Yeah, here’s another clear sign the American Church is in serious trouble—UPDATED

Yeah, here’s another clear sign the American Church is in serious trouble—UPDATED January 29, 2014

Purveyors of doom take note: donations to Boston’s annual appeal Catholic Appeal are way up.

An archdiocese that was on the skids a decade ago is—by at least one meaningful measure—showing signs of life: 

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston collected $15.2 million during the annual Catholic Appeal in 2013, an increase of more than $1 million from 2012, according to a statement released by the archdiocese.

The appeal is an annual effort to raise funds to support local parishes and ministries. In 2013, more than 40,000 people donated, the archdiocese said in a statement.

The Rev. Louis Palmieri, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Amesbury and Star of the Sea in Salisbury, organized the appeal with nine other pastors, who make up the Pastor Advisory Committee. In the statement, he said the increase in donations is a sign of the generous spirit of Catholics today.

“The Catholic Appeal makes it possible for the Church to carry out the ministries entrusted to us by Christ,” Cardinal Seán O’Malley said in the statement. “Throughout the Archdiocese we are experiencing new enthusiasm for the many good works that are part of everyday life in our parishes.”

Read more.

I have to wonder: could this be another byproduct of the Francis Effect?

UPDATE: From the CBS radio station in Boston:

In a meeting Wednesday with the New England Council, O’Malley highlighted the work of the Catholic Church in the region.“It’s certainly a much different feel than it was 10 years ago,” O’Malley told WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens. “We’re very grateful to the Catholics who have persevered and helped the church in this process of recovery.”

O’Malley credits some of the change to Pope Francis, whom he says is helping to shift the focus to the mission of the church…

…Church officials say Catholics are putting their money where their mouths are with more than 40,000 people donating to the archdiocese’ largest annual fundraiser, which supports archdiocese operations, religious education, youth ministries, clergy and laity training, and other ministries.

“Religious people are 25-percent more likely to donate money and 23-percent more likely to volunteer,” according to O’Malley.

Kathleen Driscoll with the Boston Archdiocese says “there’s a pride in being Catholic again.”

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