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.


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.


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. 

Issues that matter: U.S. Catholic through the years

By Father Raymond A. Schroth, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life

In 1961 Robert E. Burns, the executive editor of the Voice of St. Jude, told a group of editors at the Catholic Press Association Convention in Vancouver that "the Catholic press has suffered too long at the hands of well-meaning but untrained and unskilled practitioners."

He called for attractive layout, meeting the readers' needs, and "teaser titles" to pull the reader in.


The great awakening: How lay people have shaken up the church

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Scripture and Theology
The Second Vatican Council unleashed a wave of lay participation in the church—and there’s no turning back.

Joan Higgins remembers when things began to change at her San Francisco parish. "It was 1968," she says. "We had a new young pastor who was very forward-looking. He turned around the altar, moved the tabernacle to one side, and instituted a moment of collective silence for reflection after communion." The young priest also introduced another innovation: a parish council.


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