Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving!

So what happens when you have nothing really to say and you decide just to sit down and start typing something for Thanksgiving?

Well, this.

Although school is closed and for the next two days (TWO DAYS!) the offices are closed, the rectory is a hopping place.  The place is teaming with priests and seminarians today - mostly for food, cards, and prayer.  Tomorrow it will be teaming with family.  And then Friday, blessed peace (and catching up on all the stuff I didn't get done today and tomorrow.)

Thanksgiving Day Mass is always one of my favorites.  Nobody has to be there and those that do show up are extra eager to participate.  There is so much to do at home - cook - prepare - sleep in - a million things, but this stalwart gathering of Catholics take the meaning of this day to its height and begin with this most privileged form of giving thanks to God from Whom all of our blessing come.

If you have a couple of extra minutes to spare over these next two days, try to become creative in coming up with what you are grateful for really, everything is so closely knit together that the most mundane things are essential for our life and joy.

Do you realize how many people it takes to make your Thanksgiving Day possible?  Consider the humble pumpkin pie that one can so mindlessly shovel into his mouth even after saying, "I couldn't possibly eat another bite."  Forget that, it's too much to think about.  Just think about the plate in which it was baked.  Even that is too much!!!  You will be amazed at how interconnected we all are.  

Let's say its an aluminum pie tin.  Forget about all the people it took to discover aluminum (based on thousands of discoveries by thousands of others) and those who discovered, improved, manipulated, tested, experimented, and formed it into the shape that it has today.  That would take too much.  Forget about the people who had to mine the materials for it because that would lead us to a discussion about the people who had to make the machinery for it to be mined, refined the fuel on which the machines would operate, transported it, regulated it, sold it, bought it, stored it . . . 


Okay, so take for granted that it was mined.  Now that I think of it - let's skip the part that it was made.  Then we have to get in to the people who own the company that thought of making the pie tin, those who were sent out to buy the materials, the banks involved in the transaction, the designers of the tin, those who make the machinery to make the tin, the people in the country that work in the factories where it was made including the janitors who keep the place clean and safe . . .

SKIP ALL THAT!  That alone would take a month.  So, it's made and makes it's way from, say, China to your store.  Of course there are all the people involved with figuring out where it needs to go so that you can get it.  Stores are contracted to sell them.  Accountants figure out how much it can be sold for.  Marketing people design packages, a ship is enlisted for the trip from China, along with truck drivers, warehouses, and space on trains possibly.  Lawyers are involved at every step of the way to make sure things and contracts are on the up and up.  The government is there to make sure that the tins are safe for food consumption, that taxes are paid (to help pay for the roads on which the travel and pay the people who inspect them to make sure that they are safe and that when the package says that there are three of the them that there actually is three of them. . .

Arg!  TOO MUCH AGAIN and we only scratched the surface.

Then in the store - the stock boy, the cashier, the janitors, the security guy that stands by the door, the bagger, the manager, and the owner, his accountants and staff . . .  those who design the layout of the store, the government who regulates the safety of the place, the police, fire, and first responders who are on call should anything go wrong, all the people responsible for the electricity making it safely and reliably into the store so you can read the price tag - Oh man!  Do you realized how many people are involved in just making that stupid price tag . . .


Maybe just be thankful for Mom for making the pie.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Their idea of changing the world is just to say no to everything.  I don't think you can really change anything less you're willing to say yes."  from Garth Halberg's "City on Fire"

QUOTE II:  "To notice a thing is to become responsible for it."  same source.


As you know, I bought a typewriter.  So what does one do with a typewriter?  I tried an art project.  I drew a picture of a friend of mind relaxing with some things he said filling the space behind him.  I though it turned out rather interestingly. 

Mary sent in THIS LINK to a new book by Archbishop Chaput.

Want to know what you bishops had to say about pornography?  Find the link HERE.

Ralph and Becky sent in THIS ARTICLE about a guy who is a college football player and seminarian.

Frank sent this video in.  It isn't really in keeping with the purpose of this blog but I enjoyed it.

Monday, November 23, 2015


I thought I had done a fairly good job of not becoming too reliant on technology.  But it only took one hiccup to realize to what depth I have fallen.

