catholic slogans appeared at several parishes and in a couple of cases “stormed the inside of the church just before Mass,” a bishop-administrator wrote in the e-mail. A spokeswoman with the Archdiocese of [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...]

Minneapolis pastor hosts controversial priest, cites pope “wanting a mess”

Somehow, I think we’ll be hearing more stories like this one:  A south Minneapolis church plans to bring in controversial Irish Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery to speak on Wednesday, despite warnings from Archbishop John Nienstedt. And the church’s pastor is using the words of a powerful church leader to justify it: Pope Francis. Father Mike Tegeder, pastor [Read More...]

Parish hopes to save priceless art in New York church slated for merger—UPDATED

An interesting sidebar to the church merger story in the Archdiocese of New York, via The New York Post:  A Midtown church slated to close as part of a massive shakeup by the Archdiocese of New York is a veritable art museum filled with dozens of stunning murals painted by a world-renowned artist — and [Read More...]

Fr. Rutler on NY church mergers: “There’s not a decline in Catholic population; there’s a decline in Catholic life”

A timely and interesting interview by Aleteia’s John Burger with the well-known New York priest: Father George Rutler is administrator of both Holy Innocents and the West Side Church of St. Michael, which also was passed over by the reorganization plan. Father Rutler, author of Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943, and other works, spoke with [Read More...]

BREAKING: New York announces parish mergers; Holy Innocents spared—UPDATED

From The New York Times:  Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan announced on Sunday the largest reorganization in the history of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York, with 55 parishes from Staten Island to the Catskills to merge with neighboring parishes. In 31 of those mergers, all Masses and other sacraments such as weddings and funerals will cease [Read More...]

Get in line with the communion of saints: John Nava’s stunning vision in Los Angeles

I’ve preached about them in the past, but for today’s celebration of the All Saints, here’s more about the beautiful tapestries hanging in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.  They are the creation of artist John Nava, and they remain, I think, among the most striking and inspiring works of church [Read More...]

For first time, Sistine Chapel to be rented out for corporate event

Details:  Pope Francis has for the first time allowed the Sistine Chapel to be rented out for a private corporate event, with the proceeds to go to charities working with the poor and homeless. The concert, to be performed amid the splendour of Michelangelo’s frescoes on Saturday, will be attended by a select group of [Read More...]

Jews observe High Holy Days in Illinois Catholic church—UPDATED

Details:  The trickiest part about hosting Beth Tikvah‘s Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in the sanctuary of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Inverness is finding a discreet and sensitive way to hide Jesus. From a suspended perch above the altar, a larger-than-life Jesus Christ reaches out from a clear, acrylic cross in Ernest Caballero’s magnificent “Cross of [Read More...]

What happens when you restore a church’s beauty?

Renovation, it turns out, can have some powerful side effects. In Crisis, Michael Tamara looks at some striking restorations of churches—including one in Brooklyn—and the impact it’s had on the people in the pews: Dating from the late nineteenth century, Holy Name of Jesus has been a familiar anchor in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of [Read More...]