Pope Francis and the reform of the laity

Some insight into the pope’s mindset from Fr. Roger Landry in the National Catholic Register:  The reform of the Church already evident in the words and witness of Pope Francis may be starting, but it won’t be stopping at the revamping of the Vatican Curia and the renewal of the clergy. It also will involve [Read More…]

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The Francis Effect: lapsed Catholics lured back by new pope

It’s a phenomenon I know a lot of clergy have reported at their parishes: a dramatic uptick in Mass attendance over the last few weeks, and not just because of Easter. Is it the “Francis Effect”? NBC News takes a look: Twenty million Americans consider themselves lapsed Catholics, but Pope Francis is convincing many to [Read More…]

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How come more people don’t go to church?

It may not be the reason you think. Details:  The Rev. Stephen Fichter understood just how dominant a role sports has assumed in the culture when a family told him they would be out of town Good Friday to Easter Sunday to attend their child’s volleyball tournament. “It’s truly sports that has become like the [Read More…]

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Jimmy Kimmel, Catholic

And he’s planning a wedding for this summer: Jimmy Kimmel will marry his fiancée, Molly McNearney, in the first week of July, Page Six can reveal. The talk-show host, who proposed to his longtime girlfriend last August, has sent out save-the-date cards for the ceremony, which we are told will be on the weekend after July 4. [Read More…]

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An Easter story: one man’s return to the Catholic Church

From the Forum in Fargo, North Dakota: Timothy Murphy experienced a dramatic turnaround at the last minute. A friend from Yale who hadn’t been in touch since graduation looked him up after envisioning a suicide attempt; the phone in Murphy’s Fargo home rang just as the local retired farmer, hunting enthusiast and poet loaded his [Read More…]

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Praying the Stations of the “L”: one man’s unique journey through Chicago

The Chicago Tribune follows one young man’s unusual pilgrimage: There’s nothing extraordinary about Aidan Gillespie’s daily commute on the No. 50 bus down Damen Avenue. Perhaps that’s why the Roman Catholic schoolteacher chose the train Tuesday for a more spiritual journey. Setting out before dawn, Gillespie, 25, rode every line of Chicago’s “L” from end [Read More…]

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Archbishop Chaput to let girls play CYO football

Details:  Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has decided to allow girls to play football in Philadelphia’s Catholic Youth Organization league next season, rejecting the recommendation of a panel he directed to review the league’s policy banning them. That rule was subject to scrutiny this winter after Caroline Pla, 11, of Doylestown, was told by the archdiocese [Read More…]

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Are women already running the Church?

An interesting perspective from writer Ashley McGuire in the Washington Post:  With the Catholic Church at the forefront of international news given recent events, many are using the opportunity to frame the Vatican and the Catholic Church more broadly as a place that excludes women. The next pope will be a man elected by 115 men, [Read More…]

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Poll: U.S. Catholics say church is out of touch; most approve of pope’s resignation

From the New York Times:  Roman Catholics in the United States say that their church and bishops are out of touch, and that the next pope should lead the church in a more modern direction on issues like birth control and ordaining women and married men as priests, according to the latest New York Times/CBS [Read More…]

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“The church knows young Catholics are leaving; I don’t think it knows what to do about it”

From CentreDaily.com in suburban Washington: As the Catholic Church prepares to elect a new pope to guide it into the future, church leaders are struggling to keep young people from leaving the faith. Four out of five Catholics who have left the church – and have not joined another – did so before the age [Read More…]

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