You know how when the electricity goes out it doesn't stop you from trying on a light or other electrical device and then you go, "Duh!  There is no electricity!"  Well, a similar thing happened this weekend when the Internet went down.  (By the way, why is something like the Internet capitalized by heaven and earth are not?  Are not those proper names?  But I digress.)  

I couldn't do anything.  
The not being able to print my homily was probably the biggest scare.  I thought of taking my computer out on the pulpit but then thought better of it.  Instead I tried to hand write out my homily in the fifteen minutes that I had - not something someone with my poor penmanship skills should attempt.

No Internet also meant no TV, no uploading books, no Sunday podcasts that I enjoy.  How odd that it only took this one bit of technology to go rogue to bring down the effectiveness and enjoyment of my Sunday routine. 

But I suppose it was always so . . .

Friday, November 20, 2015


You are standing at the edge of the pool.  Crazily enough you are at the deep end!  You've never even thought about going in the deep end before but here you are and Dad is in the water facing you with his arms out and he says, "Come on, I'll catch you.  You'll be Okay.  Be brave."

But when you jump - that's it!  There is no turning around, nothing to grab on to, it's pure trust that Dad is going to save you or you drown.  So you hesitate.  Then Dad says, "Do you trust me?"

"Uh huh."  It comes out softly.

That was a profession of faith and you gave it just before you jumped.  As a matter of fact, it allowed you to jump.  Saying it out loud reminded you that you believe that this mythic creature known as Dad will keep you from being obliterated.  You simply need to listen, trust, jump, and maybe for a moment you will be under, for a moment that seems a lifetime there is nothing touching your body but air and then cool water, and then two firm hands raise you up eyes twinkling with pride.

So think of this:  There are two parts of the Mass.  There is Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  In the first part we are instructed about the life of faith.  In the second we jump into the void: heaven and earth collide, the visible and invisible meet, (if this were Star Trek, matter and anti-matter would be touching) time is warped, worlds collide, events slide into each other.  It is absolutely ridiculous that we come to Mass and sit behaving in our pews in our Sunday finest.  We should lashed into our pews in riot gear, ushers should come down the aisles with life preservers, and warning sirens should be going off.  If we really understood what was going on we should be scared witless.  We are entering the deep end!  

BUT, before we do, while we are still standing on the edge getting ready to jump in, we tell God, "I trust you - I believe in you."  "I believe in one God, the Father the Almighty . . . "  It is this profession of faith that allows us to jump.  Saying it out loud reminds us that we believe in this wonderful God known as the Father Who will keep us from being obliterated.  We listened, trusted, and are preparing to jump in hopefully with our heart and mind fully understanding what it is that we are doing.

This profession of faith is said on Sundays and more solemn celebrations.  It is preferred that it be sung (when was the last time you heard THAT outside of an extraordinary form Mass?) and is to be intoned by the priest UNLESS it seems more appropriate for it to be intoned by a cantor or choir such as a case where a priest cannot carry a tune a bucket.

It is to be sung or recited by all, or alternated between choir and people, or done by two choruses meaning, for example, the left side of the church says a stanza then the right side of the church says a stanza.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015


And not because Santa Clause is coming to town.

Recently the U. S. Embassy in Rome has warned United States Citizens to be on high alert if they are in St. Peter's Basilica, the Duomo in Milan, and in general churches and synagogues in Europe.  

A friend of mine just went to work at a Jewish elementary school in another state.  Out of concern for extremists, they have hired arm guards to patrol their school.

As a side anecdote, a few years ago a grandpa came to pick his grandson up from our school wearing a police uniform as he had just finished his shift and boy! did I get phone calls and letters, "What?!  Are we an armed camp now?  Are we going to subject our children to such things?"  It was a sad misunderstanding, but maybe not so crazy of an idea anymore.

We are not there, but it is not unimaginable that in the future we will start thinking twice about going to a crowded concert, play, or celebration.  We may become even more homebodies than we already are.  And one will argue whether this is a good thing or not.  "Stay safe!  Stay home!' or, "Don't let them win by staying home!"

