Parish roundup: Outdoor weddings; Arkansas growth; black Catholic history

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

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Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, gives Communion Sept. 24, 2017, to a member of a new Catholic community in Decatur named for Blessed Stanley Rother. (CNS/Courtesy of Catholic Extension/Rich Kalonick)
Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, gives Communion Sept. 24, 2017, to a member of a new Catholic community in Decatur named for Blessed Stanley Rother. The community is a mission of St. Mary Parish in Siloam. (CNS/Courtesy of Catholic Extension/Rich Kalonick)

Perhaps the beginning of a trend? The Baltimore Archdiocese will now grant permission for outdoor weddings. The change was announced as a way to reach out to young adult Catholics at a critical point in their lives.

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Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," takes shape in parishes in the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois.

How Catholic parishioners in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese will pay for a landmark massive sex abuse settlement.

Jesuit Fr. James Martin will speak this summer at the Catholic World Meeting of Families in Dublin on the theme of how parishes can welcome the LGBT community.

A Massachusetts bishop reports that parishioners are looking for a more transparent church.

The Scottish government is concerned about growing social isolation. The Catholic Church says it can help through its parishes by providing social connections to the lonely.

Four U.S. dioceses are celebrating 175th anniversaries this year. They are Chicago; Milwaukee; Hartford, Connecticut; and Little Rock, Arkansas. Only Little Rock is experiencing growth, a sign of the future of the church, which in the U.S. is increasingly focused on the West and the South.

A historical tour highlights black Catholic history in Louisiana.

Paplin, Nebraska, is now a ghost town. The Catholic church there, still used occasionally, is said to have survived because of a tornado miracle.

[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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