GMD 114: Unchurched People

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.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in evangelization, Go and Make Disciples and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to GMD 114: Unchurched People

  1. Jim McCrea says:

    This program has been helpful @ my parish: http://www.mhr.org/reconnecting.html

  2. Ray MacDonald says:

    I’ve always thought the Alpha Course was a reasonable approach to take here. My wife and I attended an Alpha Conference in Toronto in 2004 where we got to hear the message straight from Sandy Millar and Nicky Gumbel. It was pretty inspirational.
    Then we went to a special Alpha for Catholics presentation where the speaker’s theme was that Alpha is an OK tool but we really should use it to get people back to old time Catholicism – pray, pay, obey. Depressing but not unexpected.

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