Parish roundup: church building reuse; follow the donations

by Peter Feuerherd

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Media critic Terry Mattingly urges reporters to look beyond architecture and design issues to explore why so many churches in the U.S. are being sold for secular purposes.

What does a church open to LGBT people look like?

Fr. August Thompson, a Louisiana priest, recently died at the age of 93. An African American, Thompson worked to engage the church in the struggle against racism.

One fallout from the sex abuse crisis is a lack of trust regarding church finances. Case in point: A parish elementary school in the Pittsburgh Diocese is closed, and now parishioners wonder where the money they raised went. The school only had 39 students enrolled when the decision was made to close it.

In the Buffalo Diocese, a parish hall is named for a priest sex abuser, and one of his victims wants the name removed.

Some 85 families at Sacred Heart Church in Canton, Mississippi, were affected by last month's Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids at meat-processing plants. The parish is helping them out, led by a pastor who is an immigrant who speaks Spanish with an Irish brogue.

Abortion politics complicate the relationship between Latino immigrant parishioners and the Democratic party.

[Peter Feuerherd is NCR news editor. His email address is]

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