Some Keys to Evangelization as Seen in a Record Number of Converts this Year in The Archdiocese of Washington

042114There was an informative and helpful article in the Washington Post this Easter Sunday that demonstrates certain keys to success in evangelization. The focus of the article is the happy fact that the Archdiocese of Washington welcomed a record number of converts this year at the Easter Vigil. But the article also documents important factors that helped that number. Let’s review excerpts of the article and consider some important keys for evangelization. My remarks are in red text. (The Full Article is here: Record Number of Catholic Converts for DC)

Austin Russell [a] University of Maryland sophomore…started dating a Catholic woman and befriended other practicing Catholics, he became interested in the Church’s teachings. He enrolled in a class to learn more, and this weekend, he joined a record number of people in the Washington area taking the final steps to convert to Catholicism. Once he is baptized and receives his first Communion this weekend, “I can really walk into the church and say that I’m a follower like everybody else. It’s going to be exciting….Seventy-two percent of new converts cite marriage as an important reason for coming into the church”

And here is the first key: RELATIONSHIPS. Knowing a fellow Catholic who is serious about his or her faith is absolutely central to the conversion of the vast majority of people who find their way to the faith. For Austin, beauty and truth coincided. The beauty of his girlfriend first drew him. But soon enough the beauty AND truth of her faith, and the beauty and truth of the Catholic Faith, which she lives, also attracted him.

For many others, it is within the Call to Holy Matrimony that their call to the Church was experienced. Of the five converts we welcomed in my parish at the Easter Vigil, three of them are either married to, or engaged to a Catholic in my parish.

There is a form of evangelization known as “Friendship Evangelization.” Obviously, the first stage in friendship evangelization is friendship! But it is a particular friendship that sets the stage for witness to the faith rather than just beer drinking, sports, or other superficial things.

[T]he highest conversion rates are in the South, according to an analysis released last week by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), a Georgetown University group that studies American Catholicism. The report also found that adult converts are more active in the church and more knowledgeable about the religion than those who have been Catholic since childhood.

And here are two more keys: Demographics and Well-formed Converts. One we cannot really control, the other we can. The demographics are clear; the US population has shifted south. For the Catholic Church this has been a problem, since we own a LOT of real estate in the Northeast, a region whose population is both declining and aging. We are scrambling to build and establish parishes in the South even as we have to close and consolidate parishes in the North. It is a painful process to be sure. Some very beautiful churches and once-effective schools have been closed. If only we could put those old parish plants on wheels and roll them south! But demographic realities of this sort have a life of their own that we can do very little to change. They are rooted in economies and shifting preferences.

However, another key mentioned here is well-formed converts, and here we can do a lot. Nationally, we have been wonderfully blessed by converts from many Protestant denominations, especially the Evangelicals. They bring with them a great love for Jesus and the Scriptures, a joy, and an evangelical zeal. Marcus Grodi’s The Journey Home tells many wonderful stories of their entrance into the Church, and what they have been doing since that time. Some very great evangelizers are among the ranks of converts: Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, Jimmy Aiken, Peter Kreeft, and so many others!

Welcoming converts joyfully into our ranks, accepting their gifts, and giving good, solid formation, are the keys to more converts. And though not all of them come to us as well-trained as some of the national figures mentioned above, giving solid formation ensures not only their stable status, but also their ability to draw others to the Catholic faith through compelling testimony and well-reasoned, joyful answers to those who ask the reason for their conversion.

Although conversion numbers in the Catholic Church have fallen nationally in recent years, possibly because marriage rates are down, they are up in the Washington area, where there has been an overall uptick in population. The Washington Archdiocese said it is welcoming 1,306 new Catholics this Easter, a higher number than it has ever recorded.

Yet another key (if you ask me) is to dream big and to create high expectations. This record number is good news, but frankly, our numbers should be a lot higher. In a diocese that has 136,000 people in the pews every Sunday, that means that only one in a hundred Catholics were able to call someone to conversion. We can and should do better than that. And note that 136,000  is the actual headcount at masses, not just the number on our rolls. Is it really so unrealistic to expect that one in ten Catholics bring a convert each year? Am I dreaming? If that were to happen, then our Easter harvest would be 13,000! Even half that number would be over 6,000.

