Catholic Church Born Again in the South

February 7, 2005

Source: TIME,33009,1025176,00.html

On February 7, 2005 TIME reported, "that more orthodox approach is proving as popular as a revival meeting. Priests and lay people in traditional Catholic strongholds in the Northeast and Midwest are distressed by a plunge in regular Mass attendance to just 30% of the registered congregation in many parishes, by a chronic shortage of priests and by the financial burden of paying off settlements for sexual-abuse cases. But Catholics in places like Charlotte say the church is being born again in the cradle of born-again Christianity--the South. The Catholic population in Charlotte is growing almost 10% a year, and the ratio of newly ordained priests to parishioners there is 1 to 7,000, more than seven times as high as Chicago's. Bishop Jugis last year blessed five new churches in the diocese. Charlotte's conversion is hardly unique. The number of Catholics in Houston and Atlanta has tripled in the past decade; the nation's first new Catholic university in 40 years, Ave Maria, is under construction in Naples, Fla."