The Field Hospital: Covering parish life throughout America

This article appears in the The Field Hospital feature series. View the full series.

Parishioners at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Bayonne, N.J., a part of the Newark, N.J., archdiocese, will be taking their case to keep their church open to the Vatican after the archdiocese announced plans for the church to close as part of a restructuring of Catholic ministry. They are led by a parish trustee and former mayor of the small industrial city. Demonstrators at the archdiocesan cathedral have made their displeasure known. Most times these appeals uphold the position of the bishop, yet, as occurred most recently in the Cleveland diocese, they can go in favor of parishioners.

Charles Zech of Villanova University School of Business notes that parish giving among Catholics remains low, about 1.2 percent of income, less than half of Protestants. He attributes the decline to dwindling church attendance, the fallout of the sex abuse crisis, and a lack of professional management in parishes.

The U.S, bishops are urging parishes to participate in National Bible Week this weekend. Among other events, Bibles will be blessed in participating parishes.

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Oblate Fr. Mike Depcik leads a deaf community in Detroit. Depcik, who is deaf himself, frequently travels the Midwest pointing out the needs of a Catholic community with its own language and culture. 


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