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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Peter Feuerherd (email@example.com).
While plenty are leaving the church, there's another movement through the front door. For example, some 880 adults and children in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are preparing to enter the church this Easter. The initiation rites remain a central part of Lenten observance in many parishes.
Archbishop Cupich of Chicago offers his vision of parish life. Meanwhile, the tough decisions begin: the majestic St. Adalbert's Church in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood is slated for closure (subscription required).
In other Windy City news: The pastor criticizes the police and his parishioners are hit with parking tickets. That's according to Fr. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina's Church in Chicago.
Visit EarthBeat, NCR's new reporting project that explores the ways Catholics and other faith groups are taking action on the climate crisis.
A Rhode Island deacon offers advice on what parishes can do to help stem the tide of drug addiction.
Faith communities in Raleigh, N.C., provide a home and support for Iraqi refugees.
A surprising discovery: the remains of a Catholic parish cemetery in the oldest city in the U.S., St. Augustine, Fla.
[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.]