We got to hear a wonderful presentation this evening about Christian ministry and how it is and should be changing in this country and in our Catholic Church. Dr. Greg Baker from our local Mercyhurst University shared his ideas on how "pastoral power" is not the mechanism to lead people on their faith journey, but rather accompanying people on their paths of freedom, guiding people along their own seeking is the better way. He used the analogy of fences--that tend to control and hold in, contrasting them with porous boundaries that allow coming and going with the freedom of adulthood.
He shared the statistic that in 1970 55% of US Catholics attended Mass weekly. In 2018 it was 21%. Something is not resonating with seekers. He stressed that this is not at all a Catholic-only trend, as 26% of Americans now identify themselves as "unaffiliated" in religion.
It was a great presentation, full of contemporary, yet solid perspectives and concerns. Greg complimented us on the many social justice areas we address, but we think that with people as himself by our side, they are all the more meaningful, powerful and enriching.