More than 75 people associated with St. Charles Church reflected on and responded to the three questions. Some people submitted their responses individually and directly to the parish. Others participated in one of several table conversations that occurred over several weekends in March, 2022. Table conversations were conducted in English, Spanish, and Chuukese. A compilation of all responses received verbatim (as of March 28, 2022) can be downloaded here (or viewed below). If you would like to have a paper copy, send your request firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also view the video of the "Story of Our Comments" developed and shared by Leif Kehrwald, Pastoral Coordinator.
How is God present in your life? In what ways does the church support, or fail to support, that presence?
God gives me a desire to live out my purpose and find joy and happiness in doing so. God listens to my prayers and gives me wisdom when I most need it. God speaks to me through the scriptures and gives me hope.
The church offers a prayerful environment to hear the good news, connect with God, and to be supported by a community of believers.
The church makes time and space for anyone seeking reconciliation. A priest is available to listen and grant absolution.
God is present to me in all my fellow parishioners. They lift me up, support me in bad times and good.
I don’t feel supported by the hierarchy of the church. They only say what they feel you need to know. They have no respect for the women of the church. They don’t feel that the laity can have insight to the gospel because only the priest is qualified to speak on the gospel, I do not agree with this and I don’t think God wants it to be that way!
Eucharist and Mass. Priest shortage is a problem. Foreign priests are very difficult to understand.
I feel God is present in my life. As a gay man, I realized I am what I am because that’s how God made me. At St. Charles the people always support me. Affirmation is akin to God in my life.
Is the church accepting openly the gay community? It needs to me defined.
The church is doing some things right. At my retirement home: rosary, adoration, mass, confession are all available. Counseling is also available. The church is not all that bad. Some of us residents are in charge of these things.
God is present through us, the people of God; the mystical body of Christ (Augustine). For a long time, the people of God, the faithful, was very, very important. In this small group discussion, I feel that very strongly. When I’m in Mass I feel more like a spectator.
Full participation in the life of the community. Give more importance to all the faithful.
God is present in my life in a multitude of ways - in people, in nature, in the unseen, in our history. I feel like a leaf on God’s vast cosmic tree, connected to the immense family of all God’s works. The church supports a vital nurturing connection to God in her members, wisdom, teaching, service, sacraments and example.
I had to leave the church to find spirituality. The church only offered rules that are outside of someone. There is nothing that teaches you how to be spiritual, how to improve, how to grow, how to love. They just keep saying do it do it do it. And bad bad bad.
God is always present in my life. God is the One who helps me every day. The church supports us with our faith, along with believing in God even more, and getting closer to Him.
God is present all the time, because He takes care of, protects and guides us, with every second of our lives. The church is supportive by listening to our needs.
Many Ethnicities represented
Having had the blessing of several good priests, we continue to need liberal caring leadership.
Music = praying twice (said my 4th grade choir teacher)
People that mutually care. St Charles liturgy, community, lay involvement
Restrictions: women, laity
In everyone, family, nature, everyone children of God. God within me, helps to fulfill helping others. St. Charles is accepting.
Present – Family is life
When we gather together whether in small group, social, etc
Fellow parishioners, love and support from them is God’s love to us.
Hearing God’s word, this meets our needs.
Fail – “Sheep” need to be part of decisions and rules of church. Clergy hierarchy because too detached from at the people
Stray from Mystic in US church more in head.
Lost traditional evolved more toward the more social concerns.
Vatican II very necessary but it did not continue…Popes.
Need to know how to go to the original church, need the light of the original church.
He blesses me and my family with many things and helps us in work and school
That he blessed me and my family because two years ago we couldn’t afford any gifts but then we were blessed with gifts on Christmas Eve. Every time we pray, God gives us a blessing because we always pray, believe and embrace God.
In God’s words everything already supported and gives what I need.
My small parish always welcomes me and others, no matter what, just as Jesus did.
Through prayer and people
Support through liturgy and social gatherings
Catholic radio 88.3
God has always been a presence in my life to support, teach and guide me
Our parish church has helped me to understand how to listen to Jesus when and how to listen. Pray, prayer and show Jesus’ love to those I love and to live – not always easy
Having a welcoming community to pray with. Feeling God is surrounding me in church, this particular church. Having multicultural people actively participating. Having multicultural languages. This is the first church in a while I feel I have been heard and the priest is amazing.
