September 23, 2013

Sometimes when I read the WCR and the messages of Pope Francis, I sense a tremendous disconnect. Pope Francis sees it. Very few in the Church do.

Yes, we have global issues but what about the crisis in our own backyards like Quebec – with its secularization of the province? Where are our voices here? For that matter, what about the empty pews in most Canadian churches?

I know there will be the usual responses from the “everything is wonderful” group.

One question I have is when is Archbishop Smith going to ask for feedback from the stakeholders of our faith, our parishioners. Schools do so yearly. This could be extremely valuable to any parish.

Where are all the young people? Yes, a few go to WYD each time but really – where are the young people? Sadly, where are many adults? Are homilies in the archdiocese ever monitored for content, message, delivery and understandability?

One recent parish bulletin asked the question: “Do you know anyone who has stopped coming to church?” Quickly followed by “Then tell them to look up this website.” So much for reaching out!

Our reach is shorter than a lot of denominations when reaching out to those outside the church building – the poor, lame, less fortunate.

Where are our candidates for the priesthood coming from in the next 20 years? I am pleasantly surprised that celibacy might be negotiable. Hundreds of our young people might look at the priesthood were they able to renew their vows, say every 10 years. What’s wrong with that, especially now with the harvest being plentiful?

My wife and I are in our latter years now and the look back seems to be more worthwhile than the prospects I see for the salvation of our children and grandchildren.

Pat McDonald
Rocky Mountain House