|"You cannot imagine what it was like to say words like “we” and “our Father” and “us” while standing at the head of a congregation that was turned together in a physical expression of unity. No matter how one might argue to the contrary, it is impossible to say “we” while looking at 500 people and not be speaking to them." - Fr. Richard Simon|
MY COMMENTS FOLLOW
At the outset, let us affirm that the discussion here in no way aims at "volunteer catechist teachers." They are just that, volunteers, and as far as I'm concerned, they are just as much a victim of the same system that has engendered the general mass exodus from the Catholic Church. The problem is elsewhere as I will illustrate.
First, let us begin by recognizing that we have a problem.
As I mentioned in the original post, we had a problem with an exodus from the Catholic Church long before the NCW became a problem - and still today, more "Catholics" are leaving for other faiths or no faith at all, than are joining the NCW.
You are correct. The "situation in Guam is not unique in the way CCD is conducted in the entire USA." In fact, you make my point. The entire Catholic USA is a failure, and Guam right along with it.
Both Pew Research and CARA polls show that Mass attendance - measured in those who attend Mass at least once a week - has fallen by half since 1965 (the end of "The Council), with only 24% of Catholics attending. More eye opening, and relevant to the current discussion is the fact that a whopping 2/3 of Catholics do not believe in "absolute standards of right and wrong."
Meanwhile, and to my point of the exodus to other faiths, a March 2013 Pew article reports:
'Strong' Catholic Identity at a Four-Decade Low in U.S.http://www.pewforum.org/2013/03/13/strong-catholic-identity-at-a-four-decade-low-in-us/
...while those with a strong Protestant identity has jumped to 54%:
"I agree that catechetical formation starts at home. Unfortunately some parents drop off their kids like in a babysitting class so that they can go grocery shopping, clean house, etc. Would that they are going through Adult Faith Formation simultaneously as their kids to give them the material they need to share their faith. Classes don't end after the session, parents need to supplement these lessons with action."
And given the forty years of this mess, they are probably victims of the same parental-rights-usurping system - having been forced to sit through a series of attendance demands in order to receive their own sacraments.
But worse, our system destroys families by robbing the children from the "church of the home," and forcing them to sit through a forced scenario which parallels a school system that most already resent.
Family catechesis therefore precedes, accompanies and enriches all other forms of catechesis. … "the church of the home"remains the one place where children and young people can receive an authentic catechesis. Thus there cannot be too great an effort on the part of Christian parents to prepare for this ministry of being their own children's catechists and to carry it out with tireless zeal. Encouragement must also be given to the individuals or institutions that, through person-to-person contacts, through meetings, and through all kinds of pedagogical means, help parents to perform their task: The service they are doing to catechesis is beyond price.
Fight back against the Herod's and Nero's (and the Kiko's) of our age. Save the Liturgy, save the World. Meanwhile, send the kids home. We're losing.