I saw this article on National Catholic Register. I apologize if this has been posted elsewhere. I think this is great!
There has been a satisfying steady increase in the number of RCIA participants in the Washington DC metro area over at least the last 5 years. The diocese of Arlington (right across the river) has to hold 2 celebrations of the rite of election and call to continuing conversion because there is not enough room in the cathedral for every one. Even with 2 celebrations, the cathedral is standing room only for both.
Our prayers for the conversion of sinners is being heard…Thanks be to God
Not to be a downer, but for a year everyone was running around touting the “Francis effect”, saying that tons of people were returning to the Church, to mass, and to Confession.
Then when they actually did a survey, they found that Catholic identification stayed exactly the same, mass attendance stayed exactly the same, and Confessions decreased.
It would be great if there were lots of conversions, but honestly, I’ll believe it when I see it.
I saw this on Reddit Catholicism yesterday. Our diocese (Ft. Worth) has more than one Rite of Election depending on which deanery you are in. I am in the Northern Deanery, which I think is the most sparsely populated one (?) and at our RoE, we had a full to almost full church, I’m not sure how many people it seats but I would say between 900-1,000.
Also our brand new university parish, JPII in Denton has 10-20 (can’t remember) converts and reverts, and this is only our first year as a parish!
I think is pretty common through all of Texas, though, the Church is growing pretty fast here through converts/reverts/Hispanic immigrants.
Same sentiment here. And quite honestly, have the RCIA programs been revamped to actually catechize new converts? In our area…**NOT! **
I don’t think there is a “Francis” effect going on at all. In our diocese its been steady and then increasing over the last few years. Our diocese (in PA) isn’t a particularly large one and we have 2 RoE at the Cathedral. This year each had about 500, with the overwhelming majority being converts from other Christian faiths.
On the other hand, if there is some increase because of Pope Francis, that’s awesome! Nothing wrong with that at all IMO. After all, he’s here to guide us all to Christ right!?
Also I can tell you that at least in our parish its solid catechesis and a great RCIA program. We have our Priest, Deacon (also a college professor), Nun who has her own show on EWTN and 2 Catechists. We are very blessed!
I have spoken to even cradle Catholics who have either fallen away or have been going thru the motions so to speak. I share with them all that I have learned from my teachers and most of them are returning to the Church and those who haven’t left are getting more involved and learning more about the faith. My family who is Protestant has seen the changes in my life and are amazed. As a result they have been asking me more about the Catholic faith! Not suggesting they are going to be converting any time soon, but at least they are interested in dialogue and learning the Truth. Although secretly and selfishly I hope they will be converts some day. But I’ll let that to the Holy Spirit!
Thank you for sharing this!
I wonder how many conversions are actually based on popes?
My conversion, at least part of it, was based on the realization of the papacy, but not on Benedict’s personality, even though I still very much love him.
However, my uncle, a (sort-of) anti-Catholic who was a altar boy when he was younger sent me a link with an image of Pope Francis kneeling at the confessional and he said “I love this pope”, my grandmother has also stated something similar. So even though I have had to do a lot of damage control for what PF has said, he has also helped me in my evangelizing efforts.
I doubt a person is going to “convert because of a Pope” but due to negative images of Catholicism in culture being so ubiquitous, having a charismatic presentation can better predispose a person to give the Catholic Church a fair shot. Years before I started the path to becoming Catholic this year, I found myself gradually warming up to the Catholic Church emotionally in different ways. What did this have to do with my decision to convert? Absolutely nothing. Would I have still converted if my heart had at least not warmed up to them first? I don’t know.
Human beings are composite creatures of mind, body, heart, and soul. To convert nations, you assault them in all of the above.