Archive for March, 2008

            Pope Benedict XVI will find a striking diversity on his first visit as pope to the United States. This, perhaps more than any other reality, impacts the Church’s current and future vitality

 People from every conceivable culture and race make up the Church’s membership now. The pope will be coming to a faith community that is a microcosm of the universal Church over which he presides. The Church in the United States is changing because of ongoing immigration from Latin America, Asia and Africa. No longer is the Church here made up primarily of people of European ancestry. Today more than half of the 67 million U.S. Catholics trace their heritage to some place other than Europe


Read Full Post »

Christ Our Hope

Seems like a safe theme for the 2008 papal visit, doesn’t it? Hope is a nice word; the politicians have grabbed on to it; it’s a great Scripture for newlyweds.


But hope can be a very dangerous word, if you really believe in Christian hope. Just ask Martha Sweed Walker.


Read Full Post »

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (As Benjamin Disraeli and Mark Twain say) 

Media coverage on the Catholic Church will increase as we draw closer to the papal visit. Anyone who has seen recent research by Pew on the nation’s religious landscape might want to consider a review from the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. CARA has posted its review of the Pew study at http://cara.georgetown.edu/rel022808.pdf. 

Sister Mary Ann Walsh

Read Full Post »

Working on a papal visit is fun – and I know. I’ve covered them and helped organize them. Something happens when events grow big. I often say if you can cook for two you can cook for 12 but that doesn’t mean you can cook for 1,200.

Addressing media wants and needs is a challenge. We want to be as helpful as possible, but when more than 5,000 people want the only 200 spots available, Solomon himself would have trouble reaching an accommodation. Not that we won’t try.

(The problem of course doesn’t compare with that faced by the archdioceses that have more than a hundred thousand people in each city wanting to attend Mass in their local ballpark, that seats little more than half that number.)

In mid February we did a site survey for media in Washington and New York. It reminded me of how physical a papal visit can be. Note: it is easier to walk up hundreds of steps at Nationals Park in DC than up ramps to the press box in Yankee Stadium. Both were exciting however, Nationals, because it’s brand new – hasn’t even opened yet – and The House that Ruth Built, because of the sense that one was in a shrine, albeit a sports one, and one to soon become history when its replacement across the street in the Bronx opens next year.

From: Sister Mary Ann Walsh

Director of Media Relations


Read Full Post »

Counting Down

As Pope Benedict’s April visit to the U.S. nears, plans for the events in the Archdioceses of Washington and New York are gelling.


Washington has devised several programs to foster individual participation from across the region before and during the Mass at Nationals Park. A “Welcome Holy Father” video contest is open to Catholic youth groups of five or more in grades K-12 in the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington and the Diocese of Arlington. Winning groups get tickets to the Nationals Park Mass and the chance to see their video on the state-of-the-art HD big screen in the ballpark. Details on the contest are at: http://www.adw.org/papalvisit/video.asp.



Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts