The Church Isn’t Dead

“Sleep with the angels.”

“Rise with the Saints.”

“Party with the Pope.”

This is a little nighttime saying that a past roommate and I would always recite, back and forth, as we fell asleep. The last one is obviously my favorite.

Party with the Pope!

A week after being at the canonizations of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII, “party with the Pope” keeps resonating with me.

You want a party? Catholics will give you a party:

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(CatholicMemes)

If you saw any of the coverage from the Vatican last week, you would have thought there was a massive party going on in St. Peter’s Square. Well, it was a Catholic party, which included a massive slumber party in the streets of Rome (approximately 500,000 camped out) and a Mass the next morning with over 1 million people in attendance.

“Ain’t no party like a Catholic party.”

We hear often that our faith has become “irrelevant” and that people are leaving the Catholic Church, and that young people are falling away from the Church and lack a faith life. Sure, there are people who have left the Church and there will still be some who choose to leave. And we all know young people who have “lost their faith” or left the Church in their college years. But, many of those who have “strayed”, end up returning. The Church continues to see a constant influx of “reverts” and converts.

In many ways, the Church is more of fire than ever, and continues to get stronger with each passing day. Consider the HHS Mandate and the activism surrounding it. So many Catholics have begun rising up, because they don’t want the government to tread on their faith and beliefs. Or think about the March for Life and how year-after-year hundreds of thousands of people (many of whom are Catholic) travel from all across America to march against the greatest human rights abuse of our time – abortion.

The Catholic Church continues to grow, with a record number of people entering the Church at Easter this year in Washington, D.C. and many other places. Vocations to the Priesthood are at a 20-year high and vocations continue to rise among young people. And events like World Youth Day are drawing record numbers of young people from every corner of the world to an event all about the faith. Last summer, millions of young people travelled to Brazil for World Youth Day.

Over a million people travelled to Rome last weekend for the canonizations in St. Peter’s Square. People came from all over the world to celebrate the lives of two amazing Popes and to participate in the Mass where they were named Saints. I can’t think of another organization or group of people that can gather that amount of people internationally for one event, even more amazing – a faith event.

The Church is not dead. In many ways, it’s more alive than ever.

St. John Paul II changed the world and inspired many in the Catholic faith, as well as many outside of it. He truly is the Saint of my generation and challenged us to be witnesses of the faith. He challenged each of us to be a light to this, often, dark world.

One of his most famous quotes, which was a cornerstone in the celebrations last weekend is,

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

Although the media will claim that our Church is dwindling or people are losing faith, this is simply not true. The Catholic Church is more alive than ever. We may be attacked for our beliefs or mocked for our faith, but we are a part of a Church that has long sustained every effort to attack it and tear it down.

The Church is alive and more on fire than ever. Be a light to the world. Be a witness to the faith. And never be afraid to “party with the Pope.”

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Categories:Culture New Evangelization Youth

25 thoughts on “The Church Isn’t Dead

  1. That wouldn’t happen to be a woman named Nicole would it? She came to my high school and taught for a year and said, “Sleep with the Angels. Rise with Jesus. Live with the Saints. Party with the Pope.”

  2. Doc Nerves says:

    Slava Bohy… Blessed be God… I had the great privilege of being in attendance at this great event and let me tell you… there were many more than 1 million present and no, the Church is alive in Christ!!!!

  3. SnarkyCommenter04 says:

    @morganB: Dude, that was like, a decade ago…

  4. Andy Mason says:

    Actually, Morgan, what he said was that the treaty the Vatican signed only applies to the City State. Vatican City is a sovereign state, subject to treaties, but the Church isn’t. I, as a Catholic, am not a citizen of Vatican City, and neither are my priest or bishop. Ultimately, my connection to the City State is much the same as .y connection to Ireland; a country to which I have an emotional bond but no material link and no rights or obligations on either side. I cannot apply for citizenship simply for being a Catholic, and they have no jurisdiction over me as such. The Church has moral authority, but no jurisdiction to punish citizens of other nations criminally. It’s a complicated distinction, but a necessary one and that is what the Cardinal was saying. A Church can’t sign a treaty any more than a bridge club can; only sovereign nations do that.

  5. Amen, sista! Amen!

    :D

  6. morganB says:

    Nobody needs to tare the church down, they are doing a bang-up job of it themselves. I am one who has lost confidence in the hierarchy. If they really believe in evangelism, They should focus first on the fallout from this debacle.

    It was reported this week in Geneva at the UN council on pedophile clergy that since the disgrace began several decades ago the Vatican defrocked almost 900 priests. Oh, but who can say when it actually began?

    The Vatican’s U.N. ambassador in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi tried to lessen the impact by saying that the Vatican was only responsible for the 1000 residents of the Vatican. WOW!

    Interesting that no Bishop has been identified as having any responsibility for moving priests. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that that is absurd. Cover-ups continue.

    1. Flip the Script, Morgan says:

      *yawn*

    2. Mairin says:

      I live in a very deverse area…and I’m telling you the Catholic church [is not the only place with this problem.] There are sickos out there in schools, hospitals etc. that prey on the weak.So knock it off about the priests in the Catholic Church! I attended Catholic Schools for all of my young life and taught in Catholic Schools and NEVER heard of wrong behavior ..as the saying goes for the wrong deeds of a few all are blamed and THAT’S NOT TRUE!

