This is a question that the main stream media and the cultural elites like to ask. Often the Roman Catholic Church is accused of not being relevant for our unwillingness to accommodate shifting cultural norms. Some of our teachings are dubbed “unpopular” and out-of-step with the mainstream. The Church’s teaching on birth control, priesthood, women’s role and living together are a few of the teachings that regularly come under fire. However they cannot explain why year after year more people chose to become members of this 1 billion plus community that lives in all countries of the world and all corners of the earth. As a matter of fact in the Archdiocese of Washington 1,147 adults will become full members of the Church this Easter.
Clearly the Church is relevant to them. They have found in the Roman Catholic Church a spiritual home. These men and woman come from different cultures and all walks of life. (Read some of their stories at www.cathstan.org). They have spent one to two years preparing for their full entry into the Church. On their way they have discovered that the Church not only has not lost its relevance, but still after 2,000 years provides a path to true happiness. In welcoming these new members the Church will be more fully the body of Christ for having them join us. Our communities will be all the richer for the way in which they will live their lives at home, on the job and in the world empowered by the Holy Spirit, manifesting through their gifts, the living presence of Christ.
The Church was founded by Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, the truth found in his teachings remains the same, yesterday, today and forever. The Church’s teaching has provided generations of its followers with the happiness that only the closeness to Christ can bring. Throughout her history the Church has encountered many trials and difficulties, sometimes brought about by the sinfulness of her own members. But time after time it has prevailed, by reorienting itself on the teachings of Jesus Christ. In some of the darkest times in history the Church remained a beacon of hope for believers and non-believers alike. We attribute this to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the eternal mercy of God’s all forgiving love. Which other institution can make similar claims?
Congratulations to Jon who came closest with a guess of 1,000 to guessing the number of adults who will enter the church at Easter. Richard’s guess of
4,321 seems like a great goal for next year.