1. US Catholic school association seeks rebound from grim year, By David Crary, Associated Press, June 30, 2021
The organization overseeing Catholic schools in the United States gets a new chief executive this week as it seeks to rebound from its biggest one-year enrollment drop since the 1970s.
Amid the pandemic, more than 200 schools closed permanently, and enrollment at the 5,981 remaining schools fell by 6.4 percent — or more than 111,000 students – for the 2020-2021 academic year, according to the National Catholic Educational Association.
Total enrollment was about 1.63 million, down from a peak of more than 5.2 million in the early 1960s.

Of the 209 Catholic schools that closed or were consolidated last year, the biggest impact was felt by urban communities and non-Catholic families, the NCEA said. In its latest annual report, it expressed regret, saying the closure of Catholic schools in underserved areas eliminates “pathways of opportunity” for the affected families.
2. US bishops urge Congress to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions, By Catholic News Agency, June 29, 2021, 11:30 AM
The U.S. bishops’ conference on Monday called on Congress to restore prohibitions on federal funding of abortion, as the House considers appropriations bills that could fund abortions both domestically and internationally.
The House Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to mark-up two appropriations bills, for Financial Services and General Government and for the State Department and Foreign Operations, this week. The funding bills currently omit longstanding federal policies that prevent the use of taxpayer funds to pay for elective abortions, including the Helms amendment which bars direct funding of abortions abroad.
3. Millions skipped church during pandemic. Will they return?, By David Sharp, Associated Press, June 29, 2021, 3:45 PM
With millions of people having stayed home from places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic, struggling congregations have one key question: How many of them will return?
As the pandemic recedes in the United States and in-person services resume, worries of a deepening slide in attendance are universal.
Some houses of worship won’t make it.

About three-quarters of Americans who attended religious services in person at least monthly before the pandemic say they are likely to do so again in the next few weeks, according to a recent AP-NORC poll. That’s up slightly from the about two-thirds who said in May 2020 that they would if they were allowed to do so. But 7% said they definitely won’t be attending.
Those findings are in line with a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. residents last summer. It found that 92% of people who regularly attend religious services expected to continue at the same or higher rate, while 7% say they will attend in-person services less often.
4. Canadian churches on First Nations land are burning, By Renée Roden, Religion News Service, June 29, 2021, 6:13 PM
A slew of church burnings across western Canada have left six churches on First Nations land badly damaged or destroyed as of Tuesday (June 29). Four of the churches are within an hour’s drive of one another in southeastern British Columbia.
Sgt. Jason Bayda of the Penticton South Okanagan Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement that the police were “looking to determine any possible connection to the church fires.”
The burnings come at a time when Canada is reckoning with the recent discoveries of unmarked graves on the sites of former boarding schools for Indigenous children — many of which were run by churches. The remains of nearly 1,000 bodies have been found so far, most of them Indigenous children.
5. ‘No more war’: Pope continues his teaching on Gospel nonviolence, By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, June 29, 2021
Modern popes have been clear voices for peace, but Pope Francis is moving closer to a broad embrace of nonviolence and a declaration that modern warfare is so deadly and sophisticated that the traditional “just war” theories cannot apply.
And, in a new book, he has urged each and every person to recognize that there is, in fact, something they can do to promote peace.
“Indifference is an accomplice of war,” Pope Francis wrote.
The Vatican publishing house June 28 released Peace on Earth: Fraternity is Possible, a collection of Pope Francis’ words and speeches on the importance of praying and working for peace.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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