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How We Really Celebrate

  /   Saturday, April 30, 2022   /   Comments(0)

I’m thinking of something that God gave me to think about years ago.  The two biggest feast days in the Church year are Christmas and Easter.  The Church, in her wisdom, makes sure we know they are coming and to be prepared to celebrate them to the fullest extent if we will.

I’m thinking of what I’d miss if I belonged to a Protestant church that had neither Advent nor Lent nor a season of Easter or Christmas.  Easter could just suddenly come upon me, and then it would be over the next day.  It could easily pass me by without preparation or without a chance to savor the feast.

In the Catholic Church, we can enter into the season of Advent to prepare for Christmas and Lent to prepare for Easter.  These days won’t just suddenly happen upon us.  We won’t just be going about our normal, everyday business only to have a sudden realization that “Oh, it’s Easter.”  We prepare for it, and we long for it.   It doesn’t end once the day is over.

We have an eight day octave for both Christmas and Easter and a season to follow.  We celebrate Christmas for maybe a couple of weeks after Christmas Day (it varies a bit each year), and we have fifty days of Easter after our forty days of Lent, concluding with Pentecost, the “birthday” of the Church.  This gives us a great opportunity to enter in to the celebration of the very reason for our hope.

Category: Cathechesis, Catholic

When You Hear Some Statistic

  /   Saturday, April 23, 2022   /   Comments(0)

Did you hear that 50% of people who enter the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil are not still in the Church a year later. I’ve heard this. Now, where do you think this information came from. Who found this out? How did this person (or group) obtain their data? These are very legitimate questions, and I am not willing the trust the opinions of anyone who objects to asking them. In fact, I’m not sure of the source of this often-quoted statistic.

In fact, it probably isn’t true. Just take a look at this article from the National Catholic Register.  It points to some research done by CARA that appears to be a compilation of previous studies done.  According to the study, 84% of those who entered the Church through RCIA since 1986, when the Church instituted the RCIA in the United States, still identify as Catholic.

It sounds much better, but I do have to ask – what was the criteria for determining who “identifies” as a Catholic.  If all it takes to identify as a Catholic is to check a box on a survey, then it’s hard to say how useful that information actually is.  In fact, the article goes on to say that 62% of the converts still go to Mass monthly.  That’s right.  It says monthly.  Well, actually, it says “at least monthly.”

Remember that missing even one Sunday Mass is a mortal sin unless one has a serious reason (please stay home if you have COVID).  In other words, anyone who is only attending Mass monthly really can’t be said to be practicing the faith even if he’s technically still Catholic.  We really need to know how many people are going to Mass every Sunday.  I will say, though, that there was more data as to how active converts are in the life of the parish.

What’s my point with this?  I used the Church as an example here, but my point can apply to anything.  Whenever you see these statistics, there are questions that need to be asked.  We need to know the source of the data.  If no one comes up with a source, then it may be completely bogus.  We also need to know who collected the data and how.  Specifically, we need to know what questions were asked what what criteria were used to come up with a classification.  We also need to know who was asked and how many people were asked.  If we don’t think about these things critically, we run the risk of wasting time and energy on a bunch of baloney.

Category: Catholic, Response


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