Red carpet for Christmas "drifter" massgoers
Brisbane's Archbishop John Bathersby has expressed his determination to give a warm welcome to the large numbers of irregular worshippers who attend only Christmas (and perhaps Easter) services.
In the past, the irregular massgoers have sometimes received a cool reception from priests, asssistants and fellow massgoers. But parishes in Brisbane will distