So far, the bishops have voted down a document on the U.S. economy, passed documents on penance and endorsed the sainthood cause of Dorothy Day.
Faith & Parish
The U.S. bishops began formal consideration of their first new document in 30 years on preaching Monday, the first day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.
The proposed document, "Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily," encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people's daily lives.
It was prepared by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, chaired by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, with subsequent review and comment by eight other USCCB committees.
At their meeting this week, U.S. Catholic bishops are told to examine their failings and confess their sins if they hope to impact the wider culture.
St. Charles Catholic Church in Staten Island opened its doors to local residents who lost power during Hurricane Sandy, and to the families of three parishioners who lost their lives in that deadly storm.
John K. Filipowicz, 51, and his 20-year-old son, John C. Filipowicz, were found in an embrace after they drowned when floodwaters from the hurricane rushed their home.
A neighbor of the Filipowiczs and fellow St. Charles parishioner, Leonard Montalto, 53, also drowned in his Staten Island home the night Hurricane Sandy made landfall.
"Don't be angry. We lost stuff. We will get other stuff," one pastor told his New York congregation in a homily at Sunday Mass.
Hundreds gathered Sunday to celebrate the reopening of St. Emeric Catholic Church, a Hungarian parish that was shuttered two and a half years ago and is the last of 11 churches to reopen under orders from the Vatican.
For the first time in 28 months, St. Emeric came alive in a glow of candles and surges of Hungarian prayers and hymns. Many in the standing-room-only crowd held up cellphone cameras to capture the historic day.
"I can't speak," said Irma Friedrich, a parishioner since 1957. "I start to cry."
Two of the United States' largest Catholic hospital systems are exploring a consolidation that one spokesman said benefits from "mission overlap."
The executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York said people need food, shelter, clothing and more after Hurricane Sandy.
Catholic charities have set up relief services in the areas hit hardest, which are highly developed and have a high poverty rate.
After reading a letter against Maryland's Civil Marriage Protection Act, the priest received a standing ovation for a homily voicing support of same-sex unions.