Thursday, September 11, 2014

American Missions

An editorial which appeared in  the Sept. 1-8, 2014 issue of America Magazine reminded readers that rural Catholics in the U.S. have "not received much attention." This would be what Glenmary's founder, Fr. William Howard Bishop called "forgotten and neglected" places. America Magazine went on to say "It is hard to believe that in a prosperous country like ours, there are still Catholics in poor rural communities in need of our pastoral care and concern."

The editorial quotes Jim Ennis of the the National Catholic Rural Life Conference who said that "people living beyond the cities and sprawling suburbs are still critical for the life of the church, and if we neglect them, we do so at our peril."

This tremendous mission need is why Glenmary Home Missioners have been dedicated to the Home Missions for 75 years. In that short span of time, Glenmary has served nearly 150 missions in rural USA. But the work as American magazine reminded us is not completed. In addition a recent study by Glenmary indicates that there still are nearly 1,000 counties with  less than 3% Catholic population. Glenmary considers Catholic population as well as other critical issues in determining mission need. These criteria include counties where:
less than three percent of the population are Catholic.
40 percent or more are unchurched.
the poverty rate is twice the national average.

Thanks America magazine for reminding your readers of the great need in Mission-Land USA.

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