“How Can We Wake Up Our Parishes?”
THAT question, recently asked by the French Catholic magazine Famille Chrétienne (Christian Family), comes as no surprise to many. Britain’s Cardinal Hume even called church parishes “sleeping giants.” Parish-based groups that preach to others have been proposed as a way of stopping the slumber. “Direct evangelization with new methods,” an Italian priest calls it. While the pope recently encouraged such initiatives, not all see the need to share their faith.
Pigi Perini, a curate in Milan, recently visited Africa, where a nun told him: “I’ve been here for 40 years, and I’ve succeeded in never pronouncing the name of Jesus so as not to destroy African culture.” The curate concludes: “We no longer speak about Jesus, we no longer share Jesus, we no longer preach the gospel!” For many others, though, preaching is an important part of their lives and a way of staying spiritually awake. Pigi Perini admits: “You come across two people who talk about Christ at the market, or who carry a Bible under their arm, and you say to yourself: Look, Jehovah’s Witnesses!”
Millions of people enjoy discussing God’s Word with Jehovah’s Witnesses. No doubt Witnesses have arranged for Bible discussions in your own community. As in the first century, these zealous Christians encourage one another to share their faith with others. Their places of meeting (called Kingdom Halls) are places of warmth and friendship. Why not attend one of the meetings arranged by Jehovah’s Witnesses and see how you can fight spiritual lethargy?