Dec 14, 2008

Come Home At Bankruptcy

The NY Times claims that Evangelical churches are showing big increases in attendance since the economic downturn.

Here's a quote with reference comparing Catholic Congregations to the Evangelical sects from a prominent priest-pundit.

Msgr. Thomas McSweeney, who writes columns for Catholic publications and appears on MSNBC as a religion consultant, said the growth is fed by evangelicals’ flexibility: “Their tradition allows them to do things from the pulpit we don’t do — like ‘Hey! I need somebody to take Mrs. McSweeney to the doctor on Tuesday,’ or ‘We need volunteers at the soup kitchen tomorrow.’ ”

In a cascading financial crisis, he said, a pastor can discard a sermon prescribed by the liturgical calendar and directly address the anxiety in the air. “I know a lot of you are feeling pain today,” he said, as if speaking from the pulpit. “And we’re going to do something about that.”

Um, Father, with all due respect...there are ways that the scripture --yes, even the prescribed scripture readings do indeed provide the opportunity to preach on modernity and the recent downfall. Perhaps this is why many young adults don't find the Catholic Church to be a relevant voice when they find themselves at mass. I most often hear these criticisms about mass from young people:

- Dreadful Music
- Nobody cares if I'm there or not--there's no sense of welcome
- The homilies have nothing to do with my life
- The homilies are boring
- The homilies are diatribes against modern culture
- I don't understand the rituals or what's going on and feel stupid.

So perhaps this week...we might want to think about how Gaudete Sunday is in fact bringing us good news--even in the midst of financial downfall.

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