What about people who don’t go to church, and possibly never have? This section also advocates “programs” to reach out to people who are nominally Christian, but the fire of the Gospel has never been set in their souls.
The objective reads:
To design programs that reach out in particular ways to those who do not participate in a church community or who seek the fullness of faith.
Five possible strategies might give a parish a start.
- formation of innovative methods of inquiry in the period before the catechumenate;
Innovation in the RCIA? Some parishes in which I’ve served hosted inquiry sessions at people’s homes. Going to a church might seem to be a commitment too deep for some. But having a barbecue or something, then having a few parishioners talk about their faith life–that might be less intimidating and more welcoming. The home is mentioned in strategy #2:
- programs of hospitality and welcome, at the local church or in homes;
Get out in the neighborhood:
- exploration of new forms of Catholic presence in cities, suburban malls, storefronts, and other places of congregation;
Nothing replaces a personal touch:
- personal visits;
Not even this:
- regional mailings.
Readers might want to consult this whole chapter devoted to goal number two (GMD 104-116) at the USCCB web page.