Sean Hurley

November 29, 1964 is known in the Catholic Church as “the day Mass changed.” It didn’t take a day – more like five years - but by 1969 the vernacular “New Mass” had taken hold and the traditional Latin Mass, in place for 400 years, largely became a thing of the past.  But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, the Latin Mass is making something of a comeback here in New Hampshire.

For five years John Brancich fought fires in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota.

Gender Gap: Why Are Women More Religious?

Mar 31, 2016
Rachel Martin / Flickr/CC

A new study finds that while Americans overall are a religious bunch compared to people in other developed countries. Among U.S. women, that commitment is especially high, whether it's attending worship services or daily prayer.  We'll look at this gender-gap, what might be behind it, and what it means for organized religion.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

By 9 a.m. Saturday, the chairs inside the chapel at Mount Calvary Mausoleum were nearly full as Bishop Peter Libasci of Manchester opened the morning’s mass.

Just a few feet away from where Libasci spoke, on a table draped in a bright purple cloth, sat rows upon rows of boxes — some cardboard, some only a few inches wide —and several urns.

Papist / Flickr/CC

Since his selection, there’s been intense interest in Pope Francis’s leadership, among Catholics and non-Catholics.  And that interest is growing, as he now heads to the U.S. with a packed schedule that includes an unprecedented Congressional address….and a tendency to tackle politically charged issues, from capitalism to climate change.  


Chris Jensen for NHPR

A radical event took place Saturday in a most traditional setting: a tiny, white, classic New England church in Shelburne. Mary Catherine White was ordained and now considers herself a Roman Catholic priest.

With about three dozen - sometimes tearful and proudly independent friends and relatives watching - White became one of just over 200 ordained women worldwide who say they are Roman Catholic priests. The Vatican says they are not priests because  priests have always been - and must always be - men.

Saint Luke Institute

A former top Manchester diocese official has been ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars to the church and other organizations in a plea deal reached this morning.

Last March, the election of Pope Francis was announced with a billow of white smoke. Nine months later, the media remain in a papal haze.  Time Magazine named Pope Francis its person of the year. Francis also topped Esquire's list of 2013's best-dressed men, and Buzzfeed jumped on the papal bandwagon with its list of "The 19 Best Pope Francis Moments of 2013".

Christus Vincit / Flickr Creative Commons

Pope Benedict the 16th stunned the Catholic world in February by announcing his retirement: the first papal resignation in 700 years. And since the election of Pope Francis in March, the surprises have only continued: he’s the first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit, the first pope from the southern hemisphere.

© Mazur/

Yesterday, Pope Francis gave a spontaneous and startling frank press conference on a plane ride following his week-long trip to Brazil. In response to a question about gay priests, he said: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

This stands in stark contrast to the views of his predecessor, Pope Benedict, who publicly and repeatedly stated that gay relationships were “evil” and “contrary to natural order.”

Here to talk about what might some are saying is a monumental shift for the LGBT community and the Catholic Church is Joe Jervis, the blogger behind “Joe. My. God.”, which covers LGBT issues, the media, and politics.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

Billions of Christians around the world are in the midst of Holy Week observances in the run-up to Easter.  Many of these rituals have been in place for centuries. 

But how does an ancient faith adapt to the age of the internet, social networks, and smartphones? 

So far, the answer is “slowly.” 

But a pair of New Hampshire entrepreneurs hope they can speed up the process. 

It’s fitting that the idea for a prayer-based social network came to Jamie Coughlin and his brother Adam while they were parked on a pew at Mass.

Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Catholics held a special mass in Manchester Wednesday night to celebrate the selection of the new pope.

Parishioners gathered on short notice at St. Joseph’s Cathedral Wednesday night to commemorate the anointing of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I.

Bishop Peter Labasci was on hand to lead the mass. He asked those in attendance to welcome the new pope and to pray for his success in leading the church.

Labasci said the selection of the Argentine came as a surprise to him:

AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, file

The Diocese of Manchester will hold a special mass at 6 this evening to celebrate the election of a new pope.

Bishop Peter Libasci will lead the mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Manchester.

Diocese Spokesman Kevin Donovan says the announcement of a new pope comes very early, compared to previous elections.

“The earliest that a pope has been elected in 100s of years was on the first day, and this is the second day, so still fairly early, which means there was consensus early on among the electors, the cardinals, electing the pope.”

Catholic cardinals from around the world are meeting now, as the process of choosing a new leader gets underway at a time of tremendous upheaval for their church. We’ll find out what religious leaders and others in the Granite state are saying about this and what they think it means for the future.


N.H. Parishioners Celebrate Pope Benedict

Mar 1, 2013
Ali Kuzmickas

Thursday marked the end of Pope Benedict's nearly eight year tenure as spiritual leader of the Catholic Church. In New Hampshire, 150 parishioners attended a noontime mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Manchester honoring the Pope.

jimmyharris via Flickr/CC -

Pope Benedict’s surprise announcement that he would leave his post at the end of the month is prompting plenty of reflection on his papacy and the state of the Church among Catholics, from clergy to laypersons to scholars.

Michele Dillon is such a scholar. She's a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire and has written extensively about Catholicism, both in the US and in the rest of the world. She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the pope's tenure and what may come next for the Catholic Church.

This week is Catholic Schools Week. For students in New Hampshire Catholic schools, that means some unusual classroom activities, from food drives to snowman making festivals.

For faculty, though, it’s a chance to reflect on the state of the school district – and some of the challenges it faces, from enrollment issues to school safety to teaching Catholic positions on social issues that may no longer be held by the majority of Americans.

Diocese of Manchester, NH

We sit down with Bishop Peter Libasci, nearly one year after he took over as head of the Diocese of Manchester. We’ll talk with Bishop Libasci about what he hopes to achieve as leader of more than a quarter million New Hampshire Catholics.

In 1998, when Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to Cuba, few Cuban-Americans made the pilgrimage across the Florida straits.

But when Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba on Monday, hundreds of Cuban-Americans will be on hand in Santiago de Cuba when he celebrates Mass.

Carlos Saladrigas is well-known in Miami's Cuban-American community. He's a prominent businessman and co-chairman of the Cuba Study Group, an organization working to make Cuba a free and open society. He'll be in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square for Mass.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.

Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.

Nearly a thousand people packed into St Joseph's Cathedral to witness the installation of Peter Libasci as Manchester's tenth bishop.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Libasci was appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI in September of this year.

In his first address to the congregation, the newly instated Bishop thanked those in attendance, as well as other members of the church who were watching via television: