The Field Hospital: Covering parish life

Former parishioners at the now-closed St. Frances Cabrini Church in Scituate, Mass., are seen holding a vigil in mid-May 2015. (CNS/Christopher S. Pineo, Pilot photo)
This article appears in the The Field Hospital feature series. View the full series.

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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Christian congregations are doing more service, and less politics, an Indiana University study says. An exception, however, are Catholic churches with large Latino populations, which in recent years have ratcheted up political involvement.

The occupation of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in Scituate, Mass., a parish slated to close 11 years ago, will finish at the end of this month. A court ruling gave dissident parishioners no other choice. Occupier leaders say they will continue on as a congregation at another location independent of the Boston archdiocese.

Here's a rundown on what happens when Catholic parishioners go rogue and independent from their dioceses.

Meanwhile, a church in the Manchester, N.H., diocese, is being reopened, in this case to establish a place where the Latin Rite will be celebrated.

A trend is emerging in urban areas around the country where developers are eagerly seeking church property. They are located in areas where neighborhoods are booming but church finances are not. The Wall Street Journal reports from Chicago.

Chicagoans respond to the possibility of ordaining women as deacons.

St. Paul's Church in Fort McMurray, Alberta, appears to be a victim in the wildfires engulfing the area.

A Kansas City, Mo., bingo earns more than a million dollars for Catholic education.

[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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