The Catholic Church Wants Your Opinions

The Catholic Church worldwide is undertaking a “fact finding mission” to the extent that has never happened before. This project starts in Rome with the Pope and extends down right to St. Mary’s in Fairhaven. The Catholic Church hierarchy is very interested in what Catholics around the world are thinking about their Church.

            Participating Catholics, former Catholics and nonparticipating Catholics are all invited to a one-time meeting where your thoughts, opinions and questions will be heard and communicated.

            The Vatican will address issues worldwide, but if you attend the session at St. Mary’s in Fairhaven, this local parish will be able to take action immediately on positive ideas and suggestions.

            Over the past years, the attendance at Catholic churches has been declining, and with the Pandemic, the attendance in many Churches has been cut in half. The Church scandals have had an effect, the Catholic population is aging, some Catholic churches have closed, and of course, the Pandemic have forced families to stay away from in-person masses for over a year. When people get in the habit of not going, it can be a challenge to get them to change their new habits.

            On a positive note, although attendance at weekly Catholic Mass has declined, the registration at Catholic Private Schools has been growing over the recent years, especially during the Pandemic. In Fairhaven, New Bedford, Acushnet, Dartmouth and Fall River, there are 10 elementary schools and 2 Catholic high schools.

            The Catholic Church also operates Catholic Charities and nursing homes. But the School System and the Charity work are different from the benefits Parishioners get from weekly mass and Parish Activity.

            The main focus on this “fact finding” process is to focus on the issue of weekly mass attendance and local Parish participation by the parishioners themselves.

            The goal of the process is to make each parish in the U.S. and here in the south coast the best it can be for our current parishioners and to make the Church as welcoming as possible to any new parishioners. The time involved for you would be one meeting, a couple of hours. Your part is not an ongoing process.

            The official name for this worldwide “fact finding” process is a Synod. This type of meeting for discussions and input is generally held at the senior levels of the Church hierarchy, but now for the first time the process is being implemented at the local level.

            It will be refreshing to hear firsthand what all Catholics, participating or not, are thinking about parish life in their Church. The discussions will be a judgment-free zone where all ideas are open for discussion.

            It’s important that everyone involved in the Church now, or those who are thinking about the Church, will have an avenue where their individual thoughts, ideas, feelings and impressions will be listened to and heard. This is a one-time meeting, a couple of hours, not an ongoing process.   

            And immediate changes or adjustments may be made at St. Mary’s Fairhaven if there is consensus, and the suggestions are doable for the local Church.

            To participate, please send your contact information to St. Mary’s Fairhaven:   (508)992-7300 or text to (603)493-2512.

Thank you for your consideration!

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