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News stories tagged with "faith"

A chaplain shortage is hitting the National Guard
A chaplain shortage is hitting the National Guard

North Country priest serves double duty in New York's Air National Guard

Yesterday we reported that New York's National Guard is struggling to hire enough clergy to serve as part-time chaplains. The problem reflects an aging clergy and also a growing shortage of priests across the North Country - and across New York state. Brian Mann spoke with Father Douglas Decker. He's the priest at St. Cecilia's in the Jefferson County town of Adams. He also serves with New York's Air National Guard.  Go to full article
Col. Eric Olsen has deployed repeatedly with the Army National Guard since the 911 attacks.
Col. Eric Olsen has deployed repeatedly with the Army National Guard since the 911 attacks.

National chaplain shortage hits New York's Army National Guard

The National Guard has solved its recruiting problem, for the most part, finding plenty of rank-and-file soldiers willing to sign up. But here in New York and across the country reserve units are struggling to find enough clergy willing to serve as chaplains. All the Guard services are scrambling to bring more religious into their ranks, but the Army National Guard has the deepest shortage. In New York, only 8 out of 24 chaplain's posts are filled. And there are no Roman Catholic priests serving in the Army Guard despite the fact that nearly half the soldiers are Catholic. Brian Mann sat down to talk about the problem with Colonel Eric Olsen from Saranac Lake. He's the state chaplain for New York's State Division of Military Affairs.  Go to full article

Preview: interfaith music and text festival in Potsdam

Choirs and readers from local Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu groups will gather in Potsdam this Sunday afternoon for the annual Spring Festival of Sacred Music and Text. Todd Moe spoke with organizer Benjamin Pyckles about people from many faiths gathering to learn more about each other.  Go to full article
Sister Jennifer Votraw (Source: Dioc. of Ogdensburg website)
Sister Jennifer Votraw (Source: Dioc. of Ogdensburg website)

For Roman Catholic leaders, same-sex marriage is a blow to marriage

A growing number of Americans see same-sex marriage as a civil right. But for the Roman Catholic Church, legalization of gay marriage represents another erosion of traditional marriage. In the eyes of the Church, the institution of marriage has already been battered by high divorce rates and by more children being born out of wedlock. Brian Mann spoke in-depth with Sister Jennifer Votraw. She's chancellor and director of communications for the Diocese of Ogdensburg.  Go to full article

More North Country Republicans say same-sex marriage is a civil right

Lawmakers here in the North Country could provide swing votes that make or break New York's same-sex marriage bill. North Country Public Radio spent the last week talking in depth with every member of our region's Albany delegation. A growing number of the region's politicians, Republicans as well as Democrats, see gay marriage as a civil right. But as Brian Mann reports, opposition from three key state Senators could doom the measure.  Go to full article

Catholic churches close, consolidate in North Country

The Diocese of Albany is closing two North Country churches next year and four other churches will be forced to share priests. The decisions were announced on Saturday following a two-year process that included public input from Roman Catholics throughout the diocese. In Glens Falls, St. Alphonsus church will close. Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Granville will also shut down. Churches in Corinth and Lake Luzerne will merge and share a priest by next summer, but both buildings will remain open. Churches in Chestertown and Hague will also merge. In all, the diocese will close thirty-three worship sites. The downsizing reflects a growing priest shortage. In the 1960s, there were more than 400 priests in the diocese. That number is expected to drop below 100. Attendance has also declined in many churches. Bishop Howard Hubbard called the changes a "painful adjustment." He pointed out that the church where he worshiped as a child in Troy is one of the parishes slated to close.  Go to full article
Father George Nagle (Photo provided)
Father George Nagle (Photo provided)

Fresh Start on Faith & Politics: "God is working through people who disagree with us"

North Country Public Radio is airing a new series of interviews called "A Fresh Start." We've asked some of the country's most compelling thinkers to make recommendations for president-elect Barack Obama. One of the thorniest issues facing American society is religious faith. Our nation is a tapestry of different religions and different churches. Episcopal priest and activist George Nagle from Saranac Lake says he thinks religion can play a healthier role in our political debates. Father Nagle told Brian Mann that the faith community should urge Barack Obama to think about a different slate of top issues.  Go to full article

North Country, Vermont Methodists consider split

One of the oldest and most established churches in the North Country is facing a major shake-up. The Troy Conference of Methodists, based in Saratoga, has roughly 50,000 members in northeastern New York and Vermont. Faced with shrinking congregations, Methodists will decide next month whether to merge with three other conferences in upstate New York. Dozens of churches in Vermont are also expected to break away and join the New England Conference. Brian Mann spoke with Reverend Janice Palm, who chaired the committee that developed the plan.  Go to full article
The Diocese of Ogdensburg held its annual Good Friday vigil in Plattsburgh (Photo:  Brian Mann)
The Diocese of Ogdensburg held its annual Good Friday vigil in Plattsburgh (Photo: Brian Mann)

Reporter's Notebook: In Plattsburgh, wrestling with the moralities of abortion and choice

On Friday, roughly 200 Roman Catholic protestors held a vigil outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Plattsburgh. They prayed for an end to legal abortion in America. They were met by some 60 pro-choice demonstrators. The supporters of Planned Parenthood called for the protection of full reproductive rights for women. The confrontation was peaceful, even dignified. The Good Friday vigil has been a tradition for 14 years. But abortion represents one of the deepest fault-lines in American society, with the two sides embracing starkly different moral visions. Brian Mann attended Friday's vigil and he sent this reporter's notebook.  Go to full article

SLU hosts talk on Christian Science

Ginny Luedeman, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, will give a speech titled "Plain Talk About How Spirituality Heals" Monday evening (8 pm) in Griffiths Arts Center, at St. Lawrence University. The event, co-sponsored by the University chaplain's office and the First Church of Christ Scientist in Potsdam, is free open to the public. Luedeman lives in Salem, Oregon, and was a member of a '60s rock band when she began to explore the writings of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy. She spoke with Todd Moe.  Go to full article

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