The need for more Catholic fellowship and faith formation

By: OSV Newsweekly

In 2011 I made the case to my boss to attend World Youth Day in Madrid. I was aging out fast, and I wanted to get a firsthand experience of just what it was all about. I spent my days interviewing and my nights writing, and what I came away with was a sense of great fellowship, of an “we’re-all-in-this-together-proud-to-be-Catholic-ness.” It was beautiful, inspiring and encouraging.

I was reminded of this when reading a Crux article on the recent Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Florida, which gathered 3,500 Catholics in early July. Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, said the convocation was “kind of like World Youth Day for adults, without the pope.”

Bishop Conley continued: “You’ve got all these Catholics together in one place, you’ve got these great speakers, beautiful liturgies, time for prayer where everybody can be together, a very diverse crowd and a cross section of the Church in the United States all here because of our Catholic faith,” he said. “I think for a lot of our lay faithful, they’ve never been in a place like this before with so many other Catholics, and it sort of recharges their batteries.”

This could not be more accurate. Even watching from a distance, following the convocation on social media, video streams and TV, I could sense the atmosphere of fellowship and the delight at the participants of being somewhere ... comfortable. Where they were not, for once, the odd-man-out, but rather part of a larger team of believers that belonged.

As our culture has become more devoid of faith, such opportunities are more scarce. In days gone by, religion was the backbone of society and family life. Now, bringing up the topic of faith in public is like wading into hostile territory. So many claim that the Church is ignorant, outdated and chauvinistic. Or, sadly, that it’s full of pedophiles. So many objections exist — some, unfortunately, understandable — and we’ve all heard them. Committed Catholics, especially those in ministerial or leadership positions, need the gift of time together to be reminded that they are not alone in living out the mission of Christ on earth.

In addition to soul-soothing fellowship, Catholic leaders desperately are in need of formation in the Faith. Keynote speakers, like Bishop Robert E. Barron, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop José H. Gomez and Hosffman Ospino, were able to not only motivate but educate those gathered.

It is not easy to put on a national convention, and this one was years in the making. But one of the fruits could be similar gatherings on a smaller, regional — or even diocesan — scale. Fellowship and formation even could become twin pillars of focus in parish life to help give Catholics the boost they need to be in the world today.

The Convocation of Catholic Leaders was a beautiful gift to the Church. May we all be inspired to continue to live and profess our faith proudly and with joy as a result.

This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.

 

Catholic News & Perspective

Provides information on the Church, the nation and the world from OSV, America's most popular and trusted national Catholic news source


Recent

The need for more Catholic fellowship and faith formation

Saturday, July 15, 2017
By: Gretchen R. Crowe OSV Newsweekly In 2011 I made the case to my boss to attend World Youth Day in Madrid. I was aging out fast, and I wanted to... Read More

The need for more Catholic fellowship and faith formation

Saturday, July 15, 2017
By: Gretchen R. Crowe OSV Newsweekly In 2011 I made the case to my boss to attend World Youth Day in Madrid. I was aging out fast, and I wanted to... Read More

The four stages of loving

Thursday, July 13, 2017
By: Father John Crossin OSV Newsweekly St. Francis de Sales offers guidance for assessing growth in our relationships with God and neighbor. To... Read More

Finding God in beauty and the feminine genius

Thursday, July 6, 2017
By: Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony OSV Newsweekly Pope St. John Paul II wrote: “Women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid... Read More

Finding God in beauty and the feminine genius

Thursday, July 6, 2017
By: Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony OSV Newsweekly Pope St. John Paul II wrote: “Women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid... Read More

Pope tells archbishops not to be 'armchair Catholics,' but apostles

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
By:     Catholic News Service OSV Newsweekly VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's new cardinals and new archbishops must be... Read More

Sisters minister to rural poor and incarcerated

Sunday, July 2, 2017
By:  Brittany Wilson OSV Newsweekly For the past decade Benedictine Sister Marian Wehler has poured her heart into Catholic Rural Ministry of... Read More

Religious brother, priest forever bonded by kidney transplant

Friday, June 30, 2017
By: Catholic News Service - OSV Newsweekly DUBUQUE, Iowa (CNS) -- Father Scott Bullock and Christian Brother Stephen Markham are forever... Read More

The devil you don't know

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
By: Mark Shea OSV Newsweekly Old Scratch is back in the news. Recently, in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Jesuit Superior General... Read More

The Church at a time for ‘critical solidarity’

Monday, June 26, 2017
By: Don Clemmer OSV Newsweekly An outsider candidate for his country’s presidency, known for his crude rhetoric and stoking of voters’... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!