The pews are empty. Mass booklets are stacked in piles. Parish bulletins lay strewn on the floor like trash after a nine inning baseball game. All left for the ushers to pick up and clean. Even water bottles are jammed into the missal holders. Who leaves water bottles in church? Apparently those people that have no respect for the House of God. The collection did not reflect the added worshippers. Mostly loose change. Apparently, there is no inflation facing the church. The Creasters give like it was 1950.
A real spiritual dilemma for the Catholic clergy. How can the church be jammed to the rafters on Sunday and empty on Monday? Better yet, next Sunday the church, with adequate seating for 500 hundred parishioners, will barely be 30% full. What could the priest have said that might have made a difference? Will any of the hundreds of occasional Catholics return before December 25th? Probably not.
No one really likes to talk about the anomaly of the Creasters. They are sort of like part-time workers who have no real stake in the company other than the 20 or 30 hours they work every week. They have no benefits. Obviously there is no commitment to the Church. You cannot attend mass twice a year and truly be part of the Church. Are they Catholics that have lost their faith and are hanging by a thread? But so many? Why?
I find it hard to believe in the gospel of Christ on a part time basis. Either you are in the game or you are not. How was this group of part-time Catholics created? If I lost my faith or because of multiple marriages or any number of prohibited activities, I was unable to continue to practice my faith, I doubt if I would want to come back once or twice a year. But maybe that is just me.
Maybe it is a cultural thing? However, having lived in many parts of the United States, it seems to be kind of a universal phenomenon. What is disturbing is that it reflects poorly on the remainder of the liturgical year. Local parish churches are supported by the faithful parishioners that sit in the parking lot on Easter and Christmas so this group of bi-annual Catholics can practice or pretend to practice their faith. It does upset me as there appears to be no solution in the works.
With our world so complex today, maybe the Creasters have adopted the “playoff” approach to their spiritual season. You go to as many games as you can during the regular season, but the important thing is that you attend the playoffs. Just like the Super Bowl, World Series or the Masters, the playoff season for the Creasters must be Christmas and Easter. Tickets will be sold soon for this year’s playoff starting on Monday, December 25, 2017.
Donald – Thank you for raising this and speaking about it. I believe there is a solution and it comes from understanding where the problem originates. We are in a crisis of Faith for sure, but I believe it is more a crisis of not hearing. Saint Paul reminds us that Faith comes through hearing. Most Catholics today have not been properly taught. I am a perfect example. I went through 12 years of Catholic education but it wasn’t until a priest friend of the family sat me down and taught me what I present in the article below, that it all began to make sense to me. I live in NJ and we have had great success helping Catholics come back to the practice of the Faith by distributing this explanation in the form of a pamphlet. We have since distributed some 7000 around the country and we now have orders coming in from South Africa and Australia. People are hungry for an explanation that makes sense to them. I can’t tell you how many stories I have heard from people that were away from the practice of the Faith, that have now come back after reading this explanation. And they always say the same thing, “This makes sense to me. No one ever told me this before.” Once people understand the logic and that the Mass and the Sacraments benefit them tremendously, they will respond. I have seen it firsthand. Thanks for raising this and God Bless. Michael.