But what about faith?  Will we find ourselves nervous about going to Mass?  Might we choose safety over communal worship of God?  If you ever wondered what it was to be a Christian of old when there was some risk for being Catholic (or of today depending on where you are in the world - there are still martyrs for the faith being made to this very year) you just might get the chance to find out first hand.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION:  Who do you want to be should you face such risk?  Do you want to be a Sebastian or a Catherine?  Do you want to be a person of your own convictions?  Do want to be a person of freedom of thought?  Then decide that now.  Decide you are going to be a person of fortitude now.  Pray for the courage of your convictions now.  Decide what is important to you now so IF the you are presented with the scenario of being scared to live your cherished core values, your inner strength, your earlier discernment of your hierarchy of beliefs to be defended, your course of life will see you through the rough waters of conflict.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


So here is a painting entitle, "A Candy Heart Pierced by a Candy Arrow or A Pop Mediation on the Sweet Suffering of St. Sebastian."  I don't have time or the space to tell you everything that I would like to about this painting or what the artists was trying to do but here we go:

Of course you think of heart when you think of love - think of the heart beating out of a cartoon character's chest.  And the arrow is a harmless looking one like one you might find at Boy Scout Camp.  

Next, we understand from the title that this is a candy heart which brings to mind the little candies passed around on St. Valentine's Day.  The arrow then can be reminiscent of Cupid's arrow that, when it strikes you, makes you fall helplessly in love.

Next, because of the title, we know that this painting is connected to St. Sebastian.  In his great love for God he was willing to risk all and head for Rome where the persecution against this Christian God was the greatest.  It was love of God and his fellow Christians that drew him there.  And if you know the story of St. Sebastian, you know that when he was found out, he was tied to a stake and shot with arrows.

Further, the colors the painter has chosen are the colors of St. Sebastian Parish in Akron.  Now all of the themes of St. Sebastian, his love of God, his story, and being patron of this parish all come together to give new meaning to something as secular as a candy heart.

Here is a way to "baptize" secular symbolism to remind us of God.  I would be willing to bet that in February when you pick up a candy heart it will mean more than just being a piece of mindless candy of a self indulgent sweet tooth.

What wonders we could work if we start taking control of the symbolic language of our culture.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


This is an old commercial for Coke Light.  Did you see how at the end the priest takes the sweat from the Coke can and anoints the girl?  This is very clever.  The hope is that when you see a priest perform this action, you will think of Coke Light.  (It worked for me apparently.  When I thought of this post this was the first image that came to mind.)

This symbol of the Sacred Heart is more rarely used in the Church circles now because it has been so secularized.  I really like this symbol too.

Crosses and crucifixes have long been tried to be secularized from the chest of Madonna, to men's earrings, to being a fashion accessory to hang on the wall.  "It's a statement, not a symbol that I am Christian," I would hear often.  That seems to be waining a bit.

You could probably come up with your own list of words, objets, and even holy days ([St.] Valentine's Day, Christmas) that have been or have tried to be secularized.  

This is yet again why art is so important.  We tend to be visual people.  If the effort to de-sacralize our symbols is successful, then our presence in our culture is that much more diminished.  

Some symbols are taken, others are freely given away.  Priests not wearing collars, religious not wearing habits, church buildings not looking like church buildings, our presence becomes static on the screen rather than a clear picture.  We need to take very good care of our symbols or we run the risk of fading into the background.  Secularized symbols are far more easy to throw away.  We give them up, they will be used up, drained of meaning, and then forgotten.

Tomorrow - one way to reverse the trend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Each particular Church should encourage the use of the arts in evangelization, building on the treasures of the past but also drawing upon the wide variety of contemporary expressions so as to transmit the faith in a new "language of parables." We must be bold enough to discover new signs and new symbols, new flesh to embody and communicate the word, and different forms of beauty which are valued in different cultural settings, including those conventional modes of beauty which may mean little to the evangelizers, yet prove particularly attractive for others."  from Pope Francis', "The Joy of the Gospel"


Today is St. Pope Leo Day!

You know what THAT means don't you?

It is the end of my first six year term at St. Sebastian.  Six years ago today I was sitting in the bishop's office in the CVS building in downtown Cleveland and he handed me the official declaration naming me pastor.  BTW - this is when you officially become pastor, not when the bishop comes to the parish and has a celebration of you being named pastor.  For me that would December 8th with Bishop Pevec, late of our company.

I was looking back in my diary about this day 6 years ago.  It wasn't as nice as I remember it.  You know, going in I didn't yet even know if I would be named pastor.  "Trying to remain calm.   I pray not that I will be pastor but that what will be best will happen and that I shall accept that well.

