With the media reporting stories of how the major Christian religions are experiencing great “slippage” in the numbers in their memberships, it is worth repeating that the Catholic Church in the United States still gains more new members every year than any other religion. Who are the people who join the Church today? Here at St. Thomas More our recent converts reflect the trends across the entire country.
1. Young people who are engaged to marry Catholics. At this important time in their lives, young couples want to share their faith lives and values.
2. Young parents who are expecting their first born baby or have children starting school often find that this is the time to join a faith community that will help them find God in their lives and establish moral values in their families.
3. People who were baptized either in the Catholic faith or another Christian religion but were not brought up or educated in that religion. As the years go by they may seek to return to their Christian roots.
4. People who are not baptized…both American and increasingly, people from other parts of the world. As they live with their Christian neighbors, they are attracted to the Catholic Church with its ancient traditions and colorful liturgies.
5. People who have experienced grief and tragedy in their lives and are seeking to make sense of it. So often we hear people say, “I had Catholic friends or neighbors who had great suffering in their lives and their faith seemed to sustain them and comfort them. I want to find a faith like that.”
6. People from all backgrounds who are seeking God in their lives…looking for the answers to life and death questions. The Catholic Church offers great opportunities of Scripture study, the prayerful worship of God, intellectual studies in theology, joyful celebrations through the sacraments, fun filled social events, respect for traditions, care and love for the sick and dying as well as for the poor.
So, you can see that the people who join our Church today are people who are very involved in life as it is lived today.
HOW DOES A PERSON BECOME A CATHOLIC? THROUGH RCIA!
The RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is the process by which the Catholic Church welcomes new members into its communal life. It is for non-Christian men and women, for Christians who are not Catholics, and for Catholics who are baptized but have had no religious training and are not fully initiated.
If you or someone you know fits this description and may be interested in joining our RCIA process here at St Thomas More, then contact Becky Ready at 753-2548 . We promise it will be an exciting journey like no other!