Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The plight of the Domestic Church

Catholic Families in Crisis: New Study Finds Catholic Homes Are Spiritually Bankrupt
Holy Cross Family Ministries recently sponsored a first-of-its-kind study through the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown on spiritual health of the Catholic family The results paint a sobering picture, I offer an explanation of how the family has fared in the decades since Vatican II in The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God.
Mass Attendance
Only 22% of Catholic families attend mass weekly.
Only 18% of Catholic families with an infant attend mass weekly.
Larger families do a slightly better job with mass attendance but still, only  33% of families with 3 or more children attend mass every week.
Religious Education
68% of Catholic parents do not have their children enrolled in any type of religious education.  Only 8% enroll their children in Catholic grade schools, 3% in Catholic high schools, and 21% have children in some type of parish-based religious education (i.e., “CCD”).
When faith education is considered in light of Mass attendance, 42 percent of weekly Mass attenders having a child enrolled in parish-based religious education (though NOT Catholic school) compared to 27 percent of monthly attenders.   But, of course, that means that almost 60% of the most committed families (weekly mass attenders) do not have their children involved in religious ed of any kind.
Many people believe that cost is a serious impediment to enrolling kids in Catholic schools.  This would not appear to be the case insofar as only 14% of families in the upper middle class income bracket ($85,000+/yr) send their children to Catholic school.
Family Prayer
About 36% of Catholic parents say they pray daily but if it is true that the family that “prays together stays together” then Catholic families are in serious trouble.
Only 17% of Catholic parents who pray on their own also pray as a family.  An additional 7% of Catholic parents say that they don’t pray on their own, but will join in if their family is praying.
While about 50% of Catholic families eat dinner together daily, only 13% of Catholic families say they pray before meals every day.
  It means, that the kids are NOT all right.  It means that Catholic family life is NOT OK.  Most importantly, it means that we, as a Church, need to stop assuming that the families in the pews have been equipped to live and proclaim the gospel and that whatever other ministry we may do, we need to allocate resources to shoring up our own spiritual house, because it is falling down around our ears.
In light of this study, parents should commit to living out the 5 Marks of the Catholic Family , bearing a full and vigorous witness to the Catholic difference in our own lives.
Here are additional resources for help in living out the fullness of the Catholic vision of family life, made challenging in the face of the moral therapeutic deism so prevalent among Catholic families at present.
Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids (COMING AUGUST 2015–Sophia Institute Press)  Raising faithful kids is a possible mission for Catholic families.  This book exposes the latest research on what it takes to pass the faith onto your children.  Discover how to make your faith the source of the warmth and love in your home.  Celebrate uncommon closeness to Christ and your kids.  Get more out of your prayer life and the sacraments.  
Parenting With Grace:  The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising (almost) Perfect Kids–Discover faithful ways to respond effectively to the challenges of each age and stage of your child’s life and create they close, loving, joyful family God wants for you.
Then Comes Baby:  The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First 3 Years of Parenthood–Parenthood should be a celebration.  Discover how find a healthy balance that enables you to meet your needs, baby’s need, and maintain your marriage as well.  This book helps you enjoy your new addition to the fullest!
Beyond the Birds and the Bees:  Raising Sexually Whole and Holy Children--You can raise moral kids in an immoral world.  This book shows you, step-by-step how to respond to difficult questions, overcome challenges, and build character in your kids that enables them to make godly choices in every part of their lives–even when you’re not breathing down their necks.c