The special insert on reaching out to young adults is well done, and the archdiocese is to be commended for adopting Theology on Tap and other efforts to reach those alienated from organized religion. Unfortunately, the front page headline proclaiming "On cue to eliminate 'NONES'" sends the wrong message. In a culture where we talk about eliminating the opposition and other shades of hostility associated with the word, I don't think that is what such ministry intends. Inviting, Converting, Engaging -- yes. Eliminating -- no.
Recently I attended 5 p.m. Mass to celebrate my nephew's First Communion.
I was never more appalled at the behavior of not only the young children in the pews in front of our family, but of the adults as well, using cell phones and electronic games to keep the kids occupied. It was so distracting and took away from the true meaning of the Mass itself. Since when has the accepted behavior in church been completely forgotten?
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
This right among our other precious rights guarantees not just the freedom of worship, which is largely done within four walls, but the freedom to express one's religion in concrete ways in the public square: by works of charity, caring for the poor and homeless, the sick in hospitals and in providing formal education on all levels and assisting victims of private and public disasters.
God gave us all our freedoms. If we live our lives in our faith, the world will find peace and goodwill to all. None of us is perfect, but God will always love us and forgive us if we ask in true sorrow. Just think back when businesses started selling all things on Sunday, that was the start of money and material things becoming more important than God.
Having had the privilege to teach theology at St. Elizabeth Academy since 1983, I treasure having seen God's love alive in a very cosmopolitan student body. The ladies at St. Elizabeth Academy know that loving one's neighbor includes all people, because here we have them all!