Recently, a lay minister reflected upon an experience she underwent at her parish. They had assembled an Evangelization ministry to begin offering Bible and Faith Formation classes to adults. One Sunday, she was requested by the celebrant to briefly speak about this formational opportunity to the parishioners before the final blessing and inquire who would be interested. When she asked the congregation of about 150 people, less than five individuals raised their hand expressing a desire to participate. She was certainly disappointed.
The lack of interest some Catholics have in deepening their understanding and appreciation of the Catholic Faith is a cause for concern. If Catholics do not know why the Church teaches what it teaches, then it becomes increasingly difficult to comprehend, explain, and defend the Faith. Consequently, it increases the likelihood that they will gradually become less dedicated to the Catholic Church and her teachings.
As pastoral ministers, we ought to examine why this has been occurring in our parishes, determine what should be done about it, and respond prudently to this crucial issue. We must begin by looking at what the history of our parish is when it comes to evangelization. How have we attempted to motivate our parishioners in the past and how can we effectively encourage them today? How have we endeavored to engage them in the parish’s various catechetical and faith forming programs and services? How do the faithful presently understand and celebrate the sacraments? What instructions and teachings have they heard and received on Catholicism? How have we used the opportunities that have arisen to form our parishioners in the Catholic Faith? These are some of the questions that an Evangelization ministry may need to discuss not only to better examine the cause of the disinterest or lack of enthusiasm some of our churchgoers have in faith formation but to also formulate the necessary pastoral approach to Evangelization that their particular parish needs.