I read somewhere recently that no one who really knows the Church will ever leave her. Those who leave the Church have never really known her. The Church is the "Bride of Christ", and once we understand that in its fullness, those who seek the truth will never leave the Church.
When I think of all the young Catholics - 90-95 per cent - who have left the Church since the 70s to the present day, I ask myself why? Why do so many young people know so little of their faith, or care so little about it? Why have the parents been so unable to teach their children, why has the Church been so unsuccessful in its role of passing on the Faith?
In a recent Catholic publication, a teacher in a Catholic school actually questioned the propriety of catechising Catholic children in Catholic schools. It was urged that only comparative religious studies should be taught in deference to the high proportion of non-Catholic students, and that catechising was not the role of the teacher but of the family.
If the Catholic Faith is to be passed on to future generations, it needs to be faithfully lived in this generation. There needs to be a comprehensive undertaking by all sections of the Catholic community to evangelise in their families through the witness of their actions and behaviour in their daily lives. This is the practical application by which each individual Catholic responds to the call to holiness, which emanated from Vatican II, and the very core of the call of the Church to a new evangelisation.
Today it is urgent the Australian bishops teach and lead in this call. We are asking them to lead us in a common commitment which will challenge the laity, priests and religious to rediscover those dimensions of our faith that are the fruit of God's call, and to evangelise our own fallen-away Catholics.
Please join with "Families United with Saints Joachim and Anne" and write to our Bishops, letting them know about the loss of faith in our families. Our aim is to present 20,000 letters to the Bishops in November 2002. You can send your letters to Mrs M. Power, 71 Bridge St, Toowoomba 4350, or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org