Saturday, February 10, 2007

odd name for a magazine

Crisis Magazine has ranked the 176 dioceses of the Catholic Church in the United States. The survey looks at factors like number of ordinations, adults received into the church, etc. The new number one diocese had been ranked second when the survey was last published ten years ago. The most vibrant diocese in America is... drum roll please... the Diocese of Knoxville!

The rest of the top five dioceses are Savannah, Kalamazoo, Alexandria (Louisiana) and Pensacola-Tallahassee. Generally speaking, larger dioceses didn't fare as well in the rankings because of the adherent to priest ratio. The archdioceses where I have been a member are examples of that. New York ranked 140th and Los Angeles ranked 143rd. However the Diocese of Arlington did okay at number 25. Here's a quote from the article:
It is unmistakable that many of the most vibrant dioceses in the country are confronting adversity. This fact has emerged from conversations with dioceses in the South, the Southwest, and the Pacific Coast. This is most especially true in the South, where the Catholic Church has never been the largest denomination. "We are outnumbered, we are young, we are building churches, we are growing, there is an enthusiasm for evangelization among the laity," reported a priest in the number one-ranked Diocese of Knoxville. Catholic dioceses seem to be most successful when they are self-consciously the pilgrim Church on earth.
The main contributor to the vibrancy of the Knoxville diocese is the largest parish, All Saints Catholic Church. The success of All Saints contradicts the criticism of its interior design that I told you about in December.

Meanwhile, the cathedral in America's top diocese is still closed for repairs after a fire on August 30th. Ironically, the fire was caused by faulty wiring in their new electric votive candles. Like many parishes, Sacred Heart Cathedral removed the old wax and wick votive candles because they were considered to be, you guessed it, a fire hazard.

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Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

Greetings from # 81 on the list (Orange County, CA). Congrats on your # 1 spot.


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