The Church and the Suburbs

The Church and the Suburbs

The Church and the Suburbs

The Church and the Suburbs

Excerpt

The mass movement to the suburbs is one of the factors which is contributing to a significant change in the American way life. Sociologists, educators and businessmen have made studies of this modern phenomenon with an eye to its implications in their respective fields. The Church, too, is deeply involved in the move to Suburbia. New Parishes are being created in places which a short time ago were farms or open fields. Pastors are facing the problem of providing schools for vast numbers of children and building churches which are sometimes too small for the growing population by the time they are finished.

This presents a real problem for the diocese. Priests must be shifted about in order to meet the needs of the shifting population. Somehow the new communities must be served without neglecting the old parishes in the heart of the city, which in many cases are becoming missionary territory. The financial problems which the Church has to face because of this new phenomenon are great. The spiritual problems which it presents are even greater and much more subtle. The suburban life seems to be pleasant and prosperous. Is it too pleasant and to prosperous to be compatible with the truly Christian life?

On the other hand, the new suburbanite is usually a regular churchgoer. Does this mean a deeper religious life made possible by favorable circumstances? Suburbanites know their neighbors to an extent which they never did in the city. They take a greater interest in all the activities of the community. Does this give promise of the formation of a Christian com-

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