Bringing them back
Pastor offers practical suggestions
By Tony Staley
It's no exaggeration to say that every Catholic family in the country has members who have drifted away from or quite deliberately left the church.
How to convince them to return remains one of the major challenges the church faces at the start of the third millennium.
While there is no one size fits all, single answer to solve the problem, Fr. Paul Demuth, pastor of Resurrection Parish in Green Bay, offered a good suggestion in a recent bulletin:
"Be 'evangelizers' of those you know who are not regular Mass-goers. Invite those friends, neighbors and family members to attend Mass with you during the year. Even a 'slight bribe' may be necessary: 'Let's go to Mass together and then go out to eat afterwards!' For many who are not in the habit of going to church on a weekly basis, it certainly helps when 'church' time includes time with family and friends before or after the Mass -- and that's good liturgy: joining our daily life with our spiritual life!"
Fr. Demuth's suggestion is also about community. And that -- the community of believers we call church -- is what we joined with our baptism.