November 12, 2012

Disciples Called to Witness: Fallen-Away Catholics

In Part Three of the USCCB's "Disciples Called to Witness", the bishops cite an earlier document, "Go and Make Disciples", listing reasons that people leave the Church:
  • never formed in the faith after childhood
  • drifted away
  • alienated because of how they perceive the Church or its teaching
  • mistreated by church representatives
The bishops note that "there are numerous pastoral programs meant to encourage and support people in their journey back to the faith". The programs, though, cannot be effective without clergy and laity "reaching out to our missing brothers and sisters".  People will not benefit from these programs if they don't know they exist.  They won't benefit unless they find a reason to try. We "must touch the lives of others."

Do others in our parish know what catechetical programs exist? Can I provide time, money, or prayers for the education program in our parish?  If there isn't a good program, recommend one to your pastor.

Do I know of anyone with questions about the faith or complaints about the parish/pastor/Church?  Do I know anyone that I could invite to Mass or to a parish event?

Have I been unfriendly or unkind to anyone at my church?  Do I know anyone to whom I owe an apology? Do I know anyone that needs sympathy and understanding - can I tell them I'm sorry for what happened to them and listen?

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