Daily present in everything around me, nature, people. Church supports me by providing liturgy, place to worship, sense of community.
In the natural world, everyone. Community in this parish. Looking forward to Sunday.
He is present in my fellow parishioners who give me love and support all the time and that is love from God
It is necessary to give the “sheep” their proper role, which is essential and not secondary. God is present in my life (especially) when I am in the “Mystical Body of Christ”, as Augustine expressed it.
In my life, God is represented by my family when we pray together. The church helps support this presence by the reading each Sunday.
I feel God‘s presence in nature and through people. I also feel God when I pray and sometimes while I’m in church. The church supports God‘s presence by the work it encourages around social justice. Also I feel Gods presence in the community of believers that surround me when I’m there.
Through the people in my life, through nature, through community.
Nature and through people. When I pray. Sometimes in church. The community of believers surround me.
My church (st. Charles) supports me. Surrounded by my faith community. Taken for whom I am. The church is my community.
I experienced such welcome at St Charles. It’s been that way for me all along. That’s why I have been so active.
I had never been in a church that did things. This has been wonderful.
I love the diversity. St. Charles accepts everybody.
I find God’s presence:
- In family .
- Mass revitalizes my faith in humanity.
- In the support of the parish community, a shared purpose.
- My waking moments are a reminder to believe in God.
- The family of St. Charles Parish. In certain people.
- Reading scripture.
- Helping others.
God is present to me in the people and in nature. The church supports people but not nature, and the support of people is limited to the church's traditional membership, to the exclusion of the LGBTQ community. I am also personally challenged to relate to large groups of people, and the church does not provide enough ways for me to relate to a smaller number at a time. Our local church does not have the interest or capacity to support smaller learning or sharing groups.
I have been blessed to see that our loving God is and always has been present to me though the love, friendship and support of my family, the St. Charles community and the years of deep reflection on the Sunday homilies and the holy men and women who have been brave enough to share their stories of struggle, love and redemption. The Church has failed to support and maintain quality, meaningful and age appropriate Faith development programs for the children and youth at the parish level. Programs available through the Catholic School system leave out those Catholic kids who are outside the system, but are still part of the Body of Christ.
God is present in my life in every aspect that I can imagine inspiring me to live a healthy life physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. My church is an important institution that allows our community to regularly gather to worship in appreciation of the love bestowed upon us, giving us hope and perspective in order to survive and thrive.
Catholic church should speak with one voice, for example, cardinals, bishops and especially German Hierarchy (very liberal group) differing with each other and Pope from national press and podium.
2-3 together among people we are all the same with God. No separation between church divisions, priests and laity.
Failure to support, lacking opportunities in classes for faithful to study and learn.
Our connections should be more ecumenical, we need to connect with other non-Catholic religions.
I see God’s presence in my family and the people of St. Charles. Sunday Mass revitalizes my faith and my faith in humanity. The church seems to fail for the younger generations and so my children and grandchildren are not benefitting from the church or at least this brand of church.
Preset in the way I live, how I treat others. The parish of St. Charles shows how I can live out the words of Jesus as it follows Vatican II council directives. Including all people regardless of culture or natural background or language. The feeling of the presence of God. Inclusion of men and women.
As promise and reminder to believe in goodness and love. Struggle to describe church support/St Charles church as feel out of synch with aspects of universal church and quite in synch with practices of St. Charles.
God is always in every waking moment through the good people of St. Charles, neighbors. Offers many opportunities to learn more & study the Bible.
God is everywhere – He guides me and has blessed me in so many ways. He is part of my being. My church makes me a better person. It is good and just. It offers safety, it is my rock. It makes me strong. It allows me to help others. I have opportunities to grow spiritually. The bible is so open to various interpretations. The ten commandments are cast in stone…That’s about it in my world.
God id present in my prayers, beliefs, and traditions. Also, in my understanding of how to be a good person. I learn through God not just how rituals can be important but basic things of how to love one another, how we can see God in each other, and how to support each other in all of our walks.
God is always present in my life. Sometimes I ask him for help when I am faced with a difficult decision to make. Sometimes I ask him for help in understanding life situations or outcomes. Sometimes I ask him to help others who are in need. Sometimes I pray for the souls of any of God's creatures who have died.
I enjoy attending the Saturday late afternoon Mass at St. Charles because it is intimate and meditative. I like the openness of discussion, challenges to our understanding of spiritual matters, and new ways of thinking about them.
