Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

Discovering the Catholic faith

July 14, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Each year, I am pleasantly surprised by the many persons who decide to become a member of the Catholic Church. They take the time to enter the program that helps them understand the message of the Catholic Church as they prepare themselves to become a Catholic.

These programs are successful because of the dedicated people – the priests and sisters as well as the many dedicated lay men and women – who give their time to teach those who are investigating the Church, showing them the gifts of the Catholic Church. These are very special people who make the programs knowledgeable and enjoyable for those interested, hoping to encourage them to become a Catholic.

I also want to include in this action the many who take the opportunity to invite, to encourage a friend or a loved one to investigate becoming Catholic. There are so many dedicated Catholics who take the time to accompany a friend or loved one on their journey of finding the message of the Catholic Church. These are dedicated and caring people who help others learn the message of Jesus and encourage them to make the decision to become Catholic.

I mention this today because someone reminded me this week of the message of Jesus we find in the Gospels – “the harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.” The Lord gives so many Christians unique opportunities to lead others to the Church. I believe that each of us can open the doors of the Catholic Church for others and invite them to discover the Lord and to make a decision for Jesus. There are so many wonderful ways to assist others in finding the Lord and the Catholic Church.

Today, I was fortunate to hear the story of a missionary priest who shared his story in his homily at Mass. He told us of his experience in the Sudan. His story was of a time when the government of that region became very oppressive. The government literally drove all the Catholic priests out of the region and closed all of the churches. For 15 years, the people had no priests, no Mass, no sacraments.

When the priests were able to reenter – and they did – this missionary told us that they discovered a people still alive with a deep and powerful faith in God and in being Catholic. They had helped each other to develop a community of faith with a faithful recognition of the importance of being Catholic. When the priests returned the people joined again for Mass and demonstrated their readiness to bring the life of being Catholic alive in their community. The people demonstrated their faithfulness with God and each other. They had lost nothing of being Catholic.

I believe that we will discover the power of the Catholic faith when we come to the end of this pandemic. May all of us, young and old, recognize the importance of our praying together at Mass and the sacraments – a life that is truly spiritual. May our Church recognize with Jesus, “the harvest is great, the laborers are few.” May there be faithful laborers of the Lord working to build a community of faith.

So, we pray that our Catholic faith stays strong for us all and for our communities, for our parishes. We pray there will be an increase in seminarians ready to dedicate their lives to the Lord. We pray there will be priests and deacons for the future of our Church to bring the message of Jesus to our world and to bring the Church’s sacraments to all Catholics. This will demand dedicated and loving disciples.

Jesus calls all of us – clergy and lay Catholics – to be active as members of our Catholic Church. I believe that each of us has many unique opportunities to put new lie into our own faith community, our own parish. I believe that the Lord guides us in many wonderful ways to live well as Catholics and to show the world the power of the Catholic faith. Pope John XXlll urged each one of us as a Church to throw open the doors and windows of our Church so that all may recognize the joy and happiness of living as a Catholic.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.