Wake Up to Stop Loss of Catholics
Mary Bowers, Cape Town – The article by Professor Michael Ogunu on the exodus of Catholics to Pentecostal churches personally concerns me.
I have been affected by this sad loss for many years, with a member of my family walking over to a Pentecostal church, with her small baptised Catholic kids, because of happenings in our Church.
Prof Ogunu says in his article that to help stop Catholics leaving, we need greater involvement of priests in the lives of the faithful. I agree wholeheartedly.
When I grew up, our parish priest was my second Dad. We had regular home visits, with Father simply walking into our home for tea and my Mum’s homemade ginger biscuits.
A good friend told me that, from the time her husband died, her parish priest stopped visiting her altogether.
She is an old lady in her 80s, frail, and can’t go to Sunday Mass anymore. And while we thank ministers of the Eucharist for their visits to the housebound, such visits are quick, and there is no time for real ministry, or spending a few more minutes with the person they’ve brought the precious Body and Blood of Christ to.
- Why are there no community counsellors?
- Why aren’t there Bible study classes for children and adults to be able to understand Scripture and the Mass?
- Why are the youth, the future, not involved in parish life?
- Talking about the Word Sunday after Sunday is not enough, so why aren’t readings explained more?
- Why don’t we have rosary crusades, rallies, carnivals and other such events?
Because I am a rosary person, I asked my priest if I could visit families to encourage Mums to say the rosary at home. He said the parish council would have to agree to my request. I am still waiting to hear from my priest about that request, and I am sure Our Lady has felt very bad for me.
If I didn’t love Sunday Mass and the Eucharist so much, I would have gone to another church too.
Wake up, priests. You attend too many meetings on admin and money-making matters. We need you in our homes as well.
I pray the Church does something soon to keep Catholics in their home church where they belong.