"The day has been less than stellar - I didn't like my morning homily - my first meeting involved a child being picked on in school - my pro-life groups are fighting (Oh!  The Irony) and (two staff members) are having (an argument) over building scheduling."

Later I wrote about the meeting.  In the Bishop's office we talked about the parish and the school, the good things, the challenges, "and then he asked, 'would you like to be pastor?'  He asked what it meant to me and I said, 'Much the same as I said to you before.  On the one hand it like an adoption has gone through and now I can be called, "Dad."  On the other hand I will now be pastor!'  He laughed heartily.  I read and signed the Oath of Fidelity and Faith, he shook m hand and that was about it.

"Leaving I crossed the street to the cathedral to give thanks and ask for direction and a man asked if I could hear his confession.  I estimate that I was named pastor around 2:50PM and by 3:10PM I celebrated my first sacrament as a pastor."

I thought today to look up the parish on line to see if there were any videos and found THIS ONE of the first class taught in Faith Lodge. 

Friday, November 6, 2015


The server has been down and so I have been unable to post - or do a lot of things for that matter.  My, how this Luddite has become dependent upon technology.  I have tried to temper this drastic change in my lifestyle by buying and old underwood typewriter.  WOW, what nostalgia.  I miss that sound.  Of course it also reminds me of writing papers in college, going to a room in Bierce Library, putting a quarter in the slot (half an hour) and using an electric typewriter (oooh! advanced technology) to write term papers.  

Remember?  Move to the center of the page.  Back space half of your title in order to center it on the page. . . 

Maybe it wasn't as great as I remember.


Paragraph 65 concerns the homily.  There is so much I want to say about it but that is not the purpose of Friday Potpourri SAVE THIS which His Holiness, Pope Frances said about the homily in "The Joy of the Gospel," "We know that the faithful attach great importance (to homilies) and that both they and their ordained ministers suffer because of homilies; the laity from having to listen to them and the clergy from having to preach them!"  

It is interesting to note that the homily is highly recommended but not alway demanded.  How different this is from our Protestant brothers and sisters many of whose services almost entirely consist of preaching.  (I've often wondered what an Envagelical preacher does if he should find himself utterly alone on a Sunday.  I could still have Mass.  Does he still preach?  But I digress.)

The homily should touch on the readings, the propers of the Mass, the mystery being celebrated, and the needs of the people.  (Not all of them all the time . . . but you get the idea.)

The only time homilies are required are Sundays and holy days of obligation that is celebrated when the congregation is present.  So say I am alone in a log cabin in the middle of the woods on Sunday and want to celebrate Mass.  I don't have to give a homily to myself.

The homily is to be given by the celebrant, or, it may be delegated to a concelebrating priest or the deacon and that pretty much ends the list save for a rare occasion of a non-celebrating clergy, for good reason, stepping in to give the homily say at a parish that has seven Masses and the missionary comes out to give his appeal without having to be at every Mass.

That is not to say that lay people cannot preach.  They certainly can.  Just not at Mass.  We have all kinds of opportunities if it seems good for the parish for this to take place (this is not in this chapter by the way.)  Liturgy of the Hours, benedictions, missions, festivals of praise and worship are all examples of possibilities of this taking place.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Sometimes discipline is the truest form of kindness." from Robin Sloan's, "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"

QUOTE II:  "And just like the internet today, printing is the fifteenth century was all problems, all the time: How do you store the ink?  How do you mix the metal?  How do you mold the type?  The answers changed every six months."  same source


Here is video from our diocesan seminary:

Monday, November 2, 2015


The other day I was thinking how very blessed I am to have a dog.  And not just any dog, but this dog, Sebastian, in particular.  One of his best features is that he suffers from separation anxiety.  That's not so good for the dog but wonderful for my health and wellbeing.  Because of this, I cannot just open the door and say, "Go outside and ease nature!"  Either he won't go out if it doesn't look as though I am going along or if he does go out he'll just stand looking the door, barking, "WELL!  AREN'T YOU COMING?"

You are as busy as you want to be as a priest.  This is very bad if you are a workaholic.  There's not a lot in place to tell you, "Hey!  Take it easy!  The Church survived 2,000 years without you, you don't have to save it today!"  There is occasionally the urge to skip a meal and just plow through paperwork (because it is so fun and exciting.)  But there is a big, black, insistent dog that comes up to me three times a day and says, "It's walk time now or clean the rug time later."

