The need for closure: What happens when a parish shuts its doors

By J.D. Long-García| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
Parishes should have an exit strategy before shutting their doors.

The day after their farewell Mass, parishioners of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church were locked out. Archdiocesan officials had changed the locks days ahead of schedule.

So they walked around the building in Scituate, Massachusetts, desperately pulling on door handles. And then, one of the doors opened. Ever since, parishioners have kept vigil, staying in the church 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in protest of the closure. That was six years ago.


Merging parishes with a minimum of misery

By J.D. Long-García| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life

(This story accompanies The need for closure: What happens when a parish closes its doors.)

Whatever church leaders do, parishioners aren't going to be happy about a closure or merger. But leaders can ease the change by paying attention to a community's emotional needs and by involving parishioners in the process.


Will the center hold?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Women
The church as we know it won’t last if its broad middle begins to shrink.

Pop culture journalists had the brass ring of celebrity stories dropped on them in August when author Anne Rice, grande dame of the current vampire entertainment empire, announced that, 10 years after her return to the Roman Catholic faith of her childhood, she was leaving once again.


Changes coming to a parish near you

Catholic News Service| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments
What will be different about the Mass come Advent 2011?

The recently approved English translation has a number of features that Mass-goers will surely notice. Here's a preview of the 10 most obvious changes coming to a parish near you. As Catholics around the country prepare, we'll offer more resources with analysis in the coming year. Learn about how we got to where we are by reading our special section on the liturgy.

(Changes indicated with strikethroughs and bold additions.)


Tips for faith communities in search of young adults

By Christina Capecchi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Young Adults

Parish leaders and young adults might be missing each other. While some wonder where all the 20- and 30-somethings are on Sunday morning, the young adults wonder how they can be part of a community. Here are eight tips for creating faith communities among young adults:

1. Tie it to an interest.


Tips for faith communities in search of young adults

By Christina Capecchi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Young Adults

Parish leaders and young adults might be missing each other. While some wonder where all the 20- and 30-somethings are on Sunday morning, the young adults wonder how they can be part of a community. Here are eight tips for creating faith communities among young adults:

1. Tie it to an interest.


Tips for young adults in search of community

By Christina Capecchi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Young Adults

It can be hard to find your place in the church when you are in your 20s and 30s. You're no longer a teenager in a youth group or a college student at a campus ministry center. How do you find your peers and a community that will help you continue to develop your faith? It takes work, but here are some suggestions: 

1. Put out your feelers. Information may not come from one obvious place, so scope out your local church, call the diocese, surf the web, post a Facebook status, and ask a few people in the know.


In good company: Young adults search for community

By Christina Capecchi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Young Adults
If you're looking for a faith community, you're not alone.

The day after graduating from Marquette University, Michelle Scaperlanda packed her vitals into a Toyota Highlander--laundry detergent, Macbook, Nike running shoes--popped the sun roof and embarked on a 500-mile trek from Milwaukee to Omaha.


It makes a difference whether you're Catholic

By James Breig| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Spirituality
In the May 1979 Sounding Board that inspired the 75th anniversary essay of the same title by Angela C. Batie, James Breig explains why it matters if you're Catholic.

An acquaintance recently returned to the church after more than 10 years of apostasy. One motivation for coming back was the religious education of her son, who was nearing the age for First Communion. His growth had spurred her to reconsider her religious views.


It makes a difference whether you're Catholic

By Angela C. Batie| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Scripture and Theology Spirituality Young Adults
Not even the deepest frustrations and disappointments can undo the sense that belonging to the Catholic Church makes a difference—for ourselves and for others. 

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