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Deacon Corner 3/10/2024

What does it mean to be an “active” Catholic?  That’s a good question because I’ve never really seen or heard a good definition.  Many think that active Catholics are people who attend Mass and receive the sacraments on a regular basis, serve as a readers or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, teach in the religious education or the RCIA program or are members of a parish council.  Although this definition is not wrong, it leaves out an entire aspect of what it means to be active in our Catholic faith.  Because the most basic and necessary description of an active Catholic must include a person who lives out their Catholic faith in the ordinary circumstances of their life.  That means before we serve God in the parish, we must serve Him in our homes as parents, children, spouses, siblings, and friends; and in society as workers, neighbors, and citizens.


Marriage is a great example of how to be an active Catholic.  The vows taken “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or health,” is actually a framework for serving others.  The role of parents in raising children is the same sort of commitment.  The Church teaches that the family is the “domestic church” because all that goes on in the lives of parents and children goes to make up a truly active unit of the Church.  The same goes for the workplace.  Whether we are employers or employees, we are called to openly practice Catholic virtues in our daily work.  These include diligence, wisdom, fairness, charity, tolerance, solidarity and consideration of the needs and failures of others.  In short, being an active Catholic does not mean that we go around preaching to others.  It means visibly living our faith knowing that actions speak louder than words.


Each of us is called to be an active Catholic.  This does not begin and end with what we do on Sunday morning.  It means living our faith in the ordinary circumstances of life Monday through Saturday.  If on top of that we can take part in the ministries and programs of the parish, so much the better.  But participating in those activities is secondary to advancing God’s kingdom within the everyday circumstances of life.

May you have a blessed 3rd week of Lent.


Deacon John


Adapted from; What is an Active Catholic?, by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion




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