    3. Constance says:

      morganB, If you have lost faith in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, it is probably because you had no strong faith to begin with. You cause me to call to mind someone who is so much like what you are talking about who lived in the 1500′s. His name is Martin Luther. Yes, there were bad things going on in the church. And look at Martin Luther’s solution: Protestantism. Look how what he did splintered the church. Going on, leave the Catholic Church if you belonged to her. I will stay and be faithful to what is the truth. Through the ages, because humans have concupiscence we can see over and over the imperfection of man. It is for all of us to work to bring about a greater good. I will be brave and courageous. I ask others to join me and let us stand up for goodness and truth. Let us work to fix that which is wrong. It certainly is not God, nor His Church. It is some of those who are in it.

    4. BC says:

      There’s the door, morganB! Don’t let it hit you on the way out!

    5. Paulette says:

      Have you checked on any other statistics throughout the world or better yet, in just this country? Or maybe try Hollywood? Everything else is covered up or ignored happily by the bias media. Jesus Himself was contradicted by the High Priests. But they too were wrong. I am one who has lost confidence in adults who were former Catholics who somehow make themselves and authority on the subject. “Give ‘em another blow!” It’ll help you feel better for a while. But the truth is, you’re losing your faith in God altogether by your pride. Slandering His church and His priests. You better be very careful what you say, for God will have the last word on the subject.

      1. Eric Johnson says:

        “Everything else is covered up or ignored happily by the bias media.”
        If that’s true then how would you know how much is covered up? If it’s covered up, it isn’t known. We didn’t know about the cover-up in the Catholic Church regarding the sexual abuse of children until it was UNCOVERED.

    6. Antonio A. Badilla says:

      Well Morgan, we can always count on you to ruin the joy of Catholics. To reply to each one of your accusations its easy but a monumental waste of time. Why: Simple. You are not interested on the truth, you are interested on destroying the Church.

    7. Mominwisc says:

      MorganB: we do not worship “hierarchy”. While priests and religious are self- confessed sinners, many are leading exemplary holy lives as examples to us all. But if we take our eyes off of Christ and make idols out of people, they will surely fall. I know I would not be alive or at best leading a very sorry existence had I not returned to the Church. I have a long way to go as far as holiness goes, but I recovered a joy that had been squandered through teen years. We must not allow others’ bad judgement, sin, and even outright evil to make us lose that joy that only Jesus can give. JPII is an excellent example of giving all for his faith despite all he went through and all that he had to endure.

      1. Mominwisc says:

        P.S. A great way to through your faith to the dogs or your pearls before the swine is to treat public radio or any mainstream media as if it is gospel truth. When I die, is God going to ask me how I reformed the Vatican? I am sure he will be asking me how I reformed my character in regards to my sloth, pride and anger. How I used the gifts He gave me to share and love others.

    8. Matt says:

      morganB: The Church isn’t tearing itself down, true it’s had some rough times in recent years with the pedophilia scandals; but the Church has had to weather the various storms since Christ walked the earth and will continue to weather the storms until Christ returns to walk the earth again. The bottom line is that Satan and his followers hate the Church and all who belong to her, and will attack her without cease (especially her leaders). Christ promised Peter that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church; but that will not stop the Devil from trying even though it’s an exercise in futility. That promise from Christ, therefore makes it impossible for the Church to tear itself apart or anyone/anything else to destroy it.

      But I think you are focusing on the wrong points. Has molestation occurred? Most definately.
      Is the molestation as widespread as the secular world and mainstream media would have you believe? Most definately NOT.
      I have actually looked at the statistics, because as a Catholic, I take it as a personal affront when my clergy, church, and faith are mis-represented and wrongly accused. Per the statistics, the percentages of molestation within the Catholic church pretty much the same (actually a tad lower) as within any other religious organization; and far below the percentages out in secular society. This of course does not make it right, but it does point out the unbalanced and skewed coverage of molestation.

      What you must keep in mind is that the Church here on Earth is comprised of mortal, human beings who are prone to temptation and error ever since the apple was first bitten. Our actions and inactions will often go against the teachings of Christ and his Church because we are weak. Instead of sensationalizing scandal, we all would be better to spend our time praying that God blesses all of us with continued Graces and the strength to resist tempation, especially the clergy who we hold to a higher standard.

      I and my 5 brothers were all altarboys in various churches and we all knew many others who were altarboys; none of us were molested nor have we met any that were molested. There is no question that incidents of molestation have definately happened and were often handled poorly. There is definately question as to the accuracy in reporting on the number of incidents and priests involved. We all want to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, is it too much to ask the same for clergy accused of such heinous acts? Also, there is some parental culpability here; priests are not baby-sitters and the church is not a daycare. Parents have an obligation to know where thier children are; to leave them alone with a priest or anyone often gives Satan the opportunity to start sowing the seeds of temptation.

      I hope this wasn’t too long, I could write a thesis on topics like this.
      Pax vobiscum – Matt

    9. John mcNell says:

      …”900 priests over decades.”That is not even one percent of priests. Ask yourself this question. What is the most dangerous place for a child to me molested? It is at their school. Almost everyday, a child is molested in a school. (Just google it. ) Why don’t teachers/school employees have the reputation of being sex offenders? Answer: The media does not mention it every chance they get. Of course, the media will not miss an opportunity to mention the sexual abuse scanda regarding the Catholic church.

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