The Field Hospital: Covering parish life

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. …"

If you have a story suggestion, send it to Dan Morris-Young (dmyoung@ncronline.org) or Peter Feuerherd (pfeuerherd@ncronline.org).


Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento reflects on the development of the church in California. While Catholicism has deep roots in the state, going back to the Spanish missions, he notes that its present form is a post-World War II development, and marks it as different from East Coast Catholicism. The difference is seen particularly in how the Church ministers to immigrants. Also, he notes, there is a growing anti-religion feeling in the state, reflected in symbolic gestures that, while relatively insignificant, point to deeper realities. 

Catholics mark 50 years of growth and expansion in Hilton Head, S.C. 

A Manhattan parish is entrusted to the care of Opus Dei. 

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A community activist in West Baltimore, a troubled neighborhood, works with St. Peter Claver Church to make change happen. 

Christians around Albany, N.Y., post signs welcoming Ramadan and their Muslim neighbors. (Subscription required)

Mergers hit parishioners in the Pittsburgh diocese. 

The debate over the statute of limitations for sex abuse gets intense in the Philadelphia archdiocese. Catholic legislators are being called out in their parish bulletins and from the pulpit. 

Parishioners are asked to reflect upon the first anniversary of Laudato Si', Pope Francis' landmark document on the environment. 

[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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