“What is a parish?”: a homily for September 15, 2013

Today, traditionally the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, is also my parish’s feast day. Late yesterday, the parish administrator said, “You wanna throw together a few words for the 11:30 Mass?”  Okay, I said.  Here they are.  Yesterday, as I do every month, I met with families to schedule baptisms. And I’m always surprised [Read More...]

Farewell

Well, it’s over. Msgr. Joseph Funaro, my pastor emeritus, has been to sent to his rest. The funeral Mass this morning was beautiful. On a glorious summer Saturday, the church in Forest Hills was packed: two bishops, a couple dozen priests, throngs of friends and family, a small army of altar servers.  Music ranged from [Read More...]

A prayer for Joe Funaro

Msgr. Funaro, seated, with the parish clergy, just before Midnight Mass 2012.  My pastor emeritus, Msgr. Joseph Funaro, is gravely ill.  Please whisper a prayer for him and all who love him. He mentored me through diaconate formation, and helped make me the deacon I am today. Across the years, he has been a gracious [Read More...]

After Sandy, parish unites to save a couple’s wedding

I don’t know about you, but I could use a little good news about now.  Check this out, from the Trenton Monitor: Take one bride and groom whose plans for their special day intersected with the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, mix with a parish united in the desire to see them wed by candlelight despite [Read More...]

Pastor publishes parish evaluation of his priestly ministry

I’ve never heard of a pastor doing something like this, but I’m awfully impressed. Fr. Ken Simpson, from St. Clement Parish in Chicago, posted this candid evaluation of his job performance on the parish website: Dear Parishioners, Over the last few months I have been participating in a Periodic Review of Priestly Ministry. This coincides [Read More...]

CARA survey: many U.S. Catholics parish shop

The group’s ongoing study of American Catholics is continuing to yield interesting nuggets, like this one: One of the most surprising aspects of the results so far has been how positive Mass attending Catholics are in their evaluations of their parish (…yet there are also many interesting sub-group differences here as well). I always remind [Read More...]

See you at Spago: Georgia parish sets out to produce faith-based film

While most parishes are busy raising money to fund schools or fix the plumbing, a thriving parish in the Archdiocese of Atlanta is trying to raise funds to produce a movie.   In fact, it bills this as “the first major motion picture from a Catholic parish.” From the Georgia Bulletin: Efforts are underway at [Read More...]

Iowa seeks separation of church and sports

Details: The state’s largest Catholic Diocese is implementing a policy to create a separation between church and sports. Bishop Richard Pates of the Des Moines Diocese has approved a policy at the request of the priest council that would prohibit any Catholic school from holding activities not related to religious services or religious education on [Read More...]

Pastor who declined gay marriage petition gets standing ovation

Earlier, I posted about parishes in Seattle that were declining to take part in the petition drive against same sex marriage. Now, some reaction from the pews: The congregation at Seattle’s Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church gave the Rev.. Tim Clark a standing ovation Sunday when he announced that the parish would not [Read More...]

Where the "pastor" is a woman

Technically, she’s a “Minister of Parish Life.”  But last month, Dorothy Carlson was named to lead a parish in the Diocese of San Jose, California.  While this move is hardly unprecedented, it is unusual. The Diocese of San Jose website has the details: “Minister of Parish Life”…new phrase, new idea, new job description? Yes, and [Read More...]


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