Catholic Review’s top stories, blog posts and columns in 2016

By Catholic Review Staff

From the record-setting blizzard that struck in January to the appointment of two new auxiliary bishops in December, 2016 was an eventful year for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.   Check out some of our most-read stories, commentary and blog posts for the year. (Photos from Catholic Review files.)

Local Stories

#1 Due to unsafe travel conditions in Baltimore archdiocese, Catholics excused from attending Mass 

As Maryland braces for a pending blizzard, Archbishop William E. Lori reminded Catholics in the Archdiocese of Baltimore that church law excuses them from fulfilling the Sunday obligation to attend Mass due to a grave cause, such as unsafe travel due to severe weather conditions.  

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#2 Miracle in Progress: Cathedral parishioner has broken C5, unbreakable spirit

As his mother and various therapists discussed schedules at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, 17-year-old Archer Senft moved his hand ever so slightly.
His mother, Louise Phipps Senft, noticed immediately.
“Are you doing that right now?” she asked.
Archer, who is paralyzed, responded with a cool nod.
His hands had wielded everything from lacrosse sticks to art supplies, conduits of the power and coordination of his body as well as the intricacies from his mind’s eye.

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#3 Pope Francis appoints two auxiliary bishops for Baltimore: Monsignors Mark Brennan and Adam Parker   

Pope Francis named two new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Baltimore: Monsignor Mark E. Brennan, pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg, in the Archdiocese of Washington; and Monsignor Adam J. Parker, current vicar general and moderator of the curia in Baltimore. The appointments were announced Dec. 5 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. 

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#4 All Saints Day is holy day of obligation in 2016

All Saints Day, a feast set aside by the Catholic Church to honor saints known and unknown, will be celebrated Nov. 1. A holy day of obligation, Catholics are expected to attend Mass on the feast day or its Oct. 31 evening vigil.

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#5  New pastors among 27 clergy assignments in Baltimore Archdiocese

Twelve new pastors and four retirements were among the official clergy announcements made by Archbishop William E. Lori for the Archdiocese of Baltimore June 9.

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#6 Investments, merger and closures part of archdiocesan schools plan

Following an 18-month study, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has announced a 10-year plan to invest $86 million in 19 of the 22 schools it currently operates in Baltimore City and the immediate surrounding area, including two that will be merged.

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#7 St. Paul a place of refuge in catastrophic Ellicott City flood

When flash flooding turned the archaic metaphor “Head for the hills” into a literal imperative July 30, some of those threatened by the rushing waters found a Catholic church.

“Pretty much everyone was telling the same story,” said Father Warren Tanghe, pastor of St. Paul, a historic church located at the top of the hill on St. Paul Street, which saw a deluge but not to the extent of the parallel and also steeply-inclined Main Street, where most of the damage and mayhem – including two deaths – in Ellicott City occurred.

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