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. 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 (

The Wall Street Journal reports on how churches, Catholic and Protestant, are rethinking religious education, including foregoing weekly classes for intense summer lessons. The stakes are high across all denominations seeking to inculcate a new generation in the faith.

The First Presbyterian Church of Chicago is providing a temporary home for a Catholic parish whose church was damaged by fire.

Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh's main source of information about the church is their parish bulletin, followed by their pastor and the Pittsburgh Catholic, the diocesan newspaper. The findings, from a study done by the diocese, reflects national findings. Diocesan officials acknowledge the survey is skewed towards older adults, and are seeking ways to engage younger Catholics.

Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Indiatlantic, Fla., is sponsoring a fundraiser Nov. 21 for its Heart Out to Haiti campaign. The idea is to relate the Nativity Christmas story with families in Haiti seeking decent shelter.

Mass in the Archdiocese of Atlanta is now offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Igbo, Creole and Korean, reflecting the increased ethnic diversity of Catholic parishes in Georgia. The archdiocese is addressing these changes by forming a new Office of Interethnic Diversity, to be led by Jairo Martinez, formerly director of Latino ministry. More than half the Catholics in the archdiocese will be Latino within the next 10 years, the archdiocese predicts.

Lay evangelist Gus Lloyd discusses what parishes, and ordinary Catholics, can do to make the faith more attractive. 

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

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