The Roman Catholic Church has failed me in not ordaining women as priests.
When I was a child, the church was magical for me. I loved the rituals and looked forward to receiving the sacraments. As I got older, I began to question some of the catechism teachings. The church was still teaching the same things, so there began to be a gap between what I believed and what the church taught.
God is present in my life almost every day- that is, when I am in tune to Him (Her), & able to recognize the many ways that I’ve been blessed. It may be as simple as having a spontaneous, unexpected, pleasant memory of someone important in my life who has passed on, or it may be as forceful as a “near miss” in a car driving situation. Either way, I am struck by the ways that God reminds me that I do matter in this world/ this life, & how personally I’m reminded of this. How has the Church supported or failed to support this? I’m not able to answer this in an effective way. Part of the reason for this is that I haven’t sought out avenues or experiences in the Church environment itself to see if it supports this or not. To me, these experiences are quite personal & I don’t feel the need of the Church to support it. To me, this is especially true since I believe that “the Church” comes in many forms & many faiths.
What experiences of the Catholic Church have brought you joy? What experiences of have wounded you?
Worshiping each Sunday with a community of believers.
Having the opportunity to share my faith and prepare young children for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
Being a witness to a baptism during Mass.
Working as a community to help the needy.
Having a priest involved in the community and sharing insightful homilies.
The major thing that has wounded me is the sexual abuse that has happened in the Catholic Church and the years of denial and cover up. It was wrong to cover up such crimes. No one who commits such abusive crimes should be held above the law.
I am discouraged by the recent changes about the type of music allowed during Mass, the extra kneeling after the Lamb of God, the changes in the wording of the Creed and some prayers, and the restriction of who can give a reflection on the word. The emphasis from the Archbishop seems to be more focus and importance on rules and regulations than on supporting Catholics in building a trusting relationship with God and spreading the Good News. I do not feel welcome and accepted in the Catholic Church. I feel anxious and afraid of doing something wrong and being judged. At one Catholic Church, I had a priest refuse to give me communion because I did not remove my mask while I was face to face with the priest. I feel more safe removing my mask when I step aside and maintain distance from others.
I am a Catholic convert and I feel like I had found a home. The people I have grown to love and feel supported by are always there. When my husband and then my youngest son passed away the support I had was amazing and made a tough thing bearable.
I felt wounded by the sex abuse scandal! I saw the powers to be cover everything up. They knew who these men were and instead of letting them be arrested they moved them to another parish to repeat their crimes on new victims. I think they are still doing this.
Greatly wounded over the child abuse issue. We’ve had to deal with this for 20-25 years. Bishops have failed in their leadership, more interested in protecting themselves. Admire Archbishop Vlazny being one of the first to offer restitution.
The church isn’t just the hierarchy . . . it is the people. I don’t have to agree with everything the hierarchy says. I’m in “geezerdom”, I’ll say what I need to say.
Have to go back more to the original idea of the Gospel. Jesus had strong opinions, but he allowed a great deal of exchange.
The experiences of community, on a local and universal level bring me joy. The former at a warm personal level, the latter in knowing that anywhere I go, I can worship with my Catholic brothers and sisters. I’m a little thrilled to ponder how the church lives in every corner of the globe. I’ve also felt joy via the sacraments of Matrimony and in the Baptism of my children. I’ve not experienced any wounding by the church.
I cannot say that the church has brought me any joy at all. My brother was molested and raped by two priests and my foster brother was in a catholic orphanage and was badly damaged there. As a child I kept looking for that connection to God, I expected it in first communion, I expected it in Confirmation. Nothing. The only thing I got from the church was to learn how to be angry through the angry catholic people in my family and the guilt for being human. The original meaning of the word sin was mistake. The only reason for making mistakes is to learn how not to make them. You cannot be human and not make mistakes. The cruelty shown and the judgments made around children especially are just unforgivable. I have worked my whole life as an adult to cut loose of the guilt and to work through the anger so that I don’t continue to pass it on to my children and my grandchildren. We went to church every day and said the rosary every night as children. I cannot say it brought me closer to God, I would say it took me further away.
I feel joy, because the church has always listened to my needs.
I don’t feel as though the church has hurt me in any way.
