Would this be wrong?

i know of a shelter that will only let people stay there if they attend church services… (Baptist???). There was some spiritual readings and then a sermon… don’t know if the person running the place was a regular pastor or not? sometimes there were guest speakers. The only way a tenant could get out of this church serv was if s/he had a job or dr. appt or something like that…

I think it would be good if the Catholic Church had shelters like this… where a person would be helped if he agreed to attend daily Mass… i think it would be a good way to spread the faith…

What do you think?

(it seems a little like coercion but … :confused:)

I think it’s a terrible idea. The good Samaritan didn’t help the guy in the street after he agreed to become a Samaritan. I suppose that wouldn’t have even been possible - but still, the point is, we help our neighbor even if he is different than we are… no strings attached because that’s what Jesus would do. While I understand their desire for everyone to come to know Him, I think they are going about it completly the wrong way by giving shelter only to those who will listen.

i think of what happened with me… I wasn’t catechized when young… I started going to Church when “older”. . after my life fell apart, etc… Even so, i didn’t go every Sun… (tho dedicated to Christ nonetheless). Then i heard somewhere that it was a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sun… so i started going all the time (sun). But when i 1st heard this, i thought it was a very legalistic teaching. at that time i didn’t realize that the Church could be totally trusted… I hadnt formulated the thought in my head that this one true Church (which somehwere in the depths of my heart i knew it to be) was either right on everything (officially taught) or on nothing… (logic would dictate)…

so anyway, even though i got :mad: about being told what to do and told it was a mortal sin not to go on Sun (in those days, thought along more/less protestant lines… you know how they sometimes say the RCC “invented” stuff)… i obeyed.

so anyway, once i started going to Sun mass, i found out the hours for daily mass and began going there also… best thing that ever hapened to me

I don’t think we should deprive people of the Word… .and the Real Presence…

there used to be SO many Catholic institutions that helped people (orphanages, unwed mother’s homes… etc) what happend to them?

Mother Teresa helped the poor no matter who or what they were. Her example of charity is exemplary.

Yes, I agree with the above posters. Anyone ahould be helped no matter what. Charity is free- free of everything, including forced Mass attendance.

Though coercion can take many forms, forcing a person to agree to attend Mass in exchange for shelter, would be a minor form.

The Protestant Church I grew up in did this. They wouldn’t even give day-old bread to a family of six that didn’t want to attend services, that was living in a run down motel after their house burned down. They were ashamed of their situation and embarrassed to come to church. It always bugged me. The pastor once said he wanted a Biblical example of why he should help these people who didn’t want to come to church. I was young and inexperienced but I wish I would have had the wits and moxie to tell him, “Here’s your example: JESUS.” Jesus helped people who didn’t even say thank you.

is she a canonized saint yet?

even if she is, she wasn’t God, as i am sure you know… :smiley: but i say that because, well, we are supposed to follow Christ, not necessarily … or not JUST the saints… yes, i am sure you know this… but your words could be misunderstood…

I guess what i am saying is that as good as her works were… i believe the best thing we can do for someone is help him/her get to heaven… which i think she did… ?? but she is mostly known for her works in feeding and caring for sick and dying persons, caring for their bodies, nto their souls… Do you know much about her sharing her faith with them???

yeah,that’s kinda what i was thinking… and if i were homeless i would certainly not mind hearing the Word of God in exchange for a warm place to live…

it wouldn’t be like the Muslims who might kill you if you don’t convert… :rolleyes:

i see your point…

but on the other hand… the people couldn’t have been in too much need if they said NO, am i right???