Thanks be to God for our higher-than-ever number. But let’s dream big! Let’s work at being more intentional in training Catholics how to evangelize more effectively. It can start with simple training such as this: “When someone asks ‘How are you doing?’ don’t just say ‘Fine’ say ‘God has been very good to me!’”

Some years ago I trained over one hundred people in my parish to evangelize, and though our numbers should be higher, our headcount has edged up by almost a hundred, from 425 to 525 per Sunday, a twenty percent increase. I’m not satisfied. But I’m adding a Mass, not eliminating masses. And we’re going to keep knocking on doors, doing sidewalk evangelization, reaching back into our families, and encouraging Holy Matrimony. It’s working, even in a neighborhood of dramatic demographic shifts.

While the U.S. Catholic Church will soon become majority Latino because of immigration patterns from Catholic countries, converts within the United States tend to be more diverse. In the Washington area this year, nearly one-third are between 19 and 35. That does not surprise Susan Gibbs, an adviser to Catholic organizations and a board member of CARA: “Washington is an interesting case because so many people come here to serve others,” she said. “Young people are searching for a start in life, and part of that journey can be to find faith.” Washington is also home to two of the nation’s largest Catholic universities, Georgetown and Catholic, Gibbs noted, adding that other campus ministries, such as Catholic Terps at the University of Maryland, have active peer fellowship and evangelization programs.

Yes, reaching young adults is another key growth factor in Washington, D.C. In my own parish, we have added a 7:00 PM, Sunday Mass since so many young adults asked us to do so when we met them in our neighborhood walks. We have also started a young adult Bible Study and fellowship that is growing. We want to expand with a kind of “Grill the Priest” offering wherein we have food and the Young Adults get to ask questions of the priest, no holds barred. It’s like Theology on Tap, except the participants call the shots and get to set the agenda based on what is on their mind.

“College, for a lot of these kids, is really a time for discovering who they are,” said Rob Walsh, chaplain at the Catholic Student Center on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus. “They’ve tried one side . . . through partying, through stuff, through sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll, and it didn’t work.” They may also be disappointed by the limits of technology and social media, he said, adding that replacing human interaction with screen time can make young people feel lonely. “You can get so buried in it that you lose a part of who you are, and they reject that,” Walsh said of the young converts.

Yet another key is effective campus ministry. Fr. Walsh is doing great work at the University of Maryland. We also have some great College Chaplains at several of our other Colleges here. FOCUS is also a great asset and is reaching a lot of young people on college campuses throughout the country. As Fr. Walsh points out, many young people are dissatisfied with aspects of modern culture. They seek answers and community.

I would also add that a significant number of them have had it up to here with the dysfunctional and selfish aspects of the lives of their baby boomer parents and grandparents. Many want more than the vain, vapid, and self-centered world of broken families, sexual irresponsibility, and addiction that is the legacy of the sixties and seventies. Frankly, a lot of the young adult Catholics I meet are much more mature and responsible than I was at their age.

Aaron Holland, 18, a freshman there who grew up Methodist and became a Catholic this weekend, said he was drawn to Catholicism because he felt it answered more of his questions. “It’s not so much what I learned in the Methodist Church, it’s what I didn’t learn,” said Holland, who is studying aerospace engineering…

And here is yet another key: clear and cogent answers, in a word, the TRUTH. Many people love to hate the Catholic Church because we have prophetic stands and are often a sign of contradiction to a world lost in relativism, and that often celebrates that there are “no answers.” The angry ones tell us we have to change and parrot the culture to win converts.

And yet many others are hungry for answers and appreciate that the Church tells them clearly what is taught, even if what we teach is not popular or fashionable. For all the problems that the Catholic Church has had with declining numbers in Mass attendance and demographic shifts, the Liberal (Mainline) Protestant denominations, which largely parrot modern trendy thinking, have fared far worse.

It would seem that many people, young adults among them, appreciate that the role of the Church is not to tickle people’s ears, but to speak the truth, even when it is uncomfortable or challenging. Surely, the Church must console and embrace sinners, but we cannot and should not coddle them. That is disrespectful and also leads to the Church not being taken very seriously. A designer church with a designer god is really a sham and most people seem to know it, as the numbers show.

