While encouraging vocations to the priesthood, we should reconsider the role of the parish priest. The current model was developed back when the majority of the adult population was uneducated.
This is no longer the case. Faithful parishioners and growing numbers of deacons could provide for the day-to-day administrative needs of the parish and thus let priests focus on the sacramental and spiritual needs. We can bemoan the shortage of priests and burn out the ones we have, but any substantial turnaround in vocations will take generations.
I’d rather have a priest who could focus on my spiritual life. New problems require new solutions.
Re: “The real work begins” (Editorial, April 1-7).
I was surprised to read that as few as 10 percent continue to practice their faith after entering the Church. It would seem that what they learned in the RCIA program was insufficient to give them a reason to continue to practice the Faith.
My own experience as a teacher of catechism to the confirmation class seems to confirm this. Although many had attended catechism for a number of years, few regularly attended Mass or went to confession, often not since their first Communion.
If the converts on entering the Church have a solid relationship with Christ and his Church due in large part to effective catechesis, it would seem strange they would stop practicing.
The Church always has been full of sinners as well as saints, so it is risky to say the least to have faith depend on no more than fellow parishioners.
— Evelyn Mazzucco, Chicago
Forgiveness in public life
Re: “Engaging culture” (Eye on Culture, April 8-14).
I commend Vice President Mike Pence for his forgiveness toward “The View” co-host Joy Behar. She made a comment that it’s mental illness when Mike Pence hears from Jesus. Joy Behar then apologized to her viewers, saying that Mike Pence is right, she fell short, and she apologized for what she said.
That is in contrast to Mr. Trump, who has previously said that he never apologizes or asks forgiveness.
— Nick Wineriter, Ocala, Florida
Re: “In secular Europe, a bright light of faith gone too soon” (Openers, April 8-14).
OSV reports on the loss of Christian faith in Europe perhaps precedes this trend in the Western Hemisphere.
Just as alarming are trends to demasculinize men and boys, which perhaps are indirect attacks on God the Father, who created us masculine and feminine.
And a unisex, effeminate society is no place for a truly feminine woman.
— Robert J. Bonsignore, Brooklyn, New York
The value of play
Re: “Old-school punch ball” (Catholic Journal, April 29-May 5).
Growing up in the ’40s and ’50s in northwest Minnesota, every town, large or small, had a baseball team. Families got together for dinner and family time, whether it was the game, playing cards or just visiting around the dinner table. I knew and played with all my cousins, and we cherish those memories.
Today, my grandchildren live 1,000 miles apart and barely know each other. They’ve missed the fun of growing up with family. We live in a marvelous age, with electronics and the internet. But we’ve lost the closeness of family, and as a consequence, many have lost God.
—T.J. Fallon, via online comment
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