Parish roundup: Catholic-Muslim relations; priests engaging social culture

This article appears in the The Field Hospital feature series. View the full series.


Palestinians pray at Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem's Old City May 18. (CNS/Reuters/Ammar Awad)

A story for these troubled times in interfaith relations: Karen and Stephen Jackson are active in social justice activism at Christ the Servant Parish in Woodridge, Illinois, in the Joliet Diocese. They attended the Social Action Summer Institute July 15-19 at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. At the meeting, Karen told a story about reaction to the banner they recently placed on their front lawn proclaiming, "To Our Muslim Neighbors Blessed Ramadan." At the time, they didn't even think they had Muslim neighbors. But an anonymous letter arrived with a note of thanks from a local Muslim. It included a passage from the New Testament: "He who does not love does not know God."

A program in the Chicago Archdiocese focuses on immigrant leadership.

The Catholic University of America offers a program to train leaders in the business side of parishes.

Even in Wisconsin, the ice melts. So a winter sculptor changes to marble as his medium for religious figures.

A Camden, New Jersey, parishioner works in outreach to homeless veterans

A parish that supported pro-life ministry comes under political fire in Las Vegas.

Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are promoting his active parish life in Northern Virginia, including his volunteer work for Catholic Charities.

Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron argues that priests should engage the popular culture. Writer Phil Lawler counters that they should focus on the confessional and leave it to the laity to evangelize outside church walls.

[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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