Joy – Being asked to be a sponsor
Music, being in singing group
Having a priest who worked with the community
Sense of morality, caring for others
Mother wounded, (convert, study, priest re: children)
Early Catholic Ed – “good Girl” – restrictive
Wounded - exclusions of LGBTQ, pro choice peoples
Putting forth negative images
Exclusions of women in ordained priesthood
Judging of others
Changes not made when necessary
Joy – Able to forgive people
Helping each other
Joy – Coming here to this church brings me great joy. Priest, people, loving melody (sound of God’s words). St Charles is the joy in my life.
Wounded – Sex abuse scandal, sin and cover up.
Parishioners not heard/not included
As younger man, felt isolated after divorce/annulment. Too family oriented, felt like an outsider.
Where are the people? The middle aged group?
Being a server has also brought me joy. I enjoyed the old gym parties, my First Communion. My uncle’s funeral in the church has wounded me and my family.
The parties we had in the old gym that helped celebrate different cultures holidays/events.
Ash Wednesday, because of the story about it.
Serving for God, my family helping out the church, and my brother was a youth member.
The words of God, the melody of God’s words.
Joy – Catechumenate, Proclaiming the Word
Sorrow – Exclusion from Communion for outdated un-Christian reasons.
Joy – Mass and knowing parishioners
Wounded – As a younger man after annulment of my marriage, I felt alone and no support as a single man. This kept me from being part of a parish
Also the sex abuse scandal
For me, ritual has been so important. Our parish has kept ritual up front and positive for me. Being Eucharistic Minister, the welcoming feeling in our church, being on the RCIA-RCIC team, love our music.
A priest who respected all people, women, especially other cultures, not first white people.
Joy in having a priest to work with the parish and community.
Wounded – not listening to my needs or parish needs. Priests who are rigid, not wanting to change
In previous parish very upbeat, people connected person able to draw in teens and new Catholics. Was able to look at being a Catholic in a totally different way. Bring two friends into church.
New priest – didn’t respect parishioners, especially women, his way or highway – no sense of community. Also Archbishop not respecting women’s role
Joy – Able to forgive
Wounded – Judging, abortion
Excludes women’s issues
The people and some of the priests. The sex abuse scandal wounded all of us. When we heard that these priests who abused children were just moved to another parish to continue their abuse with new victims. I was temped to leave this church which I love.
Attending Mass and Catholic activities in my original town of San Luis, Pinar del Rio, Cuba. We had a wonderful parish priest.
My De La Salle education/Formation. On the negative side: my mother’s inquisitional approach to Catholicism.
The Catholic Church has supported me with my faith and becoming close with my peers at church.
Being part of a community. At mass, I am reminded that for all of my faults, and there are many, God loves me and walks with me.
Abuse of our children is a wound I don't know will ever heal. Yes, priests are people and imperfect as we all are but the sexual abuse of our children is the most heinous of acts a person can commit. The cover-up and the lying by the church are to me unforgivable. Maybe someday but there is a long way to go.
Some of the rituals and traditions that are life giving have brought me joy. My small church community has been a very joyful part of my life. What has wounded me is losing trust in the church by the sex scandal and also realizing that much of what is taught in the church has come from old white men at the top of the hierarchy of the church. Many of the teachings seem contrary to what Jesus‘s words were and the basic premise “ to love one another”. Many of the rules and laws of the church seem to only benefit those at the top and keep them in power. The church does do a lot of good in the world but it also fails when it loses site of Jesus‘s message. Our local Archbishop Sample is a good example of the church failing its people. He often is at odds with Jesus‘s teachings but he is also at odds with Pope Francis who does a better job of reflecting Jesus in my opinion.
Priest from my childhood was a wonderful man.
My Lasallian education was also very formative for me.
The 1950s fortress mentality has largely disappeared. We can see a lot common good in other churches.
Rituals and traditions = joy.
Small group = joy.
Difficulty with sex abuse crisis. Difficulty with old white men calling all the shots.
AB Sample seems to follow only what he thinks the church should be, ignoring everyone else.
Need to merge old ideas and new ideas for being church.
Get agitated when people say the church should be the way we want it.
St. Charles has brought me joy. Raised in a conservative parish living the letter of the law not spirit. Found something different at St. Charles, and felt completely accepted.
Jesus is not worried about who gives the homily, but rather taking care of the marginalized.
Hierarchy must pay attention to what is really important. Why wash the feet of those who only have clean feet?
St. Charles has been a lifesaver and a soul saver for me.
What wounded(disturbed) me.
