Remember when Bishop Golka visited us for the Diocesan Synod Listening Session on March 8? If you missed it, you missed a great opportunity to participate in the life of the local and universal church. But don’t worry, check out the full report that Bishop Golka will be presenting to the U.S. Bishops and to Pope Francis. You can find it at www.diocs.org . Here’s a short summary below:
“This Synodal process in the Diocese of Colorado Springs revealed an extensive amount of information about the local Church. Most encouraging is the great enthusiasm and love many expressed for their Church, even if there were difficulties or disappointments. The simple fact that they participated indicates as much. The comments about the joy found in the sacraments, above all the Mass, and the prayer of the Church such as adoration and the rosary helped to show that many Catholics are engaged in their own faith and spiritual lives. Many respondents were converts or reverts, having taken advantage of the numerous excellent resources available to learn about their Catholic faith. A large number of respondents indicated that they are involved in their parish and find it welcoming and alive. Many also expressed an appreciation for the opportunity to engage in this process and be heard.
There were also many indicators of significant challenges that currently face the Church. Although there is a love for the Catholic faith among most of the respondents, there is disagreement on what that faith actually is and what it requires.
It is undeniable that the cultural landscape around the Church is shifting ever more rapidly, and the Church is expected to make a thoughtful and bold response. Almost all responses indicated a great concern over the trend of Catholics leaving the Church and young people disaffiliating from religion. Rather than the Church trying to look more like the culture, there is something to be said for building an engaging and uplifting way of life that is accessible to all people and which is distinctly Christian in the fullest and richest expression. This will often challenge many preconceived notions, especially of older Catholics. While it is important to attend Sunday Mass, this no longer suffices to anchor someone in their Christian faith. A holistic Christian way of life, one that includes a meaningful community dimension, is essential. Catholics must live life together much more and guard against retreating into tribalistic camps. Prayer, fellowship, patience, understanding, forgiveness, and the works of mercy characterize such a needed way of life. Evangelization and discipleship formation are essential movements in building this community. Above all, it must be centered on and always seeking Jesus Christ.”
Please read the full report at www.diocs.org and let me know what you think.
Rev. Mark Zacker