Twice a Year Catholics
12/9/2012 4:48:00 PM
By Arlene Sawicki, Member of the Board of Directors
-Catholic Citizens of Illinois
I will never forget a particular sermon given on Christmas Sunday when the pastor asked this question to the obviously twice-a-year [Christmas and Easter] church attendees, packing the usually half-empty pews and spilling out into the Narthex: "Aren't you the least bit curious what happens here the rest of the year?"
You have to wonder if the "Christmas/Easter" Christians understand that it's the regular, faithful church goers who support their churches physically, spiritually and financially in order that the traditions of their Christian faith continue to survive and flourish. That there are congregations to be ministered to in truth and love, outreaches to fill for needy neighbors, buildings to maintain, a church staff that needs our help, parochial schools that beg for funding, and the list goes on.
In a recent Pew Center poll comparing religious practices, these figures stand out.
To the question: Does religion play an important role in your life?, responses were: 82% for Mormons, 56% from Catholics, 56% from the General Public. Do you attend religious services at least weekly?: 77% Mormon, 42% Catholic, 39% General Public; Do you pray at least once a day? 83% Mormon, 58% Catholic and 58% General Public.
The next question. What have Christians substituted for the full time commitment to the practice of their faith? Perhaps all we have to do is look around at our cultural chaos to find the tragic answer.