The 'Two Churches' of the United States

The Catholic Church is going through a 'two church' phenomenon, according to Mark Gray, a researcher for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).  He notes that pastors in different parts of the country tend to be worried about different things (keeping the lights on versus finding space for more pews and parking spaces). Twenty-five states have fewer parishes than they did 50 years ago; among those states is Missouri, which has 48 fewer parishes. Most of the closings have been in the Northeast, where many churches of the 19th and 20th centuries that served immigrants from Italy, Germany, Ireland, and Poland have vanished, as descendants of these immigrants have moved out of the large cities. At the same time, the Church cannot open parishes fast enough for the growing Catholic population in the South and West, which includes new generations of immigrants. The biggest increases in the number of parishes have been in Texas (293), Florida (165), and Arizona and New Mexico (121).

October 28, 2019 - 2:41pm
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