Now that the Catholic Conversation has been successfully running for awhile we are going to start doing a monthly compendium highlighting the topics that have been discussed over the previous month (or in this case the last 6 or 7 weeks):
With the implementation of the New Translation of the Roman Missal during Advent, Brian Starks wrote several posts on the topic–one exploring his own personal experience with the New Translation and another highlighting videos on the topic. Additionally Brian and Lucas Sharma both blogged about ideas and called for sociological research on the New Mass Translation, and Mike McCallion discussed research on the placement of the tabernacle in the post-Vatican II era and linked these decisions to a liturgical movement.
In addition to the topic of the New Mass Translation, Carol Ann MacGregor has blogged about and provided research data regarding the decline of women religious and the growth of Hispanic populations and the possible effects these demographic changes are having on American Catholicism. She also reflected on the news of Catholic school closures in Philadelphia and presented graphical data depicting changes in the number of school aged children enrolled in Catholic schools over time.
Gary Adler explored research on the the impact of congregational mission trips. He also recalled Catholics’ historic connection to Saul Alinsky and mentioned recent sociological research hinting at the important benefits which have accrued to congregational communities as a result of that unique connection.
More recently, the topic of the New Evangelization and reflection on the Catholics Come Home campaign have emerged. In discussing Catholics Come Home, we highlighted research and discussion by Mark Gray at CARA on whether or not these programs will or have had the desired effects in bringing Catholics into the fold long term. We also mentioned the ICL YouTube channel and showed a video of Archbishop Dolan discussing Human Dignity at Notre Dame.
Catholic Books Review was highlighted as a great source of information on what to read, and we discussed books on contemporary trends in American Religion and Latino Catholicism in particular. Looking at articles instead of books, we blogged about second graders’ first experiences with the Sacrament of Reconciliation and research on religion and health, specifically an article on religious doubt and sleep quality.
Finally, though this blog serves to provide research, data, and opinions on sociological research on the Catholic Church around the country, it can also provide a place for parishioners to reflect on their experiences of Church. Brian, in one of his posts, shared the story of a parishioner’s reflection on how his parish felt to him like family, and we hope that readers will share more such stories with us.