(Part 108)


December 19, 2014

A key word in our vision for our evangelization work is “massive.” Most Catholic groups and parish ministries do one or two of their programs a year (some may do a bit more) and bring in a few dozen Catholics or so (some a bit more). CFC injected “massive” into the work of evangelization in late 1989 and did carry out such work. But even this is hardly enough. 99 out of 100 sheep are still lost.

Take a typical parish in the Philippines. There are 20,000 parishioners. Say 18% go regularly to Sunday Mass. So 16,400 are lapsed. How many does that parish bring back to active Church life in a year? 100? How long then will it take to reach everyone else? 164 years!! This is totally unacceptable.

But that is what is happening in Catholic parishes. Unless the parish in fact continues to lose even more Catholics.

See the problem? Thus the need for an even more massive work of re-evangelization. Why massive? Here are ten reasons why.

* Because 99 of 100 sheep are lost.

* Because a major percentage of Catholics do not go regularly to Sunday Mass (thus in effect not being a real Catholic Christian).

* Because everyone needs to have the opportunity to hear the gospel (nominal Catholics need to hear the kerygma again and thus meet Christ).

* Because people are dying in their sins, every day.

* Because the proclamation of the gospel is the missing first step, which leads to participation in the pastoral feast (programs, ministries, formation, etc.) that the parishes offer.

* Because the assaults against faith, family and life are growing even more intense, and a first line of defense is knowing Jesus and his salvation.

* Because a major apostasy is underway, and there is really no time to lose.

* Because we are called to proclaim the gospel to every creature (Mk 16:15), to preach the gospel as a witness to all nations (Mt 24:14), to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).

* Because we are in the end times and need to prepare for Jesus’ second coming.

* Because we want to hasten the Lord’s return, and the preaching of the gospel throughout the world is a prerequisite before the end will come (Mt 24:14).

But do you see all this? Do you have a sense of the great urgency? Can you ever go back to your comfortable ways knowing that God is counting on you as one of the needed workers?

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Note: I have an assignment for you. Ask your parish priest or PPC member how many parishioners the parish has. Then ask how many attend Mass on Sunday and anticipated Saturday, or estimate it yourself. Divide that number into the number of parishioners and you have your % Mass-goers. The balance can be considered lapsed Catholics. Given that the church is full at Sunday Mass, did you ever think there were so many Catholics who simply are not there? Does that shock you?

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