Meeting them where they are: a profile of an “intentional parish” in Brooklyn

I missed this on Good Friday — I was otherwise engaged — but it’s worth a read.  It looks at a growing phenomenon in the Church: people seeking out parishes outside of their geographic boundaries. From the New York Times: St. Boniface attracts an average of 700 people a weekend, remarkable when only about a [Read More...]

Welcome back: the return of the “reverts”

It’s happening more and more, and not just among Catholics.  From USA TODAY: Bruce Boling will celebrate Easter Sunday this weekend among Southern Baptists, just as he did when he prayed at a tiny Kentucky church where his family filled half the pews. After decades away from faith, “I slowly began to see what I [Read More...]

Cardinal calls on Christians to wear crosses

Details: Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric has called on Christians to wear a cross every day as “a symbol of their beliefs” and to combat the marginalisation of religion in modern society. The plea by Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Catholic church in Scotland, to be made in his Easter sermon, comes as the [Read More...]

Catholic couple takes “interfaith pilgrimage” on “Faithbook”

A great story about spiritual discovery, and how a couple is learning more about the world’s faiths, including their own: Frederic and Anne-Laure Pascal are devout Roman Catholics who built their lives around their religion. When she lost her job last year, the young couple decided on an unlikely expression of their religious commitment: a [Read More...]

Report: rites in Holy Land will observe one date for Easter — UPDATED

Big news from Christ’s homeland: For pastoral reasons, the Catholic Church in the Holy Land plans in future to celebrate Easter according to the Orthodox calendar. The reason is consideration of the many inter-church families, said the Franciscan Custos Pierbattista Pizzaballa. In ecumenical dialogue, the date of Easter is one of the major hurdles. The [Read More...]

Cardinal permits man in homosexual partnership to serve on parish council

Details: Overruling one of his parish priests, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has permitted a homosexual in a registered domestic partnership to serve on a parish council. Father Gerhard Swierzek, the parish priest of a small parish in the archdiocese, had refused to allow Florian Stangl, 26, to serve on the council. Stangl, who is [Read More...]

Census shows Ireland is still overwhelmingly Catholic

Despite being rocked by the sex abuse scandal, a huge percentage in the country still self-identify as Catholic.  Details, from the Irish Times: Ireland remains the overwhelmingly Catholic country of the English-speaking world, according to results of the April 2011 census, published yesterday. Over 84 per cent of people in the Republic, or 3.86 million, described [Read More...]

“To acknowledge the dignity of every human life”: Louisiana diocese plans mass funeral for unclaimed bodies

An extraordinary undertaking: For the last two years, Lafayette Catholic Service Centers have been working towards burying the unclaimed at the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s office. This unexpected journey began when Kimberly Boudreaux, Executive Director at Lafayette Catholic Service Centers, contacted the coroner’s office to claim a formerly homeless man, whom I had befriended at St. Joseph [Read More...]

Why they leave: former Catholics explain — UPDATED

This story first broke in the New Jersey press last week, but is now getting more attention.  The report below is in this morning’s USA TODAY: As part of a survey to understand why they have stopped attending Mass, a few hundred Catholics were asked what issues they would raise if they could speak to [Read More...]

People, look East: “The shape of the church worldwide now depends more on India than on Ireland”

From Fr. Raymond de Souza: On Monday night, I was honoured to host the senior Catholic prelate from India, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, in Mississauga, Ont. On Tuesday morning, a new archbishop — Christian Lépine — was announced for Montreal. In the 21st century, what will be more important for global Christianity — Mumbai and Mississauga, [Read More...]


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