Parish roundup: Phoenix shifting from Irish to African priests; people who go to church, volunteer live longer

Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, leads nearly 1,000 worshippers in prayer before the Eucharist in Portland June 3, the Feast of Corpus Christi. (CNS/Catholic Sentinel/Ed Langlois)

by Peter Feuerherd

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African priests serving in the United States gather for a conference in Chandler, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb. It's an appropriate site. The Phoenix Diocese has seen enormous growth, and much of its ministerial needs have shifted from Irish to African priests. Thirty priests from Africa now serve in the archdiocese.

Some Catholics are exploring the "Benedict Option," a phrase coined by writer Rod Dreher, which focuses on developing Christian communities set apart from what is seen as an increasingly corrupt, secularized world. Pasta dinners play a role.

Parishioners at St. Rose of Lima Church in York, Pennsylvania, are shocked to learn that of 72 priests accused of sex abuse in the Harrisburg Diocese, 31 have served in their parish.

A Minnesota dairy farmer explores how the impact of closing churches has affected Christian denominations across the board.

A former church in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, will be repurposed as a bistro

Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, issues a compendium of liturgical practice for parishes.

Want to send a message about the sex abuse crisis? Some parishioners are considering withholding donations.

African American Catholicism is celebrated at a New Orleans conference.

Want to live a long life? Ohio State researchers discover that those with church affiliations live longer. They theorize it's about the need for social connections.

[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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