By Joseph Kenny | email@example.com | twitter: @josephkenny2
Before Feb. 10, the two Catholics and three Baptists had never met. But after a Taizé service at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis, they opened up.
When they broke off from the larger group to discuss trust and fear, laughter erupted a couple times as they learned a little about their differences and similarities. Other times they listened closely as each described struggles they've had and how those difficulties led to a stronger faith when they realized God was at their side.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Andres Ramirez now has the theological background and formation to support his volunteer endeavors at Incarnation/Sagrado Corazon de Jesus in Minneapolis.
Ramirez, who doesn't speak fluent English, recently graduated with the first all-Spanish speaking cohort to earn an undergraduate lay ministry certificate in theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The 45 students have attended lectures in Spanish on Tuesday nights since the spring 2014.
By Dave Luecking | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @legacyCatholic
John Schwob, the "numbers guy" for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, offers one word to address the decline of Catholics' participation over the years.
"Evangelization," he said, succinctly.
The director of the Office of Pastoral Planning, Schwob churns out, mines and analyzes data in massive amounts. Virtually all of the statistics in the archdiocese run through him: demographics for a parish, an area or the archdiocese as a whole; enrollments for Catholic schools; plus, baptisms, first Communions, confirmations, marriages, offertories, Mass attendance and more.
VATICAN CITY — 'Tis the season for a huge assortment of holiday concerts and carols to choose from, making Advent and Christmas a unique period for reminding people of the evergreen beauty of sacred music.
And music can be that gentle lure that helps welcome and embrace those who have become distant from the Church, said one liturgy and music expert.