Since our diocese is so large geographically, Bishop Gregory Hartmayer has continued the diocesan tradition of having the Rite of Election in the western part of the diocese. The Saturday before the First Sunday of Lent is when it comes either to Sacred Heart in Warner Robins or St. Joseph in Macon. This year it was Warner Robin's turn. Ours was on Saturday, February 13. The Cathedral in Savannah had it the next day, Sunday the 14th.
We have a smaller number of people this year. Four will be baptized at the Easter Vigil and another 12 or so will be received into the Full Communion of the Church through Profession of Faith, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.
We have some who have to wait if and when their marriage situations can be validated by the Church.
I am disappointed to see that the numbers are so far down. A mere couple of years ago, we were having 25 or 30 catechumens and converts. I know Jerry Schmidt had a lot to do with that, plus you were using some laity with theological and academic backgrounds. Those sessions were lively and intense, at times, and I thought it was a powerful program. What happened? Do not let what was a fine RCIA program become like these half-**ed programs I see and hear about in so many Churches.
Thanks Gene, since I am the predominant catechist now, with Fr. Vernon filling in on occasion and our former seminarian Patrick Tunnel, Roman trained, assisting.
In fact, the numbers are greatly down in our deanery. Holy Spirit has no one. Sacred Heart which is a larger parish has less than we do. I noticed that this was across the board. St. Mary on the Hill, the largest was notably down.
There are a number of things going on. In our parish we are telling those who don't come to class or miss more than three without an excuse to consider joining next year when they can commit time to us. We are dealing with more marriage cases and thus those people are delayed and some may not come in because they don't work on their annulments.
Secularism is a big culprit too and we've leaped frog in that area in the last 8 years. Same sex marriage and the majority of Americans supporting it and seeing the Church as bigotted in this area doesn't help.
All that in just a couple of years? Anyway, it wasn't meant to be a personal criticism of you, as I always thought you ran really good classes and were really up front about dealing with anything that came up. That isn't the problem, but I can't help but wonder what Jerry was doing differently or how he managed to get so many into inquiry in the summer months. Perhaps it is a tribute to him, in a way, that things are not the same without him. Or, and I am serious, maybe it is this Pope. If he had been Pope when I came over, I might not have.
I think we also have to acknowledge the stagnant population of Bibb County/Macon, as Father M. as noted in previous posts. People are heading for the 'burbs. And ditto for St. Marys in Augusta. More a reflection of population shifts than the clergy---it would not surprise me if in the 2020 census, Houston County overtakes Bibb County, and maybe within another generation in Augusta, Columbia County will surpass Richmond County.
We attract people to the Faith by living the Faith. While we have to take into account the impact of demographic shifts and secularization, the bottom line is that our lives are not the Light Set On A Stand that they are meant to be.
Holy Spirit is not without RCIA participants. Like some at St. J, there are marriage issues.
And priests who tamper with the texts of the Liturgy are not living the Faith.
Since when did a translation become part of the Deposit of Faith?
TJM, neither are those same Priests who will not openly confess their belief in the Real presence and the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Frankly, I am surprised that Holy Spirit is not overflowing with members, as many apostate, unbelieving Catholics in name only as there are. The place ought to be a haven for them.
Gene - I openly confess my belief in the Real Presence and the bodily Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth at least twice a week.
What I won't do is answer your questions - your attempt at interrogation - here. You are not competent to judge my faith, therefore you have no right to demand answers.
Anonymous, lex orandi, lex credendi
Kavanaugh, those questions were not mine, for the dozenth time. I am not "demanding" answers because I already know the answer. I do not give a damn, personally, about your unbelief. Several other bloggers asked you outright and you refused. Parroting the Mass is not the same as answering a direct question about your personal faith, which any Priest should reflexively do. You coyly, and then adamantly, refused on several occasions. Faux Priests all over this country parrot the Mass. Big deal.
Gene, you made the questions your be demanding answers. Your assumption that you know the answers is wrong.
For someone who doesn't give a damn, you sure bring this up a lot...
I don't answer any questions about my faith reflexively. I answer them with thought, with faith, and with humility. I also don't demand reflexive answers because I have more respect for people than that.
Faux Catholics all over this country use racial slurs and defend themselves by saying all their "intelligent" friends do the same. They reject the Church's teaching on the killing of non-combatants in war. They say "I would not follow the Pope," and when challenged, day they didn't mean it.
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