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Ken ColombiniWriting in Crisis, Ken Colombini (’85) offers an assessment of the Church’s response to demographic decline and religious disaffiliation in his home of St. Louis, Missouri: “In St. Louis, as everywhere else it seems, the Church is in retreat mode, surrendering ground to the advancing culture.”

Mr. Colombini examines the recent trends which have led the Archdiocese of St. Louis to propose closing or merging many existing parishes, but concludes that the trends alone cannot warrant such action. In the face of declining attendance, he contends, rather than closing parishes, Church leaders should “encourage young Catholics to marry, to have children, and to raise them as Catholics.”

Lamenting the Church’s “self-exile” from the public square, Mr. Colombini pleads with his fellow Catholics, especially those with influence, to recommit to the beauty, goodness, and truth of their rich heritage: “Until many more Catholics truly embrace the Faith they are called to pass along, how can they possibly be expected to make a difference?”