Invite inactive Catholic members to practice faith once again
WASHINGTON (CNS) — A document on the new evangelization from the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis exhorts Catholics to at all levels in the church to step up to invite Catholics who have stopped practicing their faith to do so once again.
“Bishops, eparchs, pastors, catechists and indeed all Catholics reaching out to our missing brothers and sisters must touch the lives of others, interact with them, and show them how the faith answers the deepest questions and enriches modern culture,” said the document, titled “Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization.
The new evangelization is a call to each person to deepen his or her own faith, have confidence in the Gospel, and possess a willingness to share the Gospel,” it said.
The document was issued April 16 in an online-only format. It is available on an interactive website — www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/disciples-called-to-witness.
The document examines what the new evangelization is, its focus, its importance for the Catholic Church and how dioceses and parishes can promote it.
“Some were never formed in the faith after their childhood. Some have drifted away because of one or another issue. Some feel alienated from the church because of the way they perceive the church or its teaching. Some have left because they were mistreated by church representatives,” it added. “Cultural factors, including the lack of Masses and sacraments celebrated in languages other than English, also contribute to people slowly slipping away from the church.”
The “Disciples Called to Witness” noted: “There are also Catholics who attend Mass on a regular basis but who feel unconnected to the parish community.” It cited secularism, materialism and individualism in contemporary society as contributing factors for lack of Mass attendance by U.S. Catholics.