National Catholic Reporter

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Alexandria, Va.

Black churches bucking the trend of decline

At Alfred Street Baptist Church, the pews start to fill more than half an hour before the service begins. White-uniformed ushers guide African-Americans of all ages to their seats. Some stand and wave their hands in the air as the large, robed choir begins to sing.

In September, after using a dozen wired overflow rooms, the church will start its fourth weekend service.

So many people attend, church leaders are now asking people to limit their attendance to one service.

Students select ‘new pope’ in mock conclave


Students from St. Louis Catholic School here erupted in cheers as Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson was elected the "new pope" during a mock conclave held at a gym-turned-"Sistine Chapel" March 4.

The "conclave" explained the pope selection process in a tangible way. Middle schoolers acted as cardinals, Swiss Guards, priests, sisters, nurses, reporters and security personnel to re-enact a conclave for the whole school.


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November 20-December 3, 2015


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