But because of these walks, I've seen so many wonderful things that I would have missed otherwise:

Of course, there is the occasional down side also.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Thank you Fr K & Ro


Jesus was about to speak to them.

And there was much rejoicing.


So it is somewhat with Catholics.  When the Gospel is proclaimed, it is Jesus Himself who speaks to His people in His own words.  That is just crazy cool.  And so there is a little rite all of its own called the Gospel Acclamation to psych us up for it.  The definition of acclamation is  that of a loud and enthusiastic approval.  Singing he Alleluia should be like, “OMG! - literally! -   G is about to talk to us!  This is so awesome.  Everyone pay attention!  Shh!  Shh!  Shh!  Here it comes!  Huzzah!”  It should not be “All . . . le (YAWN) luuuuuuu - yah.  Whatever.”  

Perhaps it is that it is too easy to become accustomed to even really great things.

The “Alleluia” itself is to be sung by everybody while standing, led by the choir or cantor while the verse is sung by the choir or cantor.  It is always sung except during lent when another acclamation is sung.  

It may be difficult to sustain the excitement week after week, day after day for this.  It is like playing a game that you know you will always win.  “Yay!  I won again.”  But at least it should remind us to smile in our hearts.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


St. Sebastian has a nice rectory.  It is largely (though not completely) furnished from the refuse of our civilization - that is, the devil strip (tree lawn for non-Akronites), junk shops, and things from people's basements.  The coffee tables in the guest rooms come from the curbs and yard sales.  Paintings hang on the wall that were scheduled to be burned by the store holding on to them.  Most of the mechanical clocks in the house I adopted from the clock rescue.  (People who didn't want the clocks anymore because they were too much bother.)  Even the altar in the chapel came from a religious house house basement because they didn't want it anymore.

Now these efforts are moving into the church.  Now that I think about it, that is a lie.  We've tons of things over there that I've scarfed from trash bins and from the closets of unused toys at other parishes.  The latest is just the largest example.

Huntingdon College, like the University of Akron, is retiring their organ major.  They had three organs taking up three classrooms and decided that they could put the rooms to better use if they could just get rid of the organs.  And the man in charge of the project had just weeks to do it or the organs would be destroyed.  That is where St. Sebastian enters the picture.

This Gabriel Kney tracker action, neo-baroque pipe organ was offered to the parish.  We had to act quickly.  There was not time to consult councils and musicians as we like to do.  It was impulsive.  But the price was right!  Read: FREE.  (If it doesn't work out, we can always sell it right?)

So it arrived at St. Sebastian just in time for a week that we unexpectedly needed a lot more seating than normal.  The number of events that happened that weekend meant that the assembly of the organ took longer than expected which meant that more pews were unusable because all of the pieces parts were spread out across them.

It is finally together and has been blessed for liturgical use.  It will take a couple of more months before it settles enough that it won't keep going out of tune.  It is like bringing a plant in from out of doors, it takes a while to adjust.  
It may be used (if it is in tune enough) this weekend for Mario Buchanan's organ recital, to which you are invited.  (Sunday at 4:00PM - free and open to the public.)  The next time it is already scheduled for use is at the advent concert.  Keep your eye out for that one.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015



So, here’s the reason (yet another excuse) that there was no post yesterday.  We had a Presbyteral Convocation, aka a murder of crows, aka a meeting of the priests of the Diocese of Cleveland, which took place at our seminary.  Before taking off, I had to do my morning chores including feeding and airing out the dog and go to a Finance Council Meeting.  My car was pulled out and parked in a strategic direction for quick escape.

After, there was just enough time to make it home, eat, and then it was time to hear confessions, have benediction, and finally, bless our new pipe organ.  (No, not that one.  Another one.  I think I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.)  After all of that I was of little use save as a throw rug or door stop.


The meeting concerned the future of ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland.  “The sky is falling,” so what are we going to do?  What follows is a brief overview of the first couple hours of the meeting - largely consisting of statistics.  (Two hours in I leaned over to my table partner and said, “information overload.”)

