For nearly a decade I’ve coordinated a dedicated and deeply faithful group of parishioners who visit the sick and homebound of our faith community. Whenever a new volunteer worries that she or he lacks the knowledge to be a minister to the homebound, I advise them to trust in the importance of their presence. When visitation ministers fear they don’t know how to console, I assure them that their mere presence conveys caring and love—words are secondary to presence.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve received a number of requests from people looking for resources to assist them in different ways as they meet the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. In response, we’ve begun curating online resources in this weekly series, including links in each of the following categories: Prayer for the Home, Educational Opportunities, Resources (for ministers, educators, parents, etc.), and Flourishing and Fun.
Here’s what caught our attention for this week:
I have a confession to make: I attended the same parish for three years during graduate school and never learned a single fellow parishioner’s name. I loved going to Mass there, but I never attended a parish function or lingered after a service to talk to fellow worshipers.
For the past four weeks, we've published a series of articles from Echo Associate Director Katie Diltz on the importance of not just participating in parish life at a surface level, but diving deep to embrace life in one's parish community more fully and fruitfully.
In thinking about writing a series for young adults on embracing parish life, I began by informally surveying young adult Catholics in my social networks. The 85 people who responded to my Google survey represent an atypical sampling of millennials (my social networks are exceptionally Catholic-y): 80% attend Mass at least weekly, 80% are registered at their parishes, and 83.5% donate to their parishes at least occasionally. And, yet, only 55.3% of this group can definitively say that they feel like part of their parish communities.
We go to Mass, we’re registered, we donate, but we don’t feel like we belong. What are we missing?