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When a loved one leaves the Church
Posted By Eric Sammons On April 28, 2011 @ 1:36 pm In Evangelization | Comments Disabled
The May 8th issue of OSV Newsweekly  includes an article I wrote on how to respond when a loved one leaves the Church:
I had just finished a speaking engagement in a parish when a lady approached. She was in her late 50s, and seemed a bit apprehensive about speaking with me. After a few pleasantries, she came to her point: She was distressed because her two children — a son and a daughter — were no longer practicing Catholics.
She had been a faithful Catholic her whole life and simply didn’t understand how both of her children had turned their backs on their childhood faith. The two of them had taken very different paths away from the Church. Her son was now an evangelical missionary serving overseas, and her daughter was an agnostic with no interest in religion. She was slightly less concerned about her son, but clearly the abandonment of Catholicism by both troubled her deeply.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common today. In fact, I would estimate that this is the most common thing I am told by audience members when speaking to groups of Catholics. There are thousands of hurting Catholic moms and dads out there, begging God to bring their children back to the Church and dealing with immense feelings of guilt over the possibility that they are responsible for their child’s lack of faith. A recent Pew Research Center study found that 10 percent of all Americans — 10 percent! — are former Catholics. This makes former Catholics the third-largest “religious group” in the country behind Catholics and Southern Baptists.
So, what can a parent or sibling or cousin do to help his fallen-away family members return to the Church’s fold? Although individual situations are unique, there are some fundamental principles that we can follow to help the former Catholics in our families reconsider the Church.
Continue reading …
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 OSV Newsweekly: http://www.osv.com/tabid/7621/itemid/7852/How-to-respond-when-a-loved-one-leaves-the-Church.aspx
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