Monday, April 11, 2005

In grave state, Catholic Church awaits a champion

It is myopic only to see a crisis in Europe:

This is in America
" The number of Catholic priests has fallen from 58,000 to 45,000. By 2020, there will be 31,000 and half will be older than 70.
� In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained. In 2002, the number was 450. Some 3,000 parishes are today without priests.
� From 1965 to 2002, the number of seminarians fell from 49,999 to 4,700, a decline of more than 90 percent. Two-thirds of the seminaries open in 1965 have since closed their doors.
� The number of Catholic nuns, 180,000 in 1965, has fallen by 60 percent. Their average age is now 68. The number of teaching nuns has fallen 94 percent since the close of Vatican II.
� The number of young men studying to be Jesuits has fallen 90 percent and the number of those studying to be Christian Brothers 99 percent. The religious orders seem to be dying out in America.
� Almost half the Catholic high schools open in 1965 have closed. There were 4.5 million students in Catholic schools in the mid-1960s. Today, there are about half that many.
� Only 10 percent of lay religious teachers in 2002 accepted church teaching on contraception, 53 percent believed a Catholic woman could get an abortion and remain a good Catholic, 65 percent said Catholics have a right to divorce and remarry, and in a New York Times poll, 70 percent of Catholics ages 18 to 54 said they believed the Holy Eucharist was but a ``symbolic reminder'' of Jesus.� Where three in four Catholics attended Mass on Sunday in 1958, today one in four do."

As world still weeps, Boston parishes rev up fight

Says it all: "I love the Catholic faith, and I want to raise my children with the same sense of love and devotion,'' Dew said, her words trailing off into sobs. "But Archbishop Sean, you are making that very, very difficult.''

Diocese may launch capital campaign

Good news from Diocese of Austin.

In Honor of Pope John Paul II

The Chartwell Trust launches campaign to narrow resource gap faced by Catholic schools. Just keep this money away from the Diocesan bureaucrats.

St Alphonsus Church, Schumacher, Canada

An e-mail from Canada: I am saddened to tell you of our church closing on April 3, 2005. St. Alphonsus Church is in Schumacher, Ontario, Canada and we were a vibrant viable parish that tried for 15 months to keep our beloved church open. We met with our bishop on eight occassions and even appealed to Pope John Paul sending a comprehensive package to Rome in May 2004. We cannot understand why the Catholic Church is closing the doors of viable churches that are pleading to stay open. Our community church has been taken away from us. It is also a beautiful church as a talented parishioner painted the walls with paintings based on the Sistine Chapel. We are feeling quite lost and abandoned. Some of us continue to pray for a miracle.
 Posted by Hello

One of the former Parish Priests was the great Father Costello.

Tantus labor non sit cassus- that so great a work should not be in vain.

A fuller description of the Bishop's hardness of heart.

This is the announcement from the Diocese. If they put half the efforts into pastoral care, that is now put into Committee work, the Diocese would be thriving. And what many could take for a sick joke, the Bishop proclaims a "year of the parish"!

St Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church and founder of the great missionary order, the Redemptorists, intercede for this Church. May the Redemptorists discover their lost sense of mission. Posted by Hello

In the church, on their own terms

Do-it-for-yourself religion which claims to be a part of Catholicism. If you want to see where DIFY religion takes you, take a look at the Church of England. A Lutheran minister came up with the excellent comment on the idea that modernisation would help the Catholic Church to recover in Europe; if modernisation were the answer, why aren't the protestant churches full. The problems go much deeper than the secularisation of Europe. A fundamental lack of the missionary spirit is exemplified in the Philippines.
And, as a letter in the Times has it, the Church stands for its beliefs or it is nothing.