In the 1960s, 50% of all Catholics in the United States lived in a triangle whose points are roughly Chicago, Washington D. C., and Boston.  So this is where all of the churches, schools, religious mothers houses and the like are concentrated.  Today, only 25% of all Catholics live in this triangle.  We moved with the Social Security set hitting such places as Florida and those searching for their first jobs heading to such places as North Carolina (like my nephew.  I mean, come on!  Who lives in N. C.?  I hate driving to Cleveland to see people - so N. C.?)

Anyway, this means that in parts of the country, they cannot establish parishes quickly enough.  Church and school buildings are appearing as quickly as Christmas decorations at the mall the day after Thanksgiving.  Meanwhile, in the magic triangle, we have a lot of giant buildings that are as empty as the Rubber Bowl on a Saturday night.

Cleveland is not doing too poorly YET.  But we are going to retiring huge classes of priests in the near future.  Right now we have 256 priests.  By 2040, unless we really do something, it is predicted that there will only be 140.  In 1970, that means there was one priest for every 1,694 Catholics.  In 2040 it is predicted that it will go to one priest for every 3,251.  (Double!  But that is approximately the year I supposedly retire.)


In the United States we have OUTSTANDING service to our Catholics as far as parish and priest availability per Catholic is concerned compared to most of there best of the world.  I often wondered why the older generation of the Valencheck family did not go to Mass very often.  It was because in Slovenia, there was not a priest who could make it to the village very often so they only went a few times a year.  This is not terribly unusual around the world.  No priests = no Mass.

In the U. S. we have a ration of priests to parishes 1 : 1.  In the Diocese of Cleveland it is 1.4 : 1.  If we close no parishes by 2040 it will be .8 : 1.  Ouch. 

The average amount of weekend Masses at a parish in the U.S. is 3.6.  In Cleveland it is 3.8.  Seating capacity at your typical Catholic Church in the U. S. is 523.  In Cleveland it is 663.  The average weekend attendance nationally is 1,004.  In Cleveland it is just a bit over 900.  The average number of registered households in Cleveland is 1,439.  St. Sebastian seats 800, has a little over 1,700 households, and has a slightly higher weekend attendance rate than the national rate.

702 weekend Masses are offered here with 159,000 Catholics (or 23% of all Catholics here) attending.  1,090 day Masses are offered every week.

The Diocese is over represented in both white and African American populations.  Nationally the Church is 61% white and 13% black.  In Cleveland, we are 73% white and 18% black.


This is the county in which St. Sebastian is located.  We are about 20% Catholic having had a 7% growth in the number of Catholics since 1971 with the over all change in population of this county holding at 0%.  The confirmation rate of those baptized Catholic is the highest in the diocese.  


Don’t panic.  Trust in God and pray.  This is the continuous story of the Catholic Church for 2,000 years.  First we are here, and then we are over there.  We adapt and cope.  

Next, promote vocations.  No way around this one.  We have 80 men studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Cleveland right now.  That is nice, (even great compared to MANY dioceses) but it’s nowhere close to replacement levels.  

Evangelize, evangelize, evangelize.  Although the overall population of northeast Ohio is dropping, the Catholic population is leaving at a greater rate!  When was the last time you invited a neighbor to Mass or parish event?  When was the last time you spoke to someone about your faith?  We are horrible at this in general but we need to get over it.

Expect non-clergy and religious Catholics to take on a MUCH larger role in the life of the parish and the diocese.  And we must make a serious evaluation of all of our venues and services.  Do we need to have them all?  What is our core mission?  What can/should we give up?

Bring jobs to northeast Ohio.  What I hear over and over again is how much millennials love Akron/Cleveland.  There is so much here.  So much to see and do.  But we don’t have the jobs on which to raise a family.


There is hope.  There is also a lot to do RIGHT NOW so that we do not panic later.  It is not (as it appears here) that there are less Catholics.  The Catholic population in the U. S. is exploding.  It is just in the magic triangle where the concentration is spreading out to the rest of the country.  The dam has broken.  There is not less water, there is just less water behind the dam.  The water is spreading out across the valley with more on the way.  How do we adapt to this new reality?


I just thought to add that in spite of what you read up above, Catholic priests have the among the highest "job" satisfaction rates in the country.  We might be tired, but we are (generally) fulfilled and most of us would not trade it for the world.