No, they were in desperate need. My mother took them food every week and clothes for the kids. She took the little girl to get glasses. She asked the pastor to go with her, thinking maybe if he met with them they would feel more welcome, but he wouldn’t do it. “They can come to see me,” he said. The government would not help them unless they could find a three bedroom house or apartment because they had both boys and girls. It took them a year to find a place to live. The mother cleaned the motel rooms so they could stay there, and it was a nasty place. I will be blunt. Our church was almost all white and most of the people had money. This was a poor black family that just was looking for a little help. They were embarrassed to come to the church in their mismatched clothes. They needed help desperately. They had no car to get anywhere, but our church ran a soup kitchen downtown so they thought we would help. Our Sunday School class furnished their townhouse by donations when they finally got one and we weren’t allowed to use the church’s empty storage shed to keep the stuff as we acquired it. An elderly lady kept it all in her basement. The day we took all the stuff over the mother of this family cried and cried. They had spent a year in one room all together, afraid for their safety because of the shady characters in the rooms around them. They were needier than anyone I had ever known. Yes, they needed Jesus, but first they needed His followers to stop acting like jerks. Many people from the church helped them, especially my mom, but the pastor left an impression on them, unfortunately. It was a sad situation.

yes, in this situation, your actions & those of your soup kitchen, etc… showed Jesus Christ more than anything…

i just think it is best to feed both body and soul… the question is… how do you do that without coming across like you are cramming something down someone’s throat?

By way of comparison, a lot of these places are actually “missions”–so would it surprise you to go to a mission and be preached to?

That being said, actually forcing someone to attend a service seems pretty un-Christian.

It’s one thing to have a meal served at a kitchen, while special songs are sung and someone preaches. The youth in my old church used to go and do dramas once a week during the meal, and another night two ladies would do homework with the kids. Many of the people who ate there were “regulars” and they had a great time. There was no coercion, but they heard the gospel message.

But it’s another thing when someone comes to a church asking for food and are asked, “Do you come to church here?” That STINKS and that is what my old pastor did. Why would someone listen to your message when you treat them that way? Jesus gave and gave and didn’t require things of people. He fed the 5,000 without having them fill out a questionnaire first to find out if they were regular followers.

Unfortunately I am getting all wound up here :frowning: so I had better stay off this thread. I have said enough.
God bless you guys. :slight_smile:

Good morning distracted! It is a pleasure to meet you. :slight_smile:

I think that the answer to your important question has already been given. I can think of no better sermon than the sermon given through action. It’s one thing to speak the words of Christ, but another thing all together to live them. I think that as we show selfless love and concern for others, they can’t help but feel God’s love emanating through us. I think service without personal benefit or with no strings attached is more powerful in convincing someone of God than most any other method. Jesus promised that as we share the gospel through our righteous living, people will recognize that good light emanating from us as being from God and they will be drawn to glorify God.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

We can teach the gospel of Jesus Christ through our example of righteous living and be an instrument in God’s hand to not only nourish another’s body but also their souls.

Kind Regards,

I don’t think this is a good idea.

Why is it necessary to have this in the thread? :rolleyes:

Well, if you stay in their shelter, you have to follow their rules.

It might not be appropriate to have Mass, lest non-Catholics invite themselves to Communion.

Why not have Lauds or Vespers instead?

they could go to a different shelter but maybe they don’t have anywhere else to go… .happens… even in this country, probalby more often than people think…

but anyway… i have mixed feelings about it being force… I think it is more like college… being educated in the Word… as long as there isn’t other unkosher stuff going on… like discriminating against residents who don’t believe exactly like the people who run the place… Catholics as a gen rule don’t seem to do that kind of thing but others do… (my opinion)…

i just think it would be cool to have Catholic shelters where there is a chapel and a Tabernancle… so people could learn about Christ and his Church…

Lauds or Vespers… could you explain?

I wasn’t catechized as a child… :o

If the shelter was Catholic, and that’s what i am proposing… (would be a good thing) they would Tell the residents not to take Communion unless Catholic… & explain why

yes, but everyone knows about God and many “like” Him… even claim to love Him… Not many know His Word (His Son, Jesus, who is the Word incarnate)… Jesus said tht those who do the will of the Father are the ones who get to heaven, not those who just believe… “Even the demons believe and tremble”… How can pepole know God’s will when they don’t know his Word???

I suffered imeasurably from not knowing the Catholic religion…

so i know the dangers of not knowing it (and HOW)
of course, you cna’t practice Christianity if you don’t know it… (except accidentally which many do… but no one practices it perfectly or even remotely so without knowing / adhering to the Word…)

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