- The top down approach of Church. Doesn’t feel like people are seen as Church.
- When Bishops wanted to ban Biden from receiving communion.
- The masculine language used at Mass makes me angry.
- It feels like the church is not interested in women.
- Feels like the Church is disconnected from the human race.
- Ornate chalices, vestments, wealth do not connect me with Jesus who was poor and lived for the poor.
- The Church has gotten away from Vatican II.
- The sexual abuse cover up and follow up. When the Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy.
- I feel the Archbishop would not want to listen to me.
- The Church is not there for the young people.
- When rules are more important than people.
- When Leif & Sr. Phyllis were not allowed to preach at Mass.
- The Church’s stance on Birth Control and making Abortion a single issue.
The Church brings me joy:
- When I am asked to be involved.
- Gives me a way to serve others. When I
see acts of love.
- When I have conversations and opportunities that help me to learn about God, faith.
- Being part of The St. Charles Community.
It's hard to relate to the question of joy. At best the church can make me feel at home (comfort, not joy). Joy might be occasional, such as in a Christmas play or honoring mothers on mother's day. I just don't associate joy with the Catholic church.
I don't carry wounds from the church in the front of my mind, but when I think about it I have been wounded by the church's judgement of me. As a kid in Catholic school I, like many others, made up sins for our required weekly confession. As a teenager I started to separate from the church because it never changed, and I was changing. I stopped going to confession. There are things I have never shared because of shame and because I don't trust the church. It's been a long time since I have felt at home in the catholic church.
I have always stood a little taller when the Pope speaks out on behalf of peace and reconciliation or uses his moral authority to speak out about the issues of the day. However the exposure of the child sex abuse, and the complicity and coverup by prior Popes and clerics is a scandal even to this day. The Clerical class betrayed the people of God and their accusations against their accusers was despicable. All in an effort to "save/protect the Church". Right.
My participation in the music liturgy group of St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church has brought me much joy as an instrumentalist playing upright bass in addition to using my interest and expertise in electronics to support my fellow musicians.
My brief experience in the Pastoral Council was not a good fit, although I do not view this as a wound, since I was graciously allowed to resign.
Vocations to priesthood and consecrated life should be real options.
In addition to cardinals, bishops, priests, Catholic Schools, all Catholic moms and dads and family members should encourage, guide protect their boys and girls who show signs of a religious vocation today more than ever.
Connecting with community, hearing different views, experiences in life that feed us. Opportunities to see things differently. Community members can and do expand our faith.
Celebrating the sacraments in the church bring me joy. Seeing the little ones baptized and my own experience like matrimony.
I feel wounded when I’ve attended Catholic services that have fallen back to pre-Vatican II practices: priest with his back to the congregation during consecration, communion rail, women with heads covered.
My wedding, the baptism of my children, receiving of the sacraments. The more “liberal” view as we follow Vatican II directions. Mass in English, inclusion of women in the Mass and on councils. How the church, allowed priests to abuse and continued to abuse by not dealing properly with those who commit and destroy lives. Loss of the younger kids as they become adults, 50 and younger.
Supportive community with a shared purpose, quest for growth and previous forums, SVDP, community outreach.
Wounded – sexual abusers and those who enabled with silence and/or cover up. Discrimination of women, non-inclusion of laity. Hoarding of material objects: power and materialistic focus rather than simple outreach Jesus modeled. All non-Jesus behavior.
Ability to help others.
Joy – Watching baptism and being baptized, watching First Communion and receiving Communion. Seeing new Confirmations and remembering my own Confirmation. I feel accepted at St Charles even though my background is so different.
Wounded – Feeling punished for non-priest people delivering the homily. That hurt my heart and I believe God’s heart also.
Joy includes Christmas, special music, sacraments, community, outreach
Wounds: the abuse. I am so very upset by the clerical abuse in churches but once again upset even more so by the abuse that occurred in Indian Boarding schools by our church...absolutely horrific! And our church as a whole (pope included) has not even apologized. We owe our Native friends an amazing settlement for their intergenerational trauma. This has pulled me away from the church more than anything else.
I like participating in the Mass and supporting the parish in any way that I can. Beyond the parish, I'm not too keen on the hierarchical structure of the church.
- Archbishop Sample is way too conservative for my taste.
- The ideas that priests cannot marry; that women cannot become members of the clergy; or that gays, lesbians, and transgender people cannot fully participate in Catholicism are outdated.
