10 September 2013

Revitalizing the Church

10 Ways to Revitalize the Catholic Church. . .from a Jesuit, no less!  ;-)

2. A priest in France has attracted people to packed Masses largely by spending six hours every night in the confessional. (He also wears priestly garb on the street so that those who want a priest know where to find one.) Clergy here need to recommit themselves to the sacrament of confession. They must be available at convenient times for more than a perfunctory half-hour before Saturday evening Mass. Frequenting the sacrament themselves, priests can awaken in their parishioners the need for repentance and conversion.

3. A pope once said that one good catechist is worth a hundred outstanding preachers. Yet there are wealthy parishes that expect directors of religious education to work as unpaid volunteers! Catechism needs to be taken more seriously as a ministry [AMEN! And not that goofy Feelings-Are-All-That-Matter nonsense from 1973. But real, substantial, Total Catechsis.]. In many parts of the world, the minister whom Catholics see the most is their catechist, not their pastor. Parents must be willing to be trained and work as catechists. More adult Catholics must also take responsibility for handing on the faith. This also includes shouldering ministries that care for the least, such as visiting the sick.

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  1. I certainly agree that "Pray" (#6) is a good way to revitalize the Church. I can't say, though, that I'm persuaded weekly intentions for prayer and fasting issued by the USCCB "can make for powerful spiritual kindling." I think there's a tension between powerful spiritual kindling and committee generated intentions.

    Of course, I'd've recommended making "Pray" the #1 way of revitalization, with "Fast" at #2.

  2. Agreed! The two parishes I know with frequent confession (daily) usually have long lines for confession and full churches on Sat/Sun, and very active in general. They also have excellent and well attended catechetical programs (with at least one paid catechist), both for adults and children. And they are friendly parishes - I'm not able to make it over to them very often, but I am always welcomed. Good article - thanks for posting.