Revitalizing the Church

I recently came across this article, 10 ways to revitalize the Catholic Church, written by Fr.  I. Michael Bellafiore.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The new pope’s agenda is simple: spread the good news of Jesus Christ in a freer and more convincing way. Christ stated the church’s mission very plainly: “Go out and make disciples of all the nations.”…The church is not a spiritual McDonald’s whose success largely depends on its managers, the clergy. Paraphrasing President John Kennedy’s call to service, “Ask not what the church can do for you, but what you can do for the church.” Evangelicals and Pentecostals have much to teach Catholics in this regard. Polls show Catholics stayed away from church because they were ignored, slighted, or scandalized. Sometimes they misunderstand church teaching.  They need to know that they are missed and that the door is open for them…

Remember that being Catholic in America, or anywhere, means we can rejoice and trust Christ’s admonishment, “be not afraid.”

You can read the whole article here.

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7 Responses to “Revitalizing the Church”

  1. Nancy Janzen says:

    I would like to see adult discussion groups on subjects like the catechism or the bible which would inspire more pew Catholics to think deeper about their faith. When you are thinking about it you are less likely to be drawn away.

  2. Ed Hawkins says:

    Right on. Add the Rosary. Pray, Pray, Pray.

  3. John G. says:


    Re: Revitalizing the Church –

    Father Bellafiore’s Washinton Post article was thought provoking. Perhaps in an effort to communicate better with “blog” followers, the full article could have been posted in case some readers didn’t bother to click on the link to read it completely.

    As noted in the article, Catholics here in the United States, in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria and elsewhere have been unendingly scandalized by revelations of the monetary, sexual, and life style, etc. escapades of some members of the hierarchy which have been covered up by Church Authorities for years, regardless of the fact that civil and criminal laws may have been broken. Every time we hear of a new revelation we think it is the last …..until the next shoe drops. Is it any wonder that many of the faithful have “dropped out” of the Church.

    The Church can only be “revitalized” after it is “reformed”. Fortunately Pope Francis is showing everyone – clergy and laity alike – how the simple life can be the most satisfying and the holiest. The recommendations of the Commissions to reform the Roman Curia and the Vatican Bank should be large first steps along the road to reform. While some of the hierarchy had already adopted a simpler and less showy lifestyle similar to that continued by Pope Francis after his election, perhaps some more members of the clergy will also emulate that low key lifestyle. That would be another step in the right direction.

    The “Spirit of Rio” needs to be brought home to the United States and to all countries that participated via their Catholic Youth. Our youth are the ones who must be the seed for the future of the Church. Hopefully they will remain “turned on” by the simple lifestyle and the reform actions of our new Pope.

    Respectfully, John G.

  4. Joan says:

    I always enjoy reading practical “tips” on any subject of interest. I am in agreement with the advice and would like to comment on the French priest who hears Confessions for six hours at a stretch. That is devotion to God’s people. I live in the suburbs of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and there have been times that I have wanted to go to Confession on a day other than Saturday. The author is correct in saying that most parishes only have confessions on Sat. for 30-45 min. Fortunately for me there are a few Catholic Churches in downtown Baltimore that have daily Reconciliation around noontime. For me, it is a trek. I can go in the middle of the day because I am retired. I consider it a blessing. What about the people who work during the day? They may not want to wait until Saturday. I would like to see a plan whereby Confessions can be heard daily during the week at various times and parishes. I realize that with the shortage of priests it would be hard for a particular parish to implement this, but how about sharing the responsibility regionally? A particular time and day could be assigned to each parish so that the Sacrament is offered daily at a Church within a reasonable distance. I know you must be friends with Archbishop Lori. Can you suggest this idea at one of your Bishops’ meetings? Confession is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Spread the joy and the Grace!
    I also want to mention how wonderful it would be if we saw our clergy and nuns wearing their religious garb in our culture. When I was a little girl, I was in awe of seeing a priest or nun (well nuns…they traveled in pairs). It was an opportunity to ask my mother about these special people of God. It made an impression on me. It is an easy way to witness, to evangelize, to get people to think about dedicating their lives to the Lord.
    Thanks for posting this article, Cardinal Dolan.

  5. Irene says:

    Our new Pope is doing a wonderful job leading by example, I think. Under his stewardship I’m hopeful that many disaffected Catholics will come home.

  6. Rick McConville says:

    This is an outstanding set of thoughts. While I didn’t think that I needed revitalizing, this certainly stared the process. Thanks for the note.

  7. Terry says:

    I just read the Pope’s recent interview and am greatly discouraged. I guess our work in the Right to Life was wrong. I guess John Paul II was wrong. I guess Pope Benedict was wrong. We should not worry about the babies being aborted because it is a political issue. Let’s just be quiet about that. What is going on? Who is right? What is right? Should the Germans have not spoken out against the Nazi’s? Should we just look the other way when marriage is falling apart? Frankly, I do not get this pope. I am really discouraged, and am thinking about just doing the basics, Sunday Mass, and Holy Days. Pray and pay again. The ‘new church’ can do it. When you stick your neck out, you get chopped off at the knees by this great new pope! What have the cardinals done to us?