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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Catholic churches in Nova Scotia are helping grieving families cope with the high cost of funerals. Parishes are beginning to offer wakes on church grounds.

A "Bread of Life" Drive brings Notre Dame alums together to gather food for the poor on Staten Island, N.Y. The effort enlists the aid of students from both Catholic and public schools.

Tenants in Cleveland are hit with a doubling of their rents. The landlord: St. Rocco's Church. After an outcry, it looks like the parish is backing off, at least for now.

A parish bookkeeper pleads not guilty to stealing $200,000 from a Minnesota parish. Meanwhile, a priest in Burlington, Vt., is suspended for misusing $20,000 in parish funds and also for inappropriate language while on the job. In this news clip, Bishop Christopher Coyne notes that there is one standard he will use for both priests and lay employees in his diocese.

Here's photographic proof that Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston knows how to use a weed whacker. He's part of a service week for archdiocesan employees who offer their labor to parishes.

Gini Eagen, New Jersey-born but a long-time Georgia resident and member of Corpus Christi Church in Stone Mountain, is honored for 30 years of service that took her around the world for refugee work in Sudan to the slums of Jamaica and El Salvador.

[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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