The Roman Catholic Church has relegating me as a divorced person to the status of a second-class Catholic, denying the sacraments and casting shame on me and all divorced Catholics. The Church has deeply wounded many and has shown very little compassion or love.
As a young adult, “the church” was pretty much separate from my notion of “God”. My God was everywhere, in everything. He was all-loving, not punitive. My God still is those qualities. The church, then, was a place where I went once a week to hear a priest say Mass. That was a habit I kept, but it meant little to me, emotionally. I found much love and joy in my everyday life – the people, my home, my job. I was appalled as the sins of “The Church” became public. I felt blessed not to have experienced them.
Joy – Finding a Catholic church in Portland where all people are accepted. Participating in Mass, church celebrations and events, and even funerals. People coming together to support one another in good and bad times. Reaching out to the larger community, our neighbors and trying to be one with them.
Wounded – After leaving a very abusive marriage and moving to Portland, I was not really welcome in the parish we first attended. I enrolled my son in sacramental prep and the clergy staff were not welcoming of my family at all. As a child, a very bad confession experience by a pervert priest made me never go to confession again unless it’s a group confession. After being allowed to have communion services regularly both by parishioners and the nuns for many years and then having that taken away is a slap in the face. Only receiving communion from a priest is absolutely ridiculous and not even timely since many times a priest isn’t even available. We were baptized as disciples of Christ, and he certainly expected his disciples to break bread with others. Putting in new rules regarding the type of vessel to be used for Communion is also in very bad taste. Jesus certainly didn’t ask for only precious metals be used when he shared Communion with others. That our Archbishop does not follow what the Pope says is very shallow, self-righteous, and an insult to us Catholics who are trying to hang on to our church.
The experiences in the Catholic Church that have brought me joy are mostly tied up in being part of a community where I have felt that I “belong”, where I am welcomed/ accepted, where I can thrive & grow, & can make a contribution. St Charles Parish in Portland is one of these places. Ever since I first came to the music group & began playing with them, I felt like I was home. Additionally, there are other people in this parish who have given me inspiration and direction- namely Leif Kehrwald & Sister Phyllis. The fact that they have been allowed the space to make the many valuable contributions that they have, has allowed for so many lives of people in our parish to be touched in a positive way.
As for experiences of the Catholic Church that have wounded me- they mostly have come from higher- up administration (Bishop, Archdiocese, e.g.) that have been impersonal & insensitive, yet spoken in an authoritarian manner as if they know what is best for us more than we know for ourselves. Examples- stating that church music must be solemn, best served by organ accompaniment, no place for drums or electric instruments, etc. Obviously the people who have made these statements have not been to our parish! Also- not allowing the wise words of such inspiring lay people such as Leif or Sister Phyllis to be shared with the congregation at large is a huge loss for the parish. Finally- the recent statements from US Catholic Bishops that they support having Catholic parishioners & political leaders being denied Communion if they disagree with Church stands on controversial topics such as contraception, abortion, gay marriage etc. Unfortunately, this situation fits me, & their statements (if enacted) will do nothing more than drive me (& many others) away from the Church.
What is the single most important step the Church should take in the next five years?
I feel the Church should distribute the wealth to serve the poor and struggling parishes. The Church should practice honesty, justice for all, and acceptance of all God's children. The Church is here to serve and not place judgement on people. We are all sinners and we will all stand before God in our hour of judgement, it is not the place of the Church to judge. It is difficult to support a Church that lies, hides crimes, and ignores injustice.
The church needs to recognize that the people sitting in the pews can have thoughts on how things should work in the church. We can speak on the gospel and we should not get in trouble for speaking on the gospel because that is only for an ordained priest. That is wrong on every level! If the church does not stop being powerful and stop the clericalism they will continue to lose people!!
We should have more lay administrators.
Youth activities need greater emphasis. Protestants are way ahead of us. The future of the church lies here.
We lose people to other churches who have youth programs.
Where is the compassion for our children and youth? They really need to be taken under our arms. They need our support.
Provide more security for seminaries. Too liberal in some areas. Need to be governed a lot firmer.
Latin Mass – the booklet has a lot for me to learn. The priest says a lot of interesting stuff, providing a rich experience.
I can think of a few important steps, but if I have to limit my response to one it would be this: We should break down the barricades of stultifying tradition and allow women into the priesthood. Not to be insulting, but it seems like a no-brainer, especially in this time of critical priest shortages. The success of our Protestant friends in this area should be an obvious example.
