NEWS & UPDATES
Happy Summer!…now, what will you do with it?!
As we officially enter summer, the thought of carefree days on the beach, BBQs with friends and families, that long expected vacation, may be excitingly front and center in your life. While the summer season does, indeed, present us with a blessed opportunity to relax, unwind, and catch-up, please remember not to take a vacation from your relationship with God.
I recently read Gallup’s 2021 poll and it alarmed me, yet I must say that I’m not surprised. The results of Gallup’s 2021 poll on the religious values and practices in the United States show a decline in belief in God.
Gallup has been polling Americans on their religious preferences since the 1940s. According to their records, belief in God was most widespread between 1953 and 1967, at which time 98% of respondents said that they believed. In the following 50 years belief in God decreased to 81% (2021). The data shows a decrease since 2011, when 92% of respondents answered in the affirmative.
The findings of the latest poll reveal that fewer than half (49%) of respondents feel that religion is very important to their lives. This is markedly down from a high of 61%, recorded in 2003. Nearly mirroring this figure, 47% said they do not belong to a church or synagogue. Religious weekly service attendance has shown a steady decline
since a high of 34% in 1994. Today this figure sits at a scant 22%.
Another point of interest in the Gallup poll is found in the section that inquired about belief in prayer. Only 51% of those who responded that they believed in God thought that God could both hear prayers and intervene on their behalf.
In their conclusion, Gallup wrote: “… while belief in God has declined in recent years, Gallup has documented steeper drops in church attendance, church membership and confidence in organized religion, suggesting that the practice of religious faith may be changing more than basic faith in God.”
Friends, I often remark that I don’t know how people make it through life without faith, to which people almost every time respond in agreement. Yet, why do so many choose to stay away? It makes sense to me that a precipitous decline in church attendance leads to a similar decline in belief in God.
The church – Mass – is the place where the community of faith gathers to not only celebrate our common faith, but, most importantly, to remember who God is and what God has done in Salvation History. The readings we hear, the prayers we say and the hymns we sing remind us of who God is. Absent this intentional, time-tested encounter, our understanding of God (and of ourselves) dissolves into something fragmented and extraneous, plain and simple. So, friends, keep coming to Mass to be strengthened by the Sacraments and to be enlightened
by the Word.
WEEKLY HOLY HOUR WITH EUCHARISTIC ADORATION
Every Wednesday evening St. James will offer a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration from 7pm to 8pm in the church. We are fortunate to have this opportunity here at St. James where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed every Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm, and the second Saturday of the month from 3pm to 4pm.
Quote of the Week
Jesus took the command to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, and pushed the definition of who is our
neighbor, out, out, and still further out, until it reached to the ends of the Earth and included all of humanity—all of