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Thursday, January 26, 2012



A non-denominational chuch took over a closed movie theatre a few year ago in my neighborhood. It's simply called "The Rock Church". Whenever I pass by I encounter many young folks who attend the service. I suppose they get some sort of spiritual uplift at this huge theatre turned church. But I still don't see the point of worship without faith in some eternal, unchanging truth.


Kanakaberaka's comment reminded me of when I was a teenager attending a Baptist church and every Sunday evening after the service we would jump in the cars and drive about fifteen-twenty miles to a Youth Center that catered to our need for the louder music, the relaxed atmosphere and non-denominational preaching and testimony.

(Plus, it was a perfectly acceptable place for all parents concerned to take a Baptist girl, or perhaps even meet one.)

I have often been struck, since becoming Catholic, with what seems always to be an either/or scenario in the Church. Somebody is always trying to mess with the mass to make it more appealing to youth(or at least what 50 and 60 year olds think would be appealing to youth). They still try, even as Benedict XVI is dragging the entire Church by the scruff of the neck in the opposite direction.

So why can't there be both? Why cannot Catholic young people (even middle-aged people) have a place to meet on a Sunday evening providing they have been to mass in the morning or afternoon? Is there some rule against it? I have never been able to discover it.

In fact, joking aside, I have been working on something like this for some time. We now have a young priest in our parish, newly ordained, who has lots of energy, a love of young people and a great singing voice. There have already been some once-a-year programs for young people that lead up to world youth day, but in this diocese and this city there has not been anything quite so regular as even once or twice a month. I know the Bishop well enough to know he would be on board, and the Knights of Columbus councils in the area would help if asked.

All we need is an ad hoc band, a bit of funding to bring in guest acts if possible, a loosely structured format and a commitment to share the truth of the gospel, the Catholic faith. And, I can still put three chords together on the guitar if absolutely necessary.

Mack Hall

Lots of cowboy (sic) churches (sic again) in East Texas. I've been invited, but I ain't goin' -- nice folks, but in addition to all of the above, add guitars and the roping of animals.


Dan Deeny

Very interesting. I recently had a very short discussion with a former Catholic who is now an evangelist who has been born again. I asked her why she couldn't be an evangelist in the Catholic Church. She replied that Catholics have a lot of false beliefs. I asked her for some and she mentioned Mary, for instance the Hail Mary prayer. I said that that is from Luke, thus biblical. She said no, that the Bible isn't prayer, and then she said that her priest had taught that Mary was a mediatrix. She said that this was wrong, that only Jesus was a mediator. By this time a Baptist lady was there to insist that Catholic belief in Mary was wrong. etc. I got up and left. It is difficult to discuss with people who, intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresent Catholic belief. What are some skills I can learn to evangelize effectively?

Charles E Flynn

@Mack Hall,

Many traditional Catholics think that large pseudo-puppets in the liturgy are as bad as it gets, but your memorable phrase, "the roping of animals", has convinced me that things could be worse, and are, in East Texas.

Charles E Flynn

I was trying to find the original Denver Post article, using various databases that archive Web pages no longer archived by Google. While I failed, I did find this interesting use of Carl's original article, by Amy Welborn:

the Un-Churched, by Amy Welborn.

The comment by Ricki is worthy of a "New Yorker" cartoon.

Charles E Flynn

Mark Shea has posted some relevant humorous commentary:

Postmodernity = Chaos.

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