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With the decades-long decline in the number of priests reaching what church officials call a critical shortage, the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore is calling on parishioners to help conduct youth programs, minister to prisoners and take over other duties that have traditionally been performed by clergy.Looking to ease demands on priests, the archdiocese has also been looking to consolidate Masses among lightly attended churches."This is a period of introspection for us, a time to look at what we can do better to serve the people of Baltimore," said Sean Caine, the spokesman for Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien. "It will also prepare those who want to deepen their faith."
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