Rhode Island bishop: “We’re going to have to be creative”

Change is coming, and the bishop of Providence is talking about it: Dealing with declining numbers of priests and dwindling numbers of parishioners, The Catholic Diocese of Providence is considering some big changes in an attempt to strengthen Diocesan parishes. In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, the Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin said the [Read More...]

Act of Providence: diocese ordains 21 deacons, first class in a decade—UPDATED

Details, from the diocesan website:  The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence today announced that after years of intense preparation, the first Permanent Diaconate class since 2002 will be ordained Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will preside over the ordination of 21 men as [Read More...]

Rhode Island church recasts the Nativity with Jose, Maura…and a girl named Hope?

Photo by Bob Plain Kathy Schiffer found this curiosity: The babe in the manger is a girl named Hope.  Joseph (er, “Jose”) is an illegal immigrant looking for a job in the U.S.  Mary (“Maura”) is a teenage runaway who fled her Connecticut home after her parents became upset upon discovering her pregnancy.  The Angel [Read More...]

“How do we render God credible in this world?”

In a homily given on April 1, 2005, just before he was elected Pope, Pope Benedict said this: Above all, that which we need at this moment in history are men who, through an enlightened and lived faith, render God credible in this world. The negative testimony of Christians who speak about God but live [Read More...]

The Catholic-turned-atheist teen who’s waging a war on prayer

She’s caused a firestorm of controversy and protest in Rhode Island.  Who is she? Details: She is 16, the daughter of a firefighter and a nurse, a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Harry Potter and Facebook. But Jessica Ahlquist is also an outspoken atheist who has incensed this heavily Roman Catholic city with a successful lawsuit to get a [Read More...]

O, Tannen-bomb: the Christmas tree controversy in Rhode Island

Trouble is taking root, and spreading: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee unwrapped a Christmas conundrum when he erected a “holiday” tree in the Statehouse, incensing the Roman Catholic Church, many residents and even the tree farmer who donated the 17-foot-tall spruce. The holiday hubbub comes to a head Tuesday evening when Chafee presides over a [Read More...]

An act of Providence: Catholics share chapel with Baptists

See how these Christians in Rhode Island love one another: Twenty years ago, a Catholic diocese would have never made room for the First Baptist Church congregation in a place where Catholics came to worship, says the Rev. Dorian Parker. But one generous gesture on behalf of the Diocese of Providence has allowed the 30-or-so members [Read More...]

Divine Providence: in Rhode Island, Catholics are coming home

An evangelization effort seems to be paying off, according to the Providence Journal: Mass counts released Thursday by the diocese show that while Mass attendance among Rhode Island’s Catholics grew by a mere 1.9 percent between October 2009 and October 2010, that reversed a decline that had been observed over a number of years, as [Read More...]