Do we need to “Rediscover Catholicism?”
On Oct. 27, 1,000 people are expected at St. Leo’s Church on Sweet Home Rd. in Amherst to hear a presentation from internally known Catholic author- Matt Kelly. Over 2 million of his books have been distributed in the English speaking world over the last few years including over 1000 copies here at St. Mary’s Church. I certainly know in my 40 years as a priest that the lives of Catholics have changed here in the Diocese of Buffalo, the USA, and I am sure in other countries as well. Matt Kelly’s address is sold out, but I am praying that it will lead to a spark in the practice of our Catholic faith that will give some spirit back those who attend and in turn to many thousands of others.
Please read over the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. It is how “things” began in those first years after Jesus. We certainly know that the way we live has changed in 2000 years, but it is the Holy Spirit that is still working throughout the people of God. It is that Spirit that is needed to assist the men and women of the Church today to face up to new challenges that certainly did not exist in the early days. One of the big ones facing the Church in the United States today is the growing shortage of Catholic priests to staff the parishes here. Some of the priests I went to school with (we are in our middle and late ’60s) are retiring in a few years. I am not that far away myself as I am 65 in a few weeks. My classmates and I are wondering if we will ever have a chance to step down from administration. It is not that we don’t want to be priests for the people or give up ministry, but we would like to be relieved of the many extra responsibilities. Did you know that many parishes especially large ones today have business managers on the staff and some of our deacons are being trained to take over as administrators of parishes?
Some Catholics would say there should be an option for married clergy or women priests. This has not been in our tradition during these 100 years. I thought 40 years ago after the Vatican Council II that changes like that would come but as we know they haven’t.
Please join me in praying the for the future as more people “Rediscover Catholicism.” If you need a copy of the book contact our rectory office.