Being back in the archdiocese of Boston is interesting. When I last moved here, the scandals were just breaking. When I moved away, the closings and reconfigurations of parishes were in effect. From what I hear, Boston is still a church with her troubles. Mass attendance here is among the lowest in the country, I think I read somewhere. There will be further combining of parishes and more difficult decisions ahead, I'm sure. The 'What's wrong with church' conversation is a common one here. There isn't enough money, there aren't enough priests, the priests and seminarians we have aren't the right sort (I hear it said; I don't know if I agree), there are too many buildings in disrepair, and so on and on.
On the other hand, I couldn't help noticing the other day, during my first trip to Boston College, that it seems like an extraordinarily prosperous institution. A couple of impressive buildings had been built even since I was last using their library in 2005. Everything is clean and neat. Presumably this is because Boston College has capitalized on the administrative talent of some Catholic person or persons, combined with the tuition paid on behalf of lots of young people, many of whom I presume are Catholic, along with the gifts of older Catholics.
So it seems like there is some kind of disconnect in the prosperity of Catholic institutions around here. I don't want to diagnose; I'm just saying that I noticed.