October 18, 2011

Faith Cancelled (Updated)

The Pope as declared A Year of Faith beginning on October 11, 2012, the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. I keep hearing about New Evangelizaion and how we need to make an effort to reach out and bring people to Christ, especially Catholics who more than ever are giving into the secular world.  I just can't get excited about this.  It is not that I don't agree with the Pope, for I certainly do on all counts.  My problem sadly is that many people don't care about their faith and despite all that we do, the forces of the secular world are too strong.

Perhaps I am just a bit frustrated right now because today I am cancelling a terrific adult program because no one cares enough about their faith to come.  The program we named Faith Express and it is a 40 minute express class on different aspects of our faith that meets at the same time the children's faith formation classes meet.  One of the complaints we had been receiving from parents is that it is difficult to come in and out of our parking lot at class times. We offered this class so that parents would not have to drop their kids off, go  home and then come back.  It worked well for the first two years although we never got big crowds.  This year it crashed.  No one came except members of my Adult Faith Formation Team.

I must tell you that these sessions are all taught by priests, deacons, parish staff and some parishioners, all who have advanced degrees in Theology. All of the them are good teachers.  We even offered coffee and cookies during the sessions.  As the instructors left their empty sessions over the last few weeks, they found cars all occupied by parents texting, talking on the phone or reading, some with their engines running, waiting for their children to be dismissed.  I don't get it.

Our parish has a good adult program.  We offer several five week basic theology courses a year, scripture study, workshops, lectures, even films and video series. I can't tell you how many we have had to cancel do to lack of interest. We have tried different times, days, more advertising , sending out letters, encouraging people anyway we can.  The diocese thinks we have a great program, but still only a few or no one shows up.

Tonight I have scheduled a lecture on Blessed Pope John Paul II.  I am praying that some people attend other than my team.  The last two lectures we held were embarrassing when only three from my team attended and no one else. The speakers were good and well prepared.  My presentation last week on the revised texts had 17 people attend out of a parish of 3,000 families.

New Evangelization?  How do you evangelize people who don't want to be evangelized?  How do you reach people who do not want to hear what we have to say?  It gets tiring week after week, year after year.  I sometimes just want to give up.  But I won't.  In a few minutes I will go to our meeting room and wait for our guest speaker to arrive.  I know that some of my team at least will be there. I know the talk will be good and we will get something out of it.  Maybe as others have said, we will need to be satisfied with a smaller Church of people who are faith filled.  I hope the the New Evangelization committee in the Vatican can answer some of my concerns, for I know I am not alone in feeling this way.

Enough of my rant for this evening.  All I can do right now is hope.

UPDATE:  Four people came to the presentation last evening (two of them were on the committee)...but unfortunately the presenter put the wrong date in his calendar and he didn't show up.  The Lord must be trying to teach us something by this.  I wish He would make it clear.

1 comment:

  1. Don't get discouraged Jo-Ann. Remember the words of Julian of Norwich, "All will be well and all manner of thing will be well..." Keep trusting and God's light will shine through.........
    NJ Azzaro