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Inhaltsangabe: The Catholic Church in the United States is bleeding internally. Although the population of those coming to Church on a more or less regular basis continues to increase over time, the percent of the total population that is Catholic has remained virtually constant for almost four decades. However, there are serious signs of interior hemorrhaging which are becoming more visible over time. A statistical analysis of the past 60 years (1950-2010) shows marked declines in marriages and infant baptisms as well as vocations to the presbyterate and religious life. Marriages in the Church in 2010 are at the lowest in the preceding six decades. The percent of marriages relative to the Catholic population has declined 75%.This decline of marriages in the Church mirrors the cultural decline in marriage and traditional family structure of married parents and children. Infant baptisms follow the decline in marriages and in 2010 recorded the lowest level since 1950. Baptisms relative to Catholic population have dropped 60%. A simple model of the dynamics of the Church population (which includes baptisms, deaths and net immigration) indicates that about 15 million people have left the Church from 1950-2010. Adult deaths are expected to exceed infant baptisms by about the year 2040. Application of the model for future decades reveals a sobering prognosis of a slow and steady decline to the lowest percent of Catholic population since 1900. In the light of this reality, evangelization is an imperative and not an option and requires recognition of the seriousness of the battle with the culture. The post Vatican II Church offers a Christian anthropology that can speak to the modern person in the context of their lives. The underlying fear of ontological death, the death of one’s being, is thus seen as the focus of the saving action of Jesus Christ who “set(s) free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:15) If the diagnosis of the Church as bleeding internally, as hemorrhaging, is not denied, not seen as bad news, but rather as an opportunity to announce the love of God for those near and far away, then it is truly Good News. To recognize an illness is to search for a cure. The rediscovery of the missionary mandate of the parish is central to the call of the Lord to his people. But how can this mandate be practically realized? In response to this overarching question of “What can be done?” Christian Initiation through a catechumenate is offered as a most suitable framework for evangelizing unbaptized and baptized and uncatechized adults and youth. The Neocatechumenal Way through 40 years of practice at the pastoral level has demonstrated the effectiveness of Christian Initiation as an evangelization model. The power of the kerygma, the announcement of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, is at the heart of the Way. The kerygma announcing the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the subsequent sending of the life giving Spirit to the people of today through the Church has been shown to move people, young and old to a conversion of heart and a desire to live the Christian life. The Way is not a movement or association but an instrument for evangelization for use by the Bishop and pastor. Through an itinerary of renewal of Baptism in small communities in the parish, the Way offers a journey that can appeal to those who have left the Church as well as a strengthening of those who have remained. The parish then assumes its rightful dual role as a community of communities that fulfills both the deepest needs of those within as well as instilling an ardent missionary zeal to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ to those outside of the Church. The missionary parish may then emerge, a parish with a sense of its destiny to renew the culture through the renewal and public witness of the Christian.
About the Author: Robert V. Thomann was born in New York City in 1934 and married Joan P. Coyle in 1957. They have 7 children (6 are alive today) and 18 grand children. He was ordained in 1977 as a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Newark NJ and has ministered in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Fordham University (2011), a Master’s in Systematic Theology from Seton Hall University (2007), a Ph.D. in Oceanography from New York University (1963), a Master’s in Civil Engineering from NYU (1960) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College (1956) and is currently Professor Emeritus of Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College, Bronx NY. He has taught in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Guam and in the diaconate programs of the Dioceses of Newark and Paterson, New Jersey. Previous assignments included Director of the RCIA for the parish for almost two decades as well as the ministry of Marriage Preparation. He previously held a position of Associate Director for Deacon Formation for the Archdiocese for 7 years. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and has published extensively in environmental engineering and science. He and his wife walk in a small community of the Neocatechumenal Way in his parish and reside in Ridgewood, NJ.
Buchbeschreibung CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. Paperback. Buchzustand: Brand New. 180 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.43 inches. This item is printed on demand. Buchnummer des Verkäufers zk1479352497