How about treating women as if they were of some value and not second class citizens or second class beings. To keep the priests celibate is to invite pedophiles into your church. When you look at the long history of the horrendous things the Catholic Church has done over the centuries, obviously something is terribly terribly wrong. You cannot teach other people how do you the spiritual until you have found it yourselves. Having pedophiles and self-righteous angry people claiming to know the way to God, it’s just not right. Stop claiming the other churches have the same problem in your publications, they do not. No one has the same pedophile problem that you have. I think it is very sad that I have five siblings and they are still all Catholic. I find it very very sad indeed. Clean up your act that’s what you can do to make changes. Clean your own garbage out before you start teaching other people how to do it. Clean up your anger, clean up your priests, clean up your hearts, and your souls. Stop pretending that you know the way when you have not found it yourselves.
I would like to see more youth and prayer groups and activities like this.
Women – equal treatment, ordination, allow them to follow Vatican II instead of moving away from that.
Allow clergy to marry
Need Youth Director
Get rid of nit-picky rules re: Communion, Gays, and Divorce
Archbishops should be in touch with their communities
Women be treated as equals in every sphere
Women becoming priests & ordained deacons
More inclusive church
Listen to the people – really listen
Parish develop relationships with each other
Develop small faith sharing groups
Women’s leadership respected
Stand for Democracy
Separate church and state. Church needs to expand the good that we do as church.
Advertise – use media to spread good.
Must let women resume the power that they had in the original church prior to Constantine.
Eliminate the laity as a group. Get away from the clericalism. We are all together, not lower than.
Make more clubs in different cultures
Making more clubs in different cultures
Having more reading in different languages
Having fun clubs after Mass
Serve rights for God
Making clubs to represent God/Jesus
Praying together and making people from different races feel welcomed and that they belong
Reading from the Bible
Helping to represent God/Jesus (serving)
Readings in different languages
Everything through God’s work is possible
I don’t know, but everything through God is possible.
Get rid of the nit-picky rules that have nothing to do with worshipping God.
Allow clergy to marry
Stand for Democracy and separation of church and state. Catholics have always stood for separation of church and state. Yet I only see commercials on TV from Ron Reagan Jr claiming only atheist stand for separation of church and state
Social Justice – Peace – Love – Climate – Care for creation –
Include women more in leadership, bring more youth, form youth group, keep our churches open
Women be actively involved in all aspects of each church
Let priests get married
Let each church select our own priests
Treat homosexuals, lesbians, divorced people, equal in the church
Get rid of archbishops who do not want to change
Get youth involved
Acknowledging women and what they bring to church. Go Back to Vatican II.
More Gospel teaching
Social Security Net
Care of Creation
They need to get away from clericalism. The priests need to recognize that the lay people have as much to say about the gospel as they do.
Give the people an executive voice, meaning real power to participate and decide, along with the overseers.
Let women resume the power that they had in the beginning of the church.
I don’t think the church should change. It’s been going for a long time. I don’t think changing it would help a lot, as a teenager I like the way of the church and the teaching of it.
Enough with the clericalism! Get out of the fancy robes and high hats and embrace "the smell of the sheep". Allow greater participation by women.
There are several steps they must take in order to stay relevant. They need to focus on honesty and healing from the sex scandal and putting in place transparency in all matters concerning priest sex abuse.
They also need to focus more on the message of Jesus, to love one another, and ways we can do that in our lives and forget all the man-made rules. Just boil it down to the simple truth of Jesus’s message. Also I believe they should allow priests to marry and women to be priests…there is no reason they should not have full equality here.
We are so empty due to covid. Do we need to make personal calls, bring people Communion? Churches are empty all over the world. We need to address that.
Roman Cathlic Church should speak with one voice through the national press and podium. While good comes out of disagreement, when all is finalized behind the scenes, let’s hear it.
Give more attention to vocations to the priesthood and religious life. All parents should encourage this. It’s the salvation of the clergy. More important than ever to increase vocations. Moms and dads who petition for support of a child with a vocation should be given highest priority.
Growing indifference about religion around the world deserves attention.
Pay more attention to the youth of the church. Protestants could show us some things. Church needs to invest in youth, e.g. give them opportunities to serve. Try to keep youth in the church. After Confirmation they seem to disappear.
