Read LCSC and CFC FFL first.
LCSC AND PARISH
LCSC will help unite the whole Church, through the parishes, as it focuses on the most basic work of evangelization. LCSC does not replace or displace any parish group, program or ministry. LCSC is not in competition with them, since it is not a community or group but is a movement, with the community being the parish itself. LCSC invites all parishioners, irrespective of group affiliation or ministry assignment, to have a share in the work.
While parishes are often busy and even vibrant, the greater number of parishioners is not active in Church or parish life. While parish ministries, programs and religious groups provide lots of formation and support, they generally reach those who are already active Catholics, but miss those who are lapsed, nominal or cultural. There is thus a need for a movement that reaches the grassroots and brings Catholics back to a life in Christ and the Church. LCSC is such an effective movement.
One challenge to LCSC is the busyness of the parish itself. There are often so many activities, and week-ends are a premium. To gain the most out of the LCSC movement, it will have to be prioritized. While other programs or ministries would not be replaced or neglected, LCSC programs should not be cancelled or postponed due to other parish activities. Why?
(1) Most parishes are busy. There will always be many important parish activities. If we wait until a parish is “not busy,” then how will LCSC do massive evangelization? How many available time slots would there be in a whole year? If LCSC in a parish works well, there could be as many as 10 to 30 CLSs in a whole year, dispersed in the different chapels/puroks. These CLSs can happen at the same time as other parish activities.
(2) LCSC is supposed to do massive grassroots evangelization. This is to reach those Catholics who are not active in church. On the other hand, parish activities are for those who are already involved regularly in church activities. If we dispense with LCSC because there is a parish activity, how then can these inactive Catholics be reached, in a massive way?
(3) There are a great number of parishioners, both active and inactive. Not everyone has to be just in one activity. In other words, it is not either-or but both-and. Both the parish activity and the LCSC can happen at the same time. Both are important, and one does not have to be sacrificed at the expense of the other. With 20,000 parishioners, would having just 25 or 50 of them in a CLS affect the other parish activities?
(4) LCSC aims to bring Catholics back to Jesus and to the Church (parish), while a parish activity provides nourishment for parishioners. While both are important, is it not more important to bring a lost soul back to God? The shepherd in fact left the 99 to search for the one.
LCSC ought to be seen as not just one other parish program. If it were, then it should rightfully “compete” with all other parish programs and activities for time and space. But LCSC is a movement of basic, foundational evangelization, to search out the lost. It is the very essence of the New Evangelization. To postpone or cancel a regularly scheduled LCSC activity because of another parish activity is actually to do the opposite.