Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I read about a group of "experts" in parish renewal who came together in a conference to talk about what was wrong with parishes, and why people were leaving or not attending much. The focus was on the laity. People needed to be on fire for Christ and then the parish would build. Well, I have another take on this. I meet few people who said they got malaise or dropped out because no one was on fire for Christ. They left because the preacher was ill-informed, uneducated, insulting, boring, prejudicial toward women among other groups, and so on. Maybe we need a conference for the preachers, but once the the poorly formed ones get out of the seminary, they think they know it all. I was a bit like that once. I probably drove a few out, but fortunately, those ladies in Houston, Texas did a nice job of kicking my butt gently. They were my priestly formation. Boulder, San Francisco, Knoxville built on it. I might be slow to listen or change, somewhat willful to say the least, but graced people kept coming into my life to save me from myself. I am still on a slow learning curve. I might not burn.