Sep 17, 2008

Catholics pray for more priests as bishops shut down beautiful churches

Reuters reported yesterday (click on this post's title) on parishioners of St. James Church in the Boston suburb of Wellesley who are taking turns occupying the church to try to keep the Archdiocese of Boston from shuttering it.

The church is one of "more than 60" that the archdiocese has closed.

Outside the church, by the street, the parishioners have strung up a large banner that reads, "Searching for a Priest" -- and they have added a smaller banner with the word "Still" above it.

The parishioners, led by Joe Elliott, 81, know the odds are against them.

The Reuters story cites Georgetown's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate as its source for saying that "More than 850 parishes nationwide have [been] shut since 1995 -- the majority since 2000..."

The article also says, "Of the nation's 18,479 parishes in 2008, 3,141 were without resident pastors, while the 480 priests ordained in 2008 is less than half the number of new priests in 1965."

Of course, church closings are not a problem out here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. We just go along gaily preparing to turn sisters and lay women into pastorettes.

(Thanks to for the tip about the news story.)


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