The prominence and popularity of Pope Francis, who was elected last year and has an 85 percent approval rating, could make Catholicism more attractive not only to non-Catholics but also to Catholics who have fallen away from the church, said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “There’s a renewed interest, a renewed pride in the Catholic Church,” she said. “Personally, I’ve seen more people in church, people coming back.” But this year may be too early to see the “Francis effect” in conversion rates, said Chieko Noguchi, a spokeswoman for the Washington Archdiocese, noting that the course of study leading to conversion generally takes nine to 12 months.

Another key to remember is that, while the Church is Universal, conversions are more dependent on local factors. Pope Francis, or other ways the Church is in the news may have an initial impact on how someone sizes up Catholicism (for better or worse). But there comes a time when the person must encounter the local diocese or parish.

Pope Francis might be able to draw someone to Sunday Mass, but what they find when they walk in the door of the local parish is really more critical to making or breaking the deal. Politics is local, and so is the Church and the experience of faith, even in a worldwide Church of over a billion members. You don’t get Holy Communion on the news or on the Internet.

It takes a parish and a local community to seal the deal. The parish needs to be healthy and inviting. Even a charismatic Pope can only do so much.

The 2006 arrival of Archbishop Donald Wuerl, who is known as one of the country’s most efficient administrators and who has expanded outreach efforts, has perhaps been more instrumental in attracting people, said Sara Blauvelt, director for catechesis at the Washington Archdiocese. “He’s a great leader, and he gives great guidance to his priests,” she said, adding that the archdiocese has been encouraging the laity to go out and invite others to the Church.

Yes, here then is the final key for evangelization to consider from this article: a strong, stable, and steady diocesan Church. The Archdiocese of Washington has been blessed with strong and steady leadership all along. On account of this, the clergy work very well together, and an excellent, well-trained lay leadership has grown over the years.

There are not many factions within the Archdiocese of Washington. We have a legacy of good administrators, solid, orthodox teaching, and far less history of strange and exotic dissent among the clergy and parishes than in many other dioceses. We have over seventy seminarians currently studying.

The Archdiocese of Washington, despite criticism from both the left and right wings in the Church, has always been a middle-of-the-road, steady-as-you-go Archdiocese. Cardinal Wuerl is a fine leader marked with great prudence, as have been all the Archbishops before him. Some want him to be more severe about this or less severe about that. So too, for his predecessors. Nevertheless, time proves where wisdom lies.

Having a strong and stable Archdiocese with a predictable, ecclesial environment has permitted steady growth and has allowed what works to flourish.

OK, so there it is. Take what you like and leave the rest. But I would argue that some very important keys for successful growth are articulated in this article. There are more keys than these, but the ones I’ve highlighted here are evidence enough that evangelization benefits well from certain important factors. Add your own and make distinctions in the comments. Please remember to exercise charity and know that personal attacks against people, parishes, or legitimate and approved movements in the Church will not be published. You are free to state your preferences and what you think will work best, but it is not necessary to attack.

36 Replies to “Some Keys to Evangelization as Seen in a Record Number of Converts this Year in The Archdiocese of Washington”

  1. The fruits of the Year of Faith and The New Evangelization. Well, if it is from the HOLY SPIRIT, nobody can stop it. What with the new Saints Pope John XXXIII and Pope John Paul, the Great who are instrumental in the renewal of the Church, nobody can beat it. The resurgence of those who are championing abortion, euthanasia and atheism, materialism, hedonism and secularism are the ones to be ‘blamed’ on man’s search for the meaning of life. For people are beginning to question, are those alternatives better than what the LORD JESUS CHRIST taught? We can, of course, surmise that they are all empty promises, dead ends that lead to self destruction, if not spiritual destruction. I believe that there will also be another area that is in the works, evangelization of our Muslim brothers. These are all the works of The HAND of GOD. Let us continue our intercession prayers and works of mercy and quiet but effective witnessing. YHWH RUAH.

  2. No question about it, this is great news but what are you doing about the MIA’s which is 80% of your numbers missing from your pews. They are still among you. They have not moved. Knock that number down and you will really have something to rejoice about.

    1. Why do you say “You” rather than “we” ??? Perhaps you are you not a Catholic? At any rate, the 80% MIAs plus the fact that many who come through RCIA later go MIA has been addressed quite thoroughly on the blog here and “we” have to keep working both to grow and retain.

  3. First, thank-you for another excellent article, God Bless.

    Second, to ALL the new Catholic Christians, congrats and welcome home! Happy Easter Season!

  4. Also let us rejoice for those Catholics who have decided to come home to the Church after falling away as well via making peace in the sacrament of confession.

