Daily News

Church Closings: Is Bigger Better? (4919)

Parish mergers lead to “supersized” congregations, and some experts applaud the shift.

08/16/2011 Comments (6)
Gertjan Hooijer/Shutterstock.com

FUTURE CHURCH? With parish closings and mergers on the rise, is the Catholic Church moving toward a supersized model, such as the more than 2,700-seat Crystal Cathedral in California?

– Gertjan Hooijer/Shutterstock.com

WAYLAND, Mass. — Church closings have fueled a sense of loss and anger at the fallout from clergy-abuse settlements, and even appeals to the Vatican.

But some experts say the faithful must rethink their views about parish life — starting with the axiom that “small is beautiful.”

Father James Laughlin, pastor of Good Shepherd Parish, in Wayland, Mass., has experienced the benefits of a larger congregation first hand.

Once he shuttled between two small parishes, with double budgets, staffs and Mass schedules. But in January, the two parishes merged, the final step of a two-year process that involved multiple committees and consultants — but avoided any protracted standoff or appeals to...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of atlanta, archdiocese of boston, church closings, cardinal sean o'malley, center for applied research in the apostolate cara, cleveland bishop richard lennon, crystal cathedral, father roger landry, new bedford, mass.

Madrid Cardinal 'Delighted' With U.S. Turnout (2432)

Cardinal Antonio Ruoco: 'There is such a long and warm relationship between the people of Spain and the United States that it is natural that the U.S. pilgrims will feel very at home here in Spain.'

08/16/2011 Comments (2)

– Wikipedia

Cardinal Antonio Ruoco, the archbishop of Madrid, said the missions begun by Spanish Franciscans link the people of Spain to those of the United States, and he is “delighted” with the turnout of U.S. pilgrims for World Youth Day.

Cardinal Ruoco, in what may be one the busiest days of his life, granted a brief interview to the Register as he prepared to open World Youth Day at a Mass for hundreds of thousands tonight in Plaza Cibeles, the major plaza in the center of Madrid. More than 4,000 members of the media sought press credentials for World Youth Day.

Cardinal Ruoco has been the archbishop of Madrid since 1996. He came to Spain’s capital from the Archdiocese of Santiago de...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal ruoco, spain, united states, world youth day

Pope: What Mary's Assumption Means (3098)

The feast reminds us to have faith and gives us hope for the future.

08/16/2011 Comments (1)

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY(EWTN News/CNA) — Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on Aug. 15, saying that the celebration gives Christians hope of a future united with Christ, both in this life and in heaven.

“This feast,” he said, “tells us that we too will be with Jesus in the joy of God and invites us to have courage, to believe that the power of the resurrection of Christ can work in us as well.”

From his summer residence at Castel Gandalfo, just south of Rome, the Pope celebrated Mass in the morning on Monday and later led the Angelus prayer at noon.

He remarked during his homily that the feast day serves to inspire the faithful to evangelize modern...READ MORE

Filed under faith, feast of the assumption, mary, pope benedict xvi

Nation of Faith, Catholicism Doc, Rio Set for WYD 2013, Papa Bene, and much more! (2397)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

08/16/2011 Comment

Nation of Faith, Nation of Immigrants is a magnificent article by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. Click on his link to read why.

Nation of Faith, Nation of Immigrants - Abp Charles J. Chaput OFM Cap, Public Discourse

Catholicism Documentary, An Epic Presentation of the Faith - Brandon Vogt, Thin Veil

Rio de Janeiro to host World Youth Day 2013 - CNA/Europa Press

Cheering My Love - Trista Garttner, VirtuousPla.net

Benedict XVI Says Silence Brings us in Touch with God - La Stampa/Vatican Insider

Quæritur: Communion More than Once a Day - Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, WDTPRS?

Old Ideas Rising from the Ground - Fr. James Farfaglia, The Smoking Priest

St. Paul’s Language of Prophecy: A God’s-eye View of History - Fr. Tucker Cordani, Catholic Lane

Solemn and Sacred Transformations - Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on my...READ MORE

Filed under catholic blogosphere, catholicism, divorce, extraordinary form, fr. robert barron, madrid, rio de janeiro, sex, silence, st. paul

The Vision of E.F. Schumacher (4348)

Church social doctrine played a major role in the development of Small Is Beautiful. The Register takes a look at the work and the author 100 years after his birth.

08/16/2011 Comments (6)

E.F. Schumacher, from the back cover of Small Is Beautiful.

A century ago, on Aug. 16, 1911, the great economist E.F. Schumacher was born in the German city of Bonn. An icon of the early “green” movement, few people seem to know that Schumacher’s vision was inspired by the great papal encyclicals of Leo XIII and Pius XI, or that Schumacher himself was a convert to Catholicism.

Disgusted with the Nazis, Schumacher moved to England before the beginning of the Second World War and remained there for the remainder of his life. Best known for his international bestseller Small Is Beautiful, published in 1973, he is regarded by many as one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. The enormous impact of Small Is Beautiful, which became the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic convert, catholic social doctrine, economics

Madrid, Here We Are! (2131)

World Youth Day Diary: We arrive in Madrid after a long day in the air.

08/15/2011 Comments (1)

Mass in the basilica of Cristo de Medinaceli

– Rachel Howell photo

Our group left Birmingham, Ala., Sunday around noon. Dressed in matching purple T-shirts, we gave up our personal identity for the sake of communion, which was a real sacrifice for some of us!

At our first layover in Houston, we ran into a Madrid-bound group from Texas. Just running into fellow pilgrims united us, and we all prayed together when our connector to Newark (N.J.) airport was delayed. This made for some frantic activity scrambling through the airport, but as Providence would have it, our connecting plane to Madrid was also delayed. Picture an empty Newark airport at 11pm, except for one gate full of rowdy teens, anxious to be on their way.

The groups of pilgrims were easily...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, madrid, pilgrimage, world youth day 2011

WYD Eve: Everything in Readiness in Madrid (2088)

08/15/2011 Comments (1)

There's no doubt about it: Spaniards are enthusiastic in their role as hosts of World Youth Day.

– Getty Images

One of the goals of the planners of the Madrid World Youth Days is that the events be marked by the Spanish character of the Catholic faith and not simply a gathering of globalized citizens that are at home at Starbucks, McDonald’s, Burger King and the local Cineplex. Although Madrid has all of those places in its busy streets, they will not be highlighted in the WYD experience.

Most of the patrons saints of WYD Madrid are Spaniards or of Spanish descent, with the exception of Blessed Pope John Paul II. The pilgrim kits will include the ever present abanico (folding fans) that are especially popular in un-air conditioned Spanish churches. The WYD materials given to the pilgrims as they...READ MORE

Filed under madrid '11, pope benedict xvi, world youth day 2011

YouCat Goes to World Youth Day (2655)

WYD pilgrims receive the new youth catechism in Madrid. Aug. 14 print edition feature.

08/15/2011 Comments (2)

– YouCat.us

SAN FRANCISCO — Catholic youth have a new tool they can use to help explain their faith. A group of European bishops released YouCat — short for “Youth Catechism” — a local catechism published primarily for youth. Unlike previous catechisms, this one has a unique delivery system and a television program based around it.

Whereas previous catechisms have had to rely on bookstores to move them, YouCat will benefit from World Youth Day in Madrid. Organizers will include a copy of YouCat in each backpack received by the WYD pilgrims.

As of Aug. 1, about 30,000 Americans had registered for the Aug. 16-21 event, and approximately 1 million young people are expected to attend overall.


Filed under catechism, pilgrims, world youth day, youcat

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