What we have come to: the drive-thru church

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:  Have it your way. No, not your fast-food burger. Your prayer. In an age when convenience is king and religion is often ridiculed, some churches looking to widen their outreach efforts are embracing what community banks and pharmacies have utilized for decades: the drive-through. The latest to offer a bit of [Read More...]

In the e-mail: “The Charlotte Observer is contributing to a campaign against the Bishop and conservatives”

A reader wrote me to take issue with the story posted the other day about a controversial capital campaign in the Diocese of Charlotte. The author is a member of the cathedral parish. Some excerpts from the email: St. Patrick doesn’t have eucharistic ministers except for one or two non-ordained men mainly because every priest [Read More...]

Controversy continues in Charlotte, as diocese embarks on capital campaign

From The Charlotte Observer:  The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, whose flock is more than 10 times larger than when the diocese was created in 1972, has embarked on a $65 million fundraising campaign that organizers say would address an increased demand for services and sacred space that shows no signs of letting up as more [Read More...]

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a decree of excommunication

You can take a gander here.  The announcement from her bishop, Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois: Please be advised that Ms. Mary F. Keldermans of Springfield, Illinois, has attempted to be ordained a priest for “Roman Catholic Womenpriests, Inc.” in a ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Springfield on May 5, 2014. [Read More...]

More on blessings from EMHCs—with a helpful solution from Archbishop Chaput

Various people have written in over the last 24 hours, suggesting that it’s just not practical or pastoral for an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) to turn away someone in the communion line who wants a blessing. Several years ago, Archbishop Charles Chaput offered a solution that I’ve blogged about in the past. I offer [Read More...]

Bishop urges Catholics at “blended” parish in Virginia to go elsewhere—UPDATED

You may remember when this unique parish made news last year. Now it’s in the news again:     Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has urged Roman Catholics attending a one-of-a-kind Catholic and Episcopal church to worship at a nearby parish because he has not been able to find a “suitable priest” to serve the blended congregation. [Read More...]

Vatican reports steady growth in worldwide church

The barque has sometimes hit turbulent tides, but there’s no sign that it’s sinking. And note the number of permanent deacons worldwide:  42,104, a number the continues to climb. From CNS: The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number [Read More...]

“The secularization of Hispanics is the biggest threat to the future of the Catholic Church in America”

From The Boston Globe:  The future of Catholicism in America rests heavily on the church’s ability to attract and retain young Hispanics whose connection to secular life is stronger than to the faith that sustained their parents, according to a new national study led by Boston College researchers. The three-year study, which will be released [Read More...]

Alleluia: Washington area welcomes record number of converts at Easter Vigil

From, of all places, The Washington Post:  For Austin Russell, Easter used to mean dyeing eggs and finding candy. “It was the Easter Bunny — it was fun,” said Russell, 19, who grew up in a home that wasn’t very religious. But this year, Easter carries a weightier meaning for the University of Maryland sophomore. When he started dating [Read More...]

Rejoice: America’s newest parish will be launched tomorrow—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

Some wonderful news about my friend Father Gregory West and his growing flock in South Carolina: In a modest two-room office tucked away in a Daniel Island shopping plaza lie the makings of something tremendous. No ornate decorations or grandeur, just the buzz and bang of construction work in harmony with the ring of the [Read More...]


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