Dear Parish Family:
Last week, I was very sad to hear about the closing of Milford Catholic Elementary School. That school holds a very dear place in my heart as it was my elementary school and the school where my mom taught reading and math for 17 years. It makes one wonder, why did Catholic schools and parishes once thrive when people were actually poorer than they are today; when people didn’t have smart TVS or cell phones we carried everywhere, and our lives were much simpler?
A Pew study found that over 30% of Americans who were raised Catholic no longer consider themselves Catholic and less than 10% of baptized Catholics attend Mass on Sundays. The inference is clear: Most people do not see any compelling reason to live as Catholics.
So, what is the way forward for local Catholic schools and parishes like us? Communities like Sacred Heart must take ownership our parishes and have honest discussions of who we are as Catholics and what can each of us can do to make a more compelling case for Catholicism locally. Faith spreads, person to person, so each of us has a duty to spread it to his or her own circle of influence and friends. We cannot wait until our schools or parishes are in trouble.
The Pastoral Planning and the Faith Formation Teams are paying attention to the trends affecting faith communities in and around Hopedale. We know that families are stretched and stressed because of work demands, busy schedules, and individual activities. We are sadly aware of the decline in family religious practice at home and participation in the life of the parish. Busy schedules often push religious activities off the calendar. We are working to create faith formation formats that are fun, and flexible and most importantly equips our young people to live as disciples of Jesus.
To provide these different types of faith formation experiences, we will be asking for your help. Everyone has a gift to share! Please be open to sharing your gifts so that you can help spread our faith locally and beyond.