Last night the parish where I help out, St. Mary’s in Colts Neck, NJ, held an appreciation night for all the people involved in ministries in the parish. A couple of hundred people came out for a meal, music and dancing.
I wish people who study parishes would go to affairs like this to learn what makes a parish tick. On the older side, most of them, but obviously they like each other. No sign that any of them were dragged out to be there. In that gathering you feel you’re among friends.
Most of them are married, with kids mostly married and out on their own. They’re worried about the country, of course, and also concerned about the church. All of them are doing something, sometimes a lot, to make their parish and their communities what they should be.
So while I wonder where good clerical leaders, like bishops and priests, will come from, while I wonder about the absence of young people in the churches, while I wonder about the future of the church in our country and in the western world–last night gave me hope. All will be well.