Church needs to be in better contact with medical community with respect to homosexuality. Move away from natural law argument. The whole concept of the family has evolved, and we accept that there are many ways to love. We have to make real the love of God in the manner in which we love one another.
Need to reacquaint ourselves with Vatican II and all that was voiced by John XXIII and other theologians.
We should resume the important roles of women per ancient church teaching.
The church does so much more to drive people away than it does to attract them.
We have to make it something real.
Give serious thought to letting priests be married. Celibacy could exist in religious orders.
Concentrate on what’s really important: caring for people. What would Jesus do? Let go of the little stuff.
Focus on honesty and healing from scandal. Transparency and reconciliation.
Forget man made rules.
Allow priests to marry. Women to be priests.
My son wanted to serve, but also wants a family. Became a minister in a community church. Need to rethink our church is organized. Eastern rite can marry. Why can’t it be done that way.
Need to reach into the Bible. Get more into God’s Word. Would like to see our church move in this direction. I joined a Presbyterian Bible Study and it has been wonderful. We should do more Bible Study.
Need a pastor whose values align with our own.
The church needs to be bolder in its effort to save the planet and get engaged in environmental concerns. If we don’t get serious about it, our grandchildren won’t have a world to live in.
We have to stop the war in Ukraine.
Have the Mass said in simpler language the people can understand (the language of the people)
Allow married priests.
Have parishioners involved in the appointing of parish priests.
Desmond Tutu said that communion wasn't offered at the church's table, it was offered at God's table. That gets to the essence of the needed change for me. Get rid of the church's rules and move instead with God's rules. Stop discriminating against people and accept all people.
I think the single most important step the Church needs to address is the ordination of women to the Priesthood and allow priests the option to marry. Where is the scripture passage that forbids this?
Interpreting this question in relation to our specific Parish, St. Charles Borromeo Church, I sometimes, maybe out of pessimism, don't feel confident that our Parish will survive in our present partnership with De La Salle North Catholic High School. My main concern is financial - whether we can reliably maintain a balanced budget. So I believe that the single most important step our Parish should take in the next five years is to stay within our budget.
Moms and dads who urgently petition for special training and/or counseling for working with a prospective religious vocation deserve a highest priority.
Shortage of priests around the world.
A growing indifference and hostility toward religion around the world necessitate action based on prayer, grace, sacrifice and missionary energy and spirit.
Too much to put down. Engagement example, Leif and Sr. Phyllis could no longer do homilies. Don’t think this was God’s intent. Clergy were the organizers. Protestants do a better job of explaining and living who God is. Not just tell faithful what to do or how to live.
Get back to our native language in the Mass.
Women as deacons. Women were sent out to preach in the early church and were ordained priests during WWII. Reigning in the doctoral nature of the cardinals and bishops toward the people. Mass in real language, not of the people. Go back to Vatican II.
Active love as Jesus practiced. Fully basing on principle: the church is all the people. Abolish power structure with goal of all the people.
Elevate women to more leadership positions.
Back off on judging other rights. Jesus came poor. Cup to chalice. Vatican II
Catch up to 2022. Our future is so important and all people should be included in participating in our Mass. Women should be equal. We should grow the church and be an appealing faith choice. Birth control must be re-evaluated. A women’s right to choose reconsidered as well as same sex relationships. If we don’t change, we will continue to not prosper. God is not rigid. He is loving and compassionate and caring. He loves all!!
Make repentance for Indigenous families and communities. I don't know if I can ever trust the church if they don't do this.
Women should be priests too!!
Allow Catholic women to become members of the clergy.
Allow priests to marry and married Catholic men to become priests.
Reconcile with divorced Catholics by issuing a public apology to them. Also take immediate steps to start the process of ordaining women. Continue to root out priests, bishops, and others in the hierarchy that abuse children. Finally, eliminate celibacy for priests and allow priests to marry.
As an older adult, “The Church” has new meaning. My church is my parish, my friends, my wider, deeper relationships with my fellow parishioners. That is my church. It is the task of The Church to catch up with and learn from its own flock.
There are so many important issues that the Church is being called on to address, in these complicated times of COVD, political turmoil, & powerful countries invading neighboring countries, bringing us to the brink of World War 3. However, in my opinion, the most important issue that the Church needs to address is to find ways of being more inclusive of women in the functioning of the Church & Liturgy. Women need to be allowed to take on more responsibilities & leadership, & not be subjugated merely to submissive roles.