Friday, April 3, 2009

Coming Home to the Catholic Church

Here’s the recent statistics regarding the numbers of people being received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church this coming Easter Vigil 2009! These numbers represent just some major Dioceses in the country; certainly not all Dioceses have reported, so this number is low but certainly representative:

The Archdiocese of Atlanta: 2708
The Archdiocese of Seattle: 1242
The Archdiocese of San Diego: 1225

In 2007, 49,415 adult baptisms & 87,363 people were received into full Communion with the Catholic Church.

Amazing, isn’t it? Aren’t people leaving the Catholic Church in droves? Didn’t the sex abuse scandal of 2001-02 drive most intelligent, cosmopolitan, enlightened people away from Catholicism, never to return?? That’s what the liberal, secular media would have you believe. But, IT IS NOT TRUE!!

It is true that the Church lost members due to the scandal, and other reasons, such as the Church’s position on contraception, stem cell research, and abortion. But even during these difficult years, people were coming into the Roman Catholic Church in much higher numbers than the mainstream media would ever want you to know.

I came ‘home to Rome’ in 2005 in the Manchester Diocese, State of New Hampshire. That particular year, over 100,000 people either formally returned to the Church or came in through RCIA programs, in the US alone.

So who are these people? They come from all walks of life, all backgrounds.

Some are people who had been previously ‘unchurched’ in that they had no church affiliation whatsoever, some were ‘reverts’ who returned to the Catholic Church of their youth, and some, like myself, were ‘converts’ who left one Christian denomination (usually Protestant) to become members of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church through the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation.

Early in his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI was questioned regarding the numbers of people leaving the Catholic Church. His response was to the effect that perhaps in the future, the Church would be ‘smaller, but purer’.

That does not mean that we are ‘pure’ in the sense of free from sin, because all are sinners, but that those who remained in the Catholic Church would be those who, freely and of their own accord, chose to remain as faithful members of Christ’s Church.

A Catholic friend of mine, back in 2004, after learning of my intent to join the Catholic Church, remarked, “Why would you do that now, of all times? We have too many warts…”

I replied, “I’ll take Christ’s Holy Church, warts and all.”

And so, I guess, I’m not alone. The numbers are evident. People want to be a part of this Church. People, at some deep level, know that the fullness of Truth is found here. The Catholic Church is the only Church that has the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Christ is present always in our tabernacles.
Why would you want to be anywhere else?

Resource: Catholic News Agency as reported on

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