Archbishop Charles Chaput speaks during a previous Cardinals’ Forum, as Dr. John Haas (left), the Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology and Oblate Father Thomas Dailey, the Cardinal Foley Chair of Homiletics and Social Communications, listen. (Photo courtesy St. Charles Borromeo Seminary)

Recent research highlights the declining membership in parishes, particularly among millennials. This is a cause of concern for all in the church, especially seminarians who will one day become parish priests.

The Cardinals’ Forum at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, to be held Aug. 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Vianney Hall, will address the topic with the theme, “‘Empty Pews’ and the Future of Catholic Parishes.”

Joining a roundtable discussion will be three speakers: Archbishop Charles Chaput, Dr. John Haas, Oblate Father Thomas Dailey and Dr. Nathan Knutson. They will consider possible causes of the decline and ponder potential responses to it.


Public engagement of the topic will follow by way of dialogue with the assembled audience. The event is free and open to all.

The Cardinal’s Forum, named for the academic professorships at St. Charles Seminary, is an annual gathering to open the year of formation at the seminary. The annual gathering advances the academic formation of seminary students and provides continuing education for the lay faithful about a topic of contemporary concern.

The topic for the forum is selected each year through consultation among those faculty holding endowed chairs (the Cardinal Krol Chair in Moral Theology, the Cardinal Foley Chair in Homiletics & Social Communications, and the Francesco Chair in Sacred Music) and with the insight of the Archbishop of Philadelphia.

Typically, these four serve as panelists for the event, each offering a brief presentation on the topic from his perspective and then engaging the audience.

St. Charles Borromeo Seminary is located at 100 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood.

To prepare for this topic, listen to a podcast with Father Dailey and read a commentary on