The Field Hospital: Covering parish life throughout America

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

by Peter Feuerherd

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Editor's note: "The Field Hospital" is NCRonline's newest blog series, covering life in Catholic parishes across the United States and Canada. The title comes from the words of Pope Francis: "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. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. ... And you have to start from the ground up."

"The Field Hospital" blog will run twice weekly on along with feature stories and news reports about parish life in the U.S. If you have a story suggestion, send it to Dan Morris Young ( or Peter Feuerherd ( Please note that we welcome story suggestions from Canada as well.

John Coyle, a member of the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary’s in Wilmington, N.C., reports that his parish is active on the social outreach front. St. Mary’s connects with a sister parish in Honduras, provides direct service to the poor via medical and dental clinics, and offers a new jobs training program for local Latinos. The pastor is Fr. Robert Kus, who celebrates seven weekend Masses, two of which are in Spanish. Wilmington, off the Cape Fear River, is a popular vacation spot and visiting NCR readers might want to visit the shrine when they are in the area.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl weighs in on whether parishes should be allowed to hire those in same-sex marriages.

A Catholic church in Pennsylvania goes Russian Orthodox.

A parish earns praise for sensitivity to communicants suffering from gluten issues.

Where do you turn when you publicly identify as a lesbian and support church teaching on sexuality? A famous author has some suggestions.

A new church, designed to be green in the spirit of Pope Francis’ teachings on the environment, is dedicated in the Archdiocese of Miami.

The argument that religious education should trump youth soccer.

[Regular Catholic press contributor Peter Feuerherd writes from Queens, N.Y.] 

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