Dear Friends in Christ,
We recently celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord, the most important event within the whole history of creation. Never before or since, has anyone triumphed over death & sin, and these facts are fundamental to our Catholic Christian faith!
One of the most difficult parts of Priestly Ministry is to try and ensure that all the faithful people of God remain engaged with the Lord Jesus. Preaching and teaching are the key components to ensure that the Gospel message continues to be proclaimed; but if many people are not present to hear the Word of God, if people who have fallen by the wayside through the lapsation of the practice of the faith; how do we engage these people once again? This is the sixty-four thousand dollar question! The saddest thing I have found as a priest of 37 years, is when I see young children not accompanying their parents to Mass anymore, the parents stand alone in the Church! I have had many parents speak to me through the years, telling me all sorts of things like – ‘I can’t get them to go anymore’; ‘I don’t want to force them’; ‘I can’t get them out of the bed’; ‘I don’t want to be fighting with them before mass’; ‘they’re playing sports on Sunday morning now’. Perseverance and continued example are important! Trying to talk about the importance of the practice of faith, not in a heated discussion, but rationally and calmly! Encouraging our children and young people to become more involved, can help them realise that they also have something very valuable to offer to God and the Church; whether it be through altar serving, reading at mass, being part of the welcome ministry at mass, helping with the Sacramental Preparation Programme of First Holy Communion, Joining one of the Uniform groups or training to be a leader in the groups, joining the Choir or Contemporary Music Group. These are just some suggestions.
When people actually really understand what their faith is all about, it really does help the individual to deepen their commitment. Having a wishy-washy attitude to the practice of faith doesn’t help anyone. Knowledge and understanding are the key to ingredients to having a lively faith and a commitment to Christ.
Talk about the Faith.
May God Bless You All,