Getting the Laity Excited About the Catholic Faith!

As a convert to Catholicism and a lay evangelist of nearly thirty years, one thing has been apparent to me almost from the beginning of my faith journey—most adult converts are bouncing-off-the-walls excited about Catholicism, but most cradle Catholics aren’t really all that excited about our holy and ancient faith. The reason for their lack of excitement also became apparent to me early on, and that reason is because there is one thing that differentiates the excited converts from the blasé attitude of cradle Catholics—

Adult converts learn all there is to learn about the faith when their minds are fully developed and they are focused on the more important things in life. Cradle Catholics, on the other hand, learned the faith as they grew from childhood—a time when (like all children) they would have much rather been outside playing than sitting in a classroom listening to some adult drone on about religion in what is usually a boring manner. Who can blame them? They were, after all, kids!

The greatest tragedy in the Church is the ignorance of the laity.
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
Another problem with the catechetical knowledge of the faith among cradle Catholics is, they were never really taught in the first place. As Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke so eloquently put it, “A gravely defective catechesis which marked the life of the Church in the years following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, though not because of the Council, contributed to the loss of faith, the lack of a devotional life and left the subsequent generations devoid of a concrete way to know the Catholic faith and live it.” The simple fact of the matter is, today’s Catholics simply don’t know the faith.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

What We Believe...Why We Believe It, the weekly bulletin insert that teaches readers the full and unvarnished truths of Catholicism in bite size nuggets in a way that is engaging, inspiring, often heartwarming, but never dull.
Joe Sixpack is a well-trained and faithful consecrated Marian Catechist. As the International Director of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, I enthusiastically endorse Joe Sixpack’s ‘What We Believe...Why We Believe It’ as an innovative means of helping parish priests promote the doctrinal and moral literacy of their parishioners.
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
It is this lack of knowing what the Church teaches that has led many members of the laity to become their own pope. What I mean is, because they fail to recognize the infallible authority Jesus gave His Church to speak for Him in matters of faith and morals, many now decide on their own what to agree with and what to reject. This has led to numerous problems in Holy Mother Church—problems that must be overcome if we are to make the Church relevant again in the public forum and the lives of all Americans.
Did you know…

  • surveys show that 70% of all Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist? (The actual problem is, they never really new in the first place.)
  • the average Catholic in the pew cannot even tell you how many sacraments there are, much less name them?
  • 95% of Catholics use artificial contraception, many not even realizing it violates Church teaching?
  • 10% of Catholics provide 90% of the financial support in the majority of parishes, despite the Church’s precept that we are obligated to give financial support—and they do this out of ignorance?
  • even those who most priests would consider the “best-of-the-best” parishioners have no earthly idea what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, beyond a formal Christian rite they are obliged to participate in when (if) they attend?
  • well over 90% of Mass attending Catholics go to Communion every time they attend Mass, but only about 5% actually ever go to confession—even during Lent and the Easter Time?
I know thy works; thou art neither cold nor hot. I would that thou wert cold or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to vomit thee out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:15-16 Jesus to the church at Laodicea…applicable to nearly all our churches.
The lack of solid catechesis over the years has led to a lukewarmness in the Church in our nation that has reached dangerous levels and, for all intents and purposes, made the Catholic Church irrelevant in the lives of most Catholics and our national culture and society. The remedy is to re-educate and re-evangelize the laity… and that is what Joe Sixpack and What We Believe...Why We Believe It is all about.

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