Parish roundup: Green revolution; sanctuary by Methodists; Muskogee today

This story appears in the The Field Hospital feature series. View the full series.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, March 23, in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, March 23, in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

by Peter Feuerherd

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Spurred on by Pope Francis, the "green revolution" hits Catholic parishes, in some places more quickly than others. Cardinal Sean O'Malley is taking the lead in the Boston Archdiocese.

The Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, wants to demolish a church, but local historic preservationists have other ideas.

The new bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina, brings a Latino perspective to ministry in a state with a growing number of Hispanic Catholics. (Look for a future article in this space about how Latinos are transforming parish life in North Carolina).

In the Hartford Archdiocese, some are concerned that recent parish closings could mean an end to area soup kitchens, particularly in one New Haven suburb.

Churches in Texas respond to Trump administration immigration policies. An evangelical minister tries an innovative approach: He is bringing prayer services into homes where people fear to leave.

Meanwhile, a United Methodist church in Colorado provides sanctuary for an immigrant threatened with deportation. She formerly worked for the local Catholic parish. The people sheltered are often Catholic, but it's the Methodists who seem to be out in front on the sanctuary issue.

He is proud to be an Okie from Muskogee. A pastor reflects on his time in the Oklahoma town, made famous by Merle Haggard's country anthem. Being a Catholic pastor in Muskogee these days means learning a lot of Spanish and at least some Vietnamese. 

[Peter Feuerherd is a correspondent for NCR's Field Hospital series on parish life and is a professor of journalism at St. John's University, New York.]

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