Hitting the road: The Bench and CNEWA visit Long Island

The past couple of days I found myself on a rare weekend away from my home parish, giving talks at Curé of Ars Catholic Church in Merrick, New York.  I was there with two of my colleagues from CNEWA, Norma Intriago and Chris Kennedy, to raise awareness about the plight of persecuted Christians and enlist support [Read More...]

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“Busting at the seams,” Phoenix adds another church to serve growing Catholic population

This speaks to the vibrant faith of the American southwest—and the burgeoning immigrant population. Details:  A longstanding Catholic parish in Chandler is moving forward with plans to build a second church at the southern end of the city. The new church, called St. Juan Diego…will be part of the existing parish at St. Mary’s Catholic [Read More...]

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Windfall: Christ Cathedral in Orange gets $20 million anonymous gift

Wow:  A donor who asked not to be named has donated $20 million to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange to help fund its multimillion-dollar renovation and transformation of the 34-acre campus that was once home to Robert A. Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. The donation, which will be paid off within seven years, is the largest gift [Read More...]

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Church construction in U.S. hits record low

From The Wall Street Journal:  Americans aren’t building churches like they used to anymore. Construction of religious buildings in the U.S. has fallen to the lowest level at any time since private records began in 1967. Religious groups will build an estimated 10.3 million square feet this year, down 6% from 2013 and 80% since [Read More...]

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Alaska cathedral vandalized

From The Catholic Anchor: The historic Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage was vandalized on Dec. 2. The Dominican priests who staff the parish found it damaged and in disarray at about 4:30 p.m. A video of the damage taken by Dominican Father Mark Francis Manzano shows overturned pews, spilt holy water, toppled liturgical furniture, including [Read More...]

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New York parish serving the deaf slated to close

Details: The choir members filed up to the altar in robes the color of the red roses of Saint Elizabeth, the patron saint of their beloved church. They arrayed themselves on two risers and looked to the choir director for a cue. Then they raised their hands in unison and began to sign. “Jesus,” they [Read More...]

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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...]

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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...]

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Mass in the Extraordinary Form at a Brooklyn church—UPDATED

Some may remember the pictures I posted last week, showcasing the newly renovated Holy Name of Jesus church in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. Saturday, they put the beautiful James Renwick-designed altar to good use and celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The pastor, Fr. James Cunningham, reports close to 200 people showed up. Fathers Brandon O’Brien, [Read More...]

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Check this out: one parish’s own news show—and this place is a hotbed for vocations

A friend from Georgia sent this my way. All I can say is: wow. It’s an impressive example of how one parish is using modern media. This comes from Transfiguration Catholic Church in Marietta, GA. It’s a parish news show called “Transfiguration Today,”  which is almost like a broadcast bulletin. But it’s done with a [Read More...]

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