The New Evangelization
Fr. Shori addressed the topic of the New Evangelization at all the Masses over the weekend of October 13 – 14. I think this topic is extremely important. First of all because Jesus’ parting words to us in Mt. 28: 18 – 20 were
“Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Secondly, the very title of this web site, Rise to the Level of our Times, requires one that we know what the level of our times is and two that we do what is required to rise to that level.
My post is to invite a conversation about this call for a new evangelization in light of some sober facts of our time. One of the stunning facts of our times is the mass exodus the Catholic Church in the United States is experiencing. We have to face the fact that millions of Catholics have left and are leaving the Church; in fact “lapse” Catholics represent the third largest religious group in the United States. Pew survey shows America’s vast Catholic exodus http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=56894
Some Catholic leaders speak of this exodus in terms of a pruning away of those who don’t believe, who were just cultural Catholics; and their leaving the Church is positive. In this narrative those who remain are the true believers. These leaders hearken back to the biblical notion to identify those who remain as “The Remnant.” I couldn’t disagree more strongly with this understanding but where do you stand on these matters.
I would be interested in knowing
- Do you personally know a “lapsed” Catholic, someone who no longer identifies themselves as a Catholic? If yes, what was the reason[s] they gave for their no longer belonging or why do you think they no longer belong? If you know more than one person and there are different reasons for different persons, please be as concrete as you can while respecting privacy, etc. In other words, avoid vague generalities … Life is concrete and the events that change our lives have a place, a date, very often a person to them.
- Would you share your evaluation of their reasons? Or do you agree or disagree with what they said and why?
- Have you read anything concerning the “exodus” of Catholics? If yes, what and what was your evaluation of your reading?
- Comment on your understanding and assessment of Fr. Shori’s remarks.
- Finally, if others respond, I would invite you to comment on their remarks as well.
If this topic interests you, click on the “comment” link at the bottom of this post, enter your email address and let others know what you think.