The Field Hospital: Covering parish life

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by Peter Feuerherd

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Editor's note: "The Field Hospital" blog series covers life in U.S. and Canadian Catholic parishes. The title comes from Pope Francis' words: "I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. …"

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Wall Street gets involved in Catholic school education. But now that they're in the tent, these camels aren't leaving. Are parish schools Catholic identity at risk? This article looks at campaigns in Boston and elsewhere.

The bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, warns that diocese will undergo a massive consolidation, as dozens of parishes will be closed. It's a rural issue there: Seems like urban and suburban Des Moines is growing, as are its parishes, but the farm areas of the state are in stark population decline and Catholics there cannot support existing churches.

We can still be friends, musically. Commentator for EWTN news service suggests that Catholic tradition has room for both Gregorian chant and African American gospel music, as well as other more contemporary forms.

A parishioner bequeaths $750,000 to her Massachusetts parish. She dies soon before the parish is officially closed by the Diocese of Springfield. Who gets the money? A judge decides.

Syrian refugees welcomed by parishes in the Archdiocese of Hartford; they have been settling there since September.

Parishes in the Archdiocese of New York focus on Pope Francis' Year of Mercy. The parishes are taking turns hosting.

[Peter Feuerherd is a professor of communications and journalism at St. John's University in New York and contributor to NCR's Field Hospital blog.]

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