Bringing Inactive Catholics Back

Many priests, in my observation, seem to be of two minds when it comes to some of the aspects of evangelization. On the one hand, many priests will roll their eyes and tell me how many parishioners they already have; why would they ever want more? On the other hand, priests will wring their hands over statistics about the growing number of Catholics who are not present at Mass, while twisting their lips so as to say, ”What can we do about this?” Behind the hand wringing, eye rolling and lip twisting lies a very human reality: priestly numbers are on the decrease, responsibilities are on the increase, and we feel faced with factors that cannot easily be understood or explained. We see the graying of our congregations, as Catholics raised before the Second Vatican Council continue to worship regularly, but in diminishing numbers — for the simple reason that this group is now retired, aging and dying.