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.


All in favor?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Scripture and Theology
There’s more democracy in the church than you might think.

If there’s anything that will turn you off democracy, it has to be a U.S. presidential election. From obnoxious robo-calls to venomous attack ads to an inbox full of e-mails begging for just $25 more—it’s enough to make one long for a benevolent dictatorship. Too bad benevolent dictators are so hard to come by.


Foreign ministry

By Jeff Parrott| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
The shortage of priests has made some places in the United States “mission territory,” drawing clergy the world over to a parish near you.

One would expect to be nervous in his situation, but his warm, frequent smiles make him seem at ease this evening.


When bad things happen to good parishes

By Father Paul Boudreau| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
Parishes can’t always anticipate impending disaster, but there’s plenty they can do to prepare and protect themselves from the worst.

When bad things happen to good parishes

By Father Paul Boudreau| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
Parishes can’t always anticipate impending disaster, but there’s plenty they can do to prepare and protect themselves from the worst.

Pages