Ask a Franciscan

Share Your Reasons to Remain Catholic

Local parishes encourage us to bring nonpracticing Catholics “back into the fold.” I can’t get my adult kids to come regularly because they consider Mass an ancient practice with little or no relevance today. I know many other parents who are in the same situation. What can we do?

Giving someone three reasons why I still attend church is almost certainly more convincing than giving them three reasons why they need to attend church. In the long run, shaming adults cannot work because they need their own reasons to remain Catholic or not.

It seems to me that Catholics and other Christians have too often presented faith as an object that can be lost or found rather than as a relationship with God that, like all relationships, needs constant maintenance to remain alive. The faith of a 5-year-old is great for a 5-year-old, but it will not be enough for a 25-year-old. Unfortunately, the term adult faith makes no sense to many Christians with an all-or-nothing approach.

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