Parish counciling

By Gregory F. Augustine Pierce| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
Lord knows these organizations need some help serving their communities.

OK, children, gather around. I'll tell you what life was like before parish councils, back when my hair was brown and my dreams were green.

The pastor pretty much ran things, and that was fine with most of us. First of all, we didn't have to go to a lot of boring meetings. Second, we were free to complain to one another (and sometimes to him) about what was wrong with the parish without feeling one iota of guilt or responsibility. Finally, we didn't have to go to a lot of boring meetings.


Parish counciling

By Gregory F. Augustine Pierce| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
Lord knows these organizations need some help serving their communities.

OK, children, gather around. I'll tell you what life was like before parish councils, back when my hair was brown and my dreams were green.

The pastor pretty much ran things, and that was fine with most of us. First of all, we didn't have to go to a lot of boring meetings. Second, we were free to complain to one another (and sometimes to him) about what was wrong with the parish without feeling one iota of guilt or responsibility. Finally, we didn't have to go to a lot of boring meetings.


Collection racket

By Robert J. McClory| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
The arresting frequency of parish embezzlement

If the pastor had not stepped down, the embezzlement might have continued indefinitely. But when Father Brian Lisowski, pastor of St. Bede the Venerable, a large parish on Chicago’s Southwest Side, resigned in 2004, the Sunday Mass collection suddenly ballooned by more than $2,500 a week. A police investigation indicated Lisowski had stolen about $1.1 million during his five-year tenure. “No one suspected a thing,” says Father William Stenzel, who replaced Lisowski as pastor at St. Bede’s.


Collection racket

By Robert J. McClory| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
The arresting frequency of parish embezzlement

If the pastor had not stepped down, the embezzlement might have continued indefinitely. But when Father Brian Lisowski, pastor of St. Bede the Venerable, a large parish on Chicago’s Southwest Side, resigned in 2004, the Sunday Mass collection suddenly ballooned by more than $2,500 a week. A police investigation indicated Lisowski had stolen about $1.1 million during his five-year tenure. “No one suspected a thing,” says Father William Stenzel, who replaced Lisowski as pastor at St. Bede’s.


Make room in the pew, and smile

By Darcee Thomason| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

We were nervous walking into the new parish for the first time. My husband and I settled our three children into a pew near the rear for a quick escape if we needed. We brought a backpack of small toys and favorite books. Most of our concern stemmed from our then-6-year-old daughter, Rachel, who is severely autistic. Would she behave? Would she have a meltdown? Would the other parishioners accept our family, or would we see icy stares, hear the under-the-breath comments, be subjected to the unsolicited advice we had experienced elsewhere?


Make room in the pew, and smile

By Darcee Thomason| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

We were nervous walking into the new parish for the first time. My husband and I settled our three children into a pew near the rear for a quick escape if we needed. We brought a backpack of small toys and favorite books. Most of our concern stemmed from our then-6-year-old daughter, Rachel, who is severely autistic. Would she behave? Would she have a meltdown? Would the other parishioners accept our family, or would we see icy stares, hear the under-the-breath comments, be subjected to the unsolicited advice we had experienced elsewhere?


Make room in the pew, and smile

By Darcee Thomason| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

We were nervous walking into the new parish for the first time. My husband and I settled our three children into a pew near the rear for a quick escape if we needed. We brought a backpack of small toys and favorite books. Most of our concern stemmed from our then-6-year-old daughter, Rachel, who is severely autistic. Would she behave? Would she have a meltdown? Would the other parishioners accept our family, or would we see icy stares, hear the under-the-breath comments, be subjected to the unsolicited advice we had experienced elsewhere?


Tough love: The challenges of parenting special needs children

By Kristin Peterson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family
Having a child with special needs can test one’s faith in God and in the parish community.

As a theologian Mary Beth Walsh of Maplewood, New Jersey had studied about suffering and injustice. But not until Walsh learned that her son, Benedict, had autism did she really understand what she had learned.

“When Ben was diagnosed, my first reaction was normal—I was really disappointed and angry with God,” explains Walsh, a lecturer in theology and pastoral ministry at Caldwell College in New Jersey.


Tough love: The challenges of parenting special needs children

By Kristin Peterson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family
Having a child with special needs can test one’s faith in God and in the parish community.

As a theologian Mary Beth Walsh of Maplewood, New Jersey had studied about suffering and injustice. But not until Walsh learned that her son, Benedict, had autism did she really understand what she had learned.

“When Ben was diagnosed, my first reaction was normal—I was really disappointed and angry with God,” explains Walsh, a lecturer in theology and pastoral ministry at Caldwell College in New Jersey.


Gag order

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Vatican
Pumping up priesthood at the expense of lay ministry is no way to renew the church.

The full, conscious, and active participation of laypeople in the liturgy took another hit in May, when Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis ordered pastors in his diocese to end lay preaching at Mass, effective with his retirement on May 2 and the succession of Archbishop John Nienstedt. Nearly 30 parishes in the archdiocese had at least some lay preaching at Mass. The practice had been going on for 25 years, according to Catholic News Service.


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