Sunday, October 26, 2008

All are welcome to come and pray in a Catholic church
Fr Gordon Anderson writes:
St. Francis Church is now open for prayer and meditation Monday-Thursday... The daily services are done in addition to this. I started this because I noticed a problem: we do not get many visitors for Sunday services, yet we have probably a couple hundred cars and people driving and walking by the church each day. Why don’t they visit on Sunday? While there are different many answers to that question, one of the things I thought was that people want to slowly get their feet wet in religion. The pressure of a really intimidating church service is not always what they want right away. But they can learn to like it if they slowly “wade in”; if they would just come inside just to see the place and feel God’s presence, they might come back for a service. So now the doors are unlocked.
Exactly. There are lots of levels of ‘participation’. While the Masses and offices simply go on, people are free to come and go, be regular communicants, follow every word in a book or do private devotions like pop in to light a candle to one’s favourite saint. The kind of un-self-conscious religion Arturo and Thomas Day understand and praise.
That is one thing I have always loved about European churches, and some of the big churches here in the states — how they are always open.

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