It is useless to propose solutions if one hasn’t clearly defined the root of a problem. We all know there are major problems in the Catholic Church today; around the world as well as in our backyard. One major problem is that young people are leaving the Church. Of the few who stay, even fewer have given the slightest consideration to the priesthood or a religious vocation. These are serious problems that will impact all of us. The existing institution cannot be maintained as it is. We are supporting an unsustainable system. Catholic-Lite is a dying institution. As serious as these problems are the fundamental/root issue goes even deeper. Here is where the progressives and the orthodox diverge in their opinions. The progressive claims that the church isn’t relevant enough. If she would just change a few things here and there, then we could get it all back on the rails (for those progressives who even care – many don’t care that the Church is dying). The orthodox claims that the problem is one of faith. If there is a problem of faith, there is absolutely nothing we can do that will bear fruit. Faith in what the Church teaches is the bare minimum. It’s the starting point. If you don’t have it, you will fall right out of the gate. To reject just one article of the faith is to reject the whole thing. Most young people can’t even be blamed with rejecting the faith because they truly have no idea what the faith is. Many young people are lost well before they would even be interested in reading the Catholic Courier (even the hipster version). This orthodox position is the only valid position. History confirms it. Recent statistics confirm it. God confirms it. There is no denying it.
This is long winded introduction to mention a depressing article I saw in the Catholic Courier a little while back.
Courier, parishes seek young adults
SIDE NOTE: Mark Hare is the D&C journalist who rallied for same sex marriage in NYS (among other unorthodox positions). To my knowledge he has not publicly repented of this position. Mark, your efforts are futile until you embrace God’s teaching in its entirety. To the Catholic Courier, why is Mark Hare on your board?
The reason I find this article so depressing is because of how little attention is given to the root of the problem and the real solution to it all. The article clearly leans toward the “crisis of relevance” opinion. It reads very much like proposed solutions to the failing city school districts… we just need more money, more technology, more … school… and we can turn it around. I’ll let you judge and comment for yourselves, but in response I would simply say that bolstering faith in God and His Church is not all that much of a mystery. It doesn’t require spending countless hours working on mission statements and forming committees. We already have our mission statement (Scripture, Magisterial documents, the writings of the Saints) and our committee (the Saints). Finding spiritual success really is very easy. God does all the hard work for us. If we simply provide good, reverent, and prayerful liturgy (not just the Mass, but Vespers, Adoration/Benediction, etc), provide more than 30 min of confession times each week, teach the people all of the truths (not just liberal politics) and challenge them that you expect them to accept them and live by them, encourage spiritual reading, mental prayer, etc. Teach about the Saints. They are amazingly inspiring. Teach the Scriptures, not just your favorite 2 parts from the Sermon on the Mount. It really isn’t rocket science.
Besides my ramblings, I’ll present our Bishop who understands the root of the problem:
Throughout the history of our church, young people have been recognized for their heroic virtue and declared blessed or saints by the church. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati… St. Stanislaus Kostka … St. Elizabeth of Hungary … St. Thérèse of Lisieux … These are only some of the young people who have been declared blessed or saints at a youthful age. Our youths are capable of extraordinary accomplishments. What they need is our encouragement and, above all, our prayers and good example: the practice of our faith and the example of our lives lived in union with Jesus Christ.
A priest and nun who died heroically in a church fire will be commemorated with a 50th-anniversary Mass Sunday, Feb. 26. Bishop Salvatore R. Matano will celebrate the liturgy at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Annunciation, 1754 Norton St., Rochester.
many have regarded Father Weinmann and Sister McLaughlin as martyrs for their deeds. The tabernacle from that 1967 tragedy is now housed in the eucharistic chapel at Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral.
I would encourage the Catholic Courier not to spend too much time on a wild goose chase and instead realize that tradition is for the young.