Practically Speaking: Seeking the Estranged, the Witness of Charity

Authored by Patty Norris in Issue #33.2 of The Sower

There is a shocking reality concerning the demographics of worshiping Catholics in the United States. If one would like to identify the largest community of Catholics it would seem logical to look at the largest Catholic parish in any diocese. However, in most cases that is not true. The largest group of Catholics will be found worshipping at the local ‘mega’ non-denominational church. If your country or diocese does not have a mega-church culture then the picture may be even blacker, the Catholics who no longer attend Mass may not be worshipping at all.

The reasons that Catholics leave the Church are many and complicated. Some drift away, some are driven away, many are in irregular marriage situations, many misunderstand what the Church teaches on moral issues and others know very well what the Church teaches and simply do not believe. There is enough blame to go around for all of us who remain and all of those who are gone! Although the particulars of each situation matter and need to be discerned and dealt with the problem for all of us goes much deeper. Through our baptism, we have been adopted into a filial relationship with Jesus Christ. His life is our inheritance and we share this inheritance with those who share our baptism. Our estranged companions are not a problem to be solved. We must seek out our brothers and sisters who have forgotten, misplaced, squandered, lost or rejected their inheritance.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!

This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Kerygmatic Catechesis and the New Directory
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The much-anticipated Directory for Catechesis is finally here! So many of us involved in the work of catechetical renewal have eagerly awaited its publication. This directory is the third of its kind, following 1971 and 1997 directories that each proposed a vision for catechesis intended to prepare Catholics to live in the modern world as well-... Read more
An Invitation to a Faithful, Dynamic Renewal of Catechesis
By Jem Sullivan
Free This article explores c hapters 1-2 of the new Directory for Catechesis. The publication of a Directory for Catechesis by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization could not have arrived at a more providential moment as the universal Church seeks a renewal of Christian faith in local churches struggling through the effects... Read more
Becoming Windows for the Light of the Living God
By Brad Bursa
This article explores chapters 3-4 of the Directory for Catechesis. O ne could liken c hapters t hree (The Catechist) and f our (The Formation of Catechists) of the new Directory for Catechesis to a meditation on windows and how they are made. Identity and Vocation of the Catechist In the early Church, those who followed the Way were often called... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now