  5. Reaching out to people so they will KNOW Jesus….not just know ABOUT Jesus precisely IS the message of Easter. ‘As the Father has sent me so I send you’ (Jn 20:21)
    Thank you for the update Monsignor!

  6. Put the Legion of Mary to effective use and you will have a tidal wave of conversions and reversions.

  7. Monsignor,

    Thanks for your comments and analysis on this subject. Well done to the fine efforts in the Archdiocese of Washington! Let us pray for a bigger harvest next year.

  8. I think sometimes the key to evangelizing new and “MIA” members of the Catholic community lies in personal relationships. Outreach ministries, like meals for the sick, shut ins, or for grieving families of the recently deceased, are a great way to reach out to people who most need God’s presence in their lives. Many protestant churches do this, but I haven’t seen much of it in my own parish, yet. Though the conversion numbers won’t be big media attention grabbers, each light that is turned on gives way to another light, and so on and so on.

    Jesus didn’t turn folks around in 3 hours or three days, it took time. Letting go of the need for instant gratification and allowing oneself the joy of evangelizing by living an authentic Christian life open to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit will surely have an enormous payoff in the long run for all of us. We just need to remind ourselves to persevere and never lose hope.

  9. “But soon enough the beauty AND truth of her faith,”

    It is great to hear this. Half of my men’s group are converts and pretty much all say that the Truth of the Catholic Faith is what led to their entering the Church that Jesus founded (that and the Eucharist). But all too often I hear accusations of ‘triumphalism’ in proclaiming the Truth. For some reason many Catholics say we only should live our Faith.

  10. Monsignor Pope, I apologize for calling you a show off, and I am, at times, nastier than I would like to be.

    1. Not sure I remember that comment, I don’t see it in this thread, so maybe the moderators at ADW or KISMET pulled it? Anyway, be assured I have been called worse! Easter Blessings!

  11. TONY CAMILLO says:

    ‘Reaching out to people so they will KNOW Jesus….’

    So they will know Jesus and His Church, the Catholic Church. They are One and the Same. It is not enough to know Jesus…..we must follow Him also. Many protestants profess to ‘knowing’ Jesus but see no need for a church, doctrine or even religion. They look to separate Jesus from His Church. One only need to look at the many protestant denominations that have woman ordination, acknowledge homosexual marriage and even accept abortion to see the result of that.

  12. Was hoping to read that door to door evangelization was helping to acquaint our neighbors with our church, and that the result was seen in the baptism rate. Not so???

  13. I was in DC for a conference recently and thankfully it was at the hotel right next to the Catholic Information Center. Having a great bookstore , noon Mass and daily Adoration was certainly a blessing for me and from the size of the crowd to many others too. I commend them for making it easy for working people to get to daily Mass.

  14. I am one of those marriage converts. Unfortunately, although all involved were well intentioned, my RCIA formation was pretty much useless. Each week we just discussed Sunday’s Gospel. Nothing else, I did not learn a thing about the faith. I had lived my life much like Thomas Merton and I found it wanting. It wasn’t until I picked up Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” did I begin my pilgrimage to a stronger faith. I know another non-Catholic parishioner who met a woman with strong Catholic faith. He was very well educated in philosophy and able to read and speak Latin. He had started his own formation reading Church Fathers and various saints when the RCIA director, a former priest, suggested to him to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide him whether the Catholic faith was really for him.

  15. God bless all our faithful clergy. Theirs is to sow, and the reaping will happen in the Lord’s good timing.
    We only turn to the Lord when the world has forced us to our knees. We live in an age of easy comfort and self-satisfaction. Can’t, and won’t, last forever. Then all the faithful and patient sowing will bear fruit.
    St. Gianna Molla, pray for us!

  16. Congratulations to all the new Faithful! I must take issue with one point you make. Washington has not been more successful because it is ‘middle of the road’ but because it has been more orthodox than many dioceses in America, despite allegations to the contrary (some valid, some not). However, even more orthodox dioceses have had even greater success over the years.

  17. To EJCM: I commend you on your persistence and self-direction, and am so sorry for the lack of formation you and others have experienced in your RCIA journey. Each parish really needs to take a look at their program and be sure that they are teaching the faith in its fullness. Many parishes rely on volunteers for this ministry, which is fine if they are well-formed, trained and held accountable.

    The Gospels are obviously rich in theology and when done properly, can be a true vehicle for passing on the faith. However, Catholics also rely on Sacred Tradition, and to neglect this aspect of the faith is negligent, in my opinion.

    I hope you have spoken with your pastor about the gaps in the process that you went through. Hopefully, you can be a vehicle for change – you may even want to help 🙂 Blessings to you!

  18. #1 I recoil from descriptions of Church as if it were a political organization, to wit: those on the right, those on the left and those in the middle. There’s no such thing. You’re either one in mind with the whole teaching of the universal Church or you are not. My guess is that this latter aptly describes Church life in the diocese of Washington and accounts for its high number of seminarians. Bishops who are one in mind with the Church have and will attract others – whether they be men to the priesthood or converts.

    #2 I especially like your comments about 1 in 100 bringing in a single convert. I wonder what would happen is bishops and pastors informed all the Catholics in their dioceses and parishes that “in the coming year, we want to increase the number of newcomers to the Church by 10%?” If you don’t set your eyes on a target, you’re not likely to reach it. Yesterday’s Gospel referred to Peter preaching Jesus risen from the dead and that day 3000 entered the Church. If specific numbers were not important, it’s unlikely that the Gospel would have read this way.

    1. You may recoil at # 1, but it is a common lexicon and a kind of shorthand. Other terms just dont get it or arent agreed upon (e.g. traditional/progressive). Not sure I know what you mean when you say “no such thing” There are clearly divisions in the Church and different emphases.

      Agreed on the numbers question. Having some goals, at least in terms of percentage growth may be a good thing. Maybe the term expectation is even better. Catholics and parishes ought to be expected to make disciples. We cannot be obsessed with numbers, but neither can we ignore them

      1. Isn’t the purpose of the church to go forth and make disciples of all nations? Jesus commissioned the apostles to do this before he ascended to the Father. We cannot keep Jesus a secret to ourseves and the Eucharist, being the source and summit of our faith, must be at the center of efforts to evangelize. I recommend Scott Hahn’s Youtube video, “The Catholic Evangelical Moment.” He also has a new book coming out in May, “Evangelizing Catholics.” I plan to buy this book and get started!

  19. I am a convert to the Catholic faith from Protestantism. I found the church though Bible study and the realization that the Scriptures do not teach “salvation by faith alone”. It is sad that no Catholic lead me to the truth of the Catholic faith. It took me fifty years to figure it out. I pray God will send many labors into His harvest field. Years ago I attended a Protestant service where the crowd was ask how many came to Christ though some form of media? Their were only a few. Then they were ask how many came to Christ though a personal invite. That was most of the room and there were many in the room. See the people! See the people! See the people!

  20. The story is misleading. The Post headline gives a better picture:

    “Washington area welcomes a record number of Catholic converts amid falling national rates.”

    Conversion numbers in the US are “falling.” Thus Francis has had, if anything, a deleterious effect on conversions.

    As for ADW conversions, the post article gives a hint as to why they are up: “they are up in the Washington area, where there has been an overall uptick in population.”

    Thus, nothing the ADW is doing is drawing converts. More people are converting in ADW because there are more people in ADW.

    With a focus on ecumenism and describing other religions as a means of salvation, it is hard to see how ADW or the Church for that matter, is inspiring anyone with a burning need to convert. Why convert? They can be saved right where they are.

    1. Readers should note, according to his other ID info “Chris” would fall into the camp of traditionalists. That is fine, I both celebrate and enjoy the TLM, but his preference seems to jade his view and makes his own statements misleading. It is my sad experience among certain traditionalists (not all) that they cannot stand any form of success in any other segment of the Church. Also, “Chris” uses many different names when he comments on this blog even at times posing(?) as a priest, at times going by various other names and titles and fake emails. I have little respect for the opinions of those who throw stones from the shadows.

      All will agree that any Francis effect would have little to do with these numbers since these converts were already in the pipeline. Hence, it is too bad that Chris revealed his distaste for our current Pope. It was a bad slight of hand Chris, since you really didn’t have to do it but it does tells us where you are coming from.

      There is more to the numbers than an uptick in population, the article in the Post which you praise points out those factors. You cannot have it both ways. Either the Post article and it headline give a better picture, or it does not. My own excerpts make it clear enough that the numbers are not up everywhere in the Church and there are regional differences. I further state that our numbers should be a lot higher. TO call my article “misleading” is excessive on your part.

      Your final phrase is a straw man. This is not the view of ADW, and you obviously haven’t been reading this blog or you would not say something so foolishly inaccurate. The clear focus is non conversion to the Catholic Faith not “ecumenism” at least as you use the term. I therefore suspect that you just cannot stand success Chris. Your remarks drip of sneering, they add more heat than light to the discussion.

      1. Msgr.,

        Everything you say is correct but its worth noting that social isolation breeds pathologies. A lot of traditionalists are the way they are because the Church deliberately and unjustly marginalized them for decades (and still does in many dioceses!). I’m not excusing the behavior but all parties share responsibility.

  21. Monsignor,

    Thanks for another insightful post. I think you are right, particularly about catechesis. I am a few years younger then you, growing up in the 70’s, and felt the catechesis in the Archdiocese of Newark, where I grew up, was poor. I did not know where the Bible came from, that Jesus founded a Church, etc. Added to the secular culture that treats all religions as being the same, and treating Catholicism in particular as irrelevant, I was lukewarm in my faith to say the least.

    If people are lukewarm in faith because of, among other things, poor catechesis, how can they evangelize? I am certain that as your parishoners made the rounds of your neighborhood they met with objections. How can you address those objections without proper catechesis? Yet, you cannot successfully evangelize without addressing objections effectively (and lovingly, of course).

  22. Msgr.,

    You disagree with my take, and that is fine, but I assure
    you I have never impersonated a priest! Also, to the best of my recollection
    this is the first time I’ve ever commented on this blog!

    I was shocked to see what you had written. I think you definitely have me
    confused with someone else. Please contact me off line via e-mail as I really want
    to straighten this out!

    Thank you.

    1. According to your ISP # You’ve commented as Chris, Kev, Justin, and Fr JohnOSN. That said, even if they are not you and just happen to have the Same ISP # (rare but possible – e.g. if one is using a library computer at the same station), the tone of your comment is unacceptable. I am not “misleading” in this article.

      So I am doing more than “disagreeing with your take” I am taking exception to your accusation that I write to mislead. I asked at the end of the article that comments avoid the very sort of nasty accusatory tone you employ. It is this nasty attitude that tears at the heart of the Church and lashes at out at any good thing in the Church that isn’t alignment with what you personally think is best.

      Further you had no reason to dis the Pope on this or make accusations about ADW having flawed notions about ecumenism. You may have a civil right right to say what you please but you have no moral right to calumniate the pope or an entire archdiocese or, frankly, me. I am not writing a title or article to “mislead” The Archdiocesan commitment to evangelization is strong. There are important things going right here, even if they’re not your agenda.

      As a priest I have not liked everything that the faithful find enriching, (e.g. folk/contemporary music in liturgy) but frankly, a lot of people are moved by it and I have to admit when something works for others, even if it isn’t my cup of tea. I recommend the same for you, live and let live, when others have good news, celebrate with them.

      So I take great exception to your tone, your accusations, sweeping generalizations and seeming disrespect for our Holy Father.

      Since you say I have misconstrued your identity with others, I apologize, Normally ISP #s are very unique identifiers and for different people to have identical #s is very rare unless all the individuals listed are using the same computer and/or modem. But whatever your identity, it is your remarks to which the essence of my reply is directed and I repeat that I take great exception to them.

  23. Thank you for that. Helps to counterbalance the negative distortions which we so often see in the mainstream media.
    They seem willing to over-generalize, and otherwise create a vague based confusion, as opposed to the facts and figures which you give.

  24. I apologize, the video on Youtube is, ” The Evangelical Catholic Moment?” By Dr. Scott Hahn.

  25. I’m convinced Protestants make the best catholics!

    On a serious note I do wonder how much of these conversions, though wonderful, are simply the Catholic Church getting a bigger share of an Overall shrinking pie.

    And more importantly I think the biggest fndamental problem facing the Church is that the people with the most experience with Catholicism ( the cradles) are the most uninvolved Catholics. Here in Boston everyone’s grandparents were fairly devout (being from Ireland and Italy, two of the most catholic places on earth) but 70 years later less than 25% of their descendants goto Sunday

    Catholic fervor doesnt seem to last beyond two generations, and the passing on of the faith seems to rarely work.

Comments are closed.