Learning, Loving and Living Your Faith
Bishop Brown’s recently released Pastoral Letter begins by begging the Holy Spirit for the grace to inspire each and every one of us to seek a heartfelt enthusiasm for our Catholic faith. His concern is about the easy-going attitude toward the faith held by many. The problem he identifies is one of indifference. This is evident in the following indicators:
- Enrollment in religious education classes often drops dramatically after First Communion.
- Less than half of the Catholic students who attend our schools come to Mass regularly on the weekend because their parents don’t.
- The fervor that leads up to Confirmation often fades and few teens remain involved after the celebration.
- After their wedding, few couples remain connected or involved in a parish.
- Some baptized and received at Easter often lose their enthusiasm, become disconnected and are not around regularly after a year or two.
- Many of our catechists/teachers do not take the time to work on their basic certification in religious formation.
While Catholics are the largest denomination in Orange County, the second largest is “former” Catholics. The faith and commitment of many Catholics has not reached the depth needed to sustain their Catholic faith and keep up its practice over the course of their lives.
Bishop Brown’s challenge and invitation is to each and every one of us. He is asking that we make our own commitment to ongoing formation. And it is this commitment by each and every Catholic in the Diocese of Orange to better know, love and live out his or her faith, that will turn this trend around.
How far must I go to deepen my knowledge and practice my Catholic faith sufficiently? What is expected of me?