A recent survey from the Pew Research Center offered some numbers regarding people identifying their religious affiliation. Ten years ago Catholics were about 23% of the population, with the current percentage down to 20%. “Nones,” those who have no affiliation, are around 25% of the population. No doubt there are changes happening in Christian Communities.
Even though these changes are happening, there is still life among many communities. The first weekend of November our parish celebrated the Rite of Welcome for those seeking full communion with our Catholic family. Adults seeking Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, (others already baptized as Christians seek Confirmation and Eucharist), and those in Family Initiation are on a journey to being in full communion with us at Easter. The number of people interested in Initiation is so great, we needed to add a second Rite.
That same weekend we had six infant baptisms at 10:30 Mass and two more at 5:00 pm Mass. These families recognized the importance of having their children baptized in the faith to begin their journey in following Jesus. My words at the conclusion of the baptisms were, “Move over Church, make room for six more.” Like in any family we simply move down the table to make room for more and the image is perfect for any Christian Community.
So even though we know people are struggling in seeing the need to belong actively to community, there is still life ongoing in our parish and in other communities.
I hope all parishioners realize people come to the faith because they see the life that you are living. They are attracted to how you treat them, care for others, and are willing to serve. Do not undervalue your part in attracting people to our faith.
Peace in Christ,