Seeking and finding Catholic Disciplemen
By Joshua Danis
For The Catholic Telegraph
A recent survey from the Pew Research Forum confirms a disturbing trend in our Church. Taking into account a variety of factors and measurements, men score an average of at least ten points lower in religiosity then women do. Here are the findings:
• 9% fewer of them are affiliated to a Christian faith.
• 12% fewer of them believe in God or a universal spirit.
• 17% fewer of them pray on a daily basis.
• 14% fewer say that religion is important in their lives.
• 13% fewer believe in a personal God.
• 10% fewer participate in weekly services.
As a church that has discovered its need to no longer continue business as usual, these trends should certainly get our attention.
According to the research of Matthew Kelly, only seven percent of members at the average parish are what he refers to as Dynamic Catholics. These are the people who pray habitually. They study and evangelize, and on top of that, they provide approximately 80 percent of the church finances and manpower. Kelly goes on to contend that if we can bring about a church which has just one percent more of its members Dynamic Catholics, then our church could accomplish so much more.
With these two ideas in mind, the Office of the New Evangelization and the Family and Respect Life Office are partaking in a joint effort entitled Catholic Disciplemen. This initiative is designed to take a comprehensive look at the cycle of bringing men into a lifestyle of Christian Discipleship.
Developing the Initiative
At this time, we are not primarily interested in tools or programs, but in meeting with groups of men who are hearing two-fold call that they might “be disciples” and “be disciple-makers.” And already we have such groups of men cropping up all over the diocese; close to a dozen already. Such men become our partners and collaborators in building up this initiative in the unique culture and setting of their own parish.
If you are interested in being part of this new initiative, or if you know anyone who might be, we encourage you to contact the Office of the New Evangelization at the Cincinnati Archdiocesan offices by calling (513) 421-3131.
This article originally appeared in the July 2014 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.