Encourage Stray Catholics to Come to Mass

I came across this article earlier today: “Invite Catholics back to Mass,’ Bishop urges Faithful.” Found in the beginning of the article were these statements: “Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton said that only one in five baptized Catholics attend church every Sunday. The other four have somehow lost contact with the Church.”

I am aware that there are Catholics who are no longer attend Church every Sunday, but I never imagined there would be so many (4 out 5 baptized members???).  This is just so sad for me to hear, and I know you feel the same way too. It’s just awful that people have found the Lord and his Church , but still made the choice to leave. Encourage stray Catholics to come to Mass. They once knew of God’s goodness, and just need a little help remembering it.

If you are a constant visitor of this blog, you must have read one of my posts encouraging Evangelization–sharing the good news of salvation to others who have not heard about it yet. Today I realized that aside from witnessing to those who haven’t received the Gospel yet, we also have a mission to help bring those who have “wandered” back into the fold of God.

Take the chance today to encourage a family member, a neighbor, or a friend to go back to Church. Studies show that 41% of those who have stopped attending Mass would return to the local church if a friend or acquaintance invited them. Be an instrument of God today and encourage stray Catholics to come to Mass.

New Priest Coming to a Church Near You

Do you belong to a Church or parish that has had the same priest for years? Up until about the year 2000 my parish had the same priest for many years. The pastor who was then retiriing had been there since 1975. Since then, I have to tell you, we’ve have had three different pastors. In addition to this we’ve had three Parochial Vicars that have come and gone. This folks has not been easy on our Congregation. We have a vibrant Parish, two schools, several active Ministries and a varied age group of parishoners. That’s not an easy job for any priest to take on.

Some of the priests that have come to our Church were very reverent, great homilists and good stewards while others have not exactly “jelled” with the people. You know the saying “you can’t please everybody”. That’s never been so true as when describing the role of pastor in an active parish.

What occured most recently at my Church is that our pastor was moved to fill the needs of the Diocese which resulted from the retirement of another priest. Do you see the “Domino Effect” we have because of the reduction in the number of new priests? I guess it’s like our loss is someone else’s gain. Hopefully it will be the gain of our entire Diocese.

Some would say it’s important that a “good priest” is shared with many. I suppose that this is true but I also think it’s sad that a parish would have a new pastor every five years. The days of having your parish priest become a kind of family member is not really possible. It’s not likely that the Priest that baptizes you might also marry you and even be around to baptize your children. Maybe that’s the storybook version and I’ll have to let it go. I can dream can’t I?

Have you felt the loss of a beloved priest/pastor that was moved from your Church? Do you have a priest that maybe you’d like moved? I guess I should be thankful that we’ve never gotten a pastor that we prayed would move on. Of course I am not speaking for everyone hear. There could be lots of people within my own Church that could feel differently than I. Let me know if anything like this has happened to you.

Blessings,
Erin