John Grabowski , associate professor, theology, published an article in Our Sunday Visitor on how parishes can be revitalized by seeking community. See below.

To revitalize parish life and welcome home wounded hearts, we must seek what has been lost: community

From: Our Sunday Visitor Date: June, 7, 2015 Author: John Grabowski

Throughout the Church's history, most Christians experienced this reality of community in their local parishes. Until recent decades, many Catholic parishes were themselves tight-knit communities where members not only attended Mass together but were involved in one another's lives, helping people through times of illness, economic hardship or the challenges posed by caring for young children or elderly relatives. Catholic families lived, worked, played and prayed side by side and formed networks of supportive relationships that went beyond and supplemented those provided by extended family.

Times have changed, however, and community is hard to come by for many Catholics - even those deeply engaged in their parishes. There are many reasons for this change. The individualism and wealth of our society have made people more mobile and less likely to stay near their families or home parishes. Many large urban and suburban parishes no longer have a common identity and a stable population. People with their own busy lives and schedules may see their parish as a kind of "sacramental service station" where they drive in for their Sunday morning fill up of grace and then drive out until the following Sunday.

The result of this experience prompts some Catholics to look for community outside of their parishes. Lay ecclesial movements have been a grace for many in the post-conciliar Church, enabling them to share their life in Christ with others on a deeper level.


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