December 31, 2017
The Feast of the Holy Family
This season offers us the opportunity to spend time with family, or at least reflect on the meaning of
family in our lives. Currently, in the American Catholic culture, we notice that generally, each succeeding
generation is less interested in church than the previous generation was. This has long-term
implications for future staffing, facilities, and many other aspects of future church life. The Shrine’s
location in a vibrant downtown neighborhood has mitigated some of the associated problems, but it has
not made them vanish entirely.
If you have insights or reflections on your positive or negative experience in trying to pass on your faith
to later generations, I’d be interested in hearing about them. In your experience, what works and what
doesn’t? How does the American culture help or hinder your attempts to pass on your faith? Are there
things that the Shrine or the larger Catholic Church could do to assist people in passing on their stories
of faith? How do we best support one another in this endeavor? Each of us should examine our
personal faith story and identify the most inspiring aspects of that story. What’s the best way to tell
that story? Who needs to hear it? Are we all trying hard enough to pass on our story?
May your story of faith inspire and enlighten family and friends in the coming week.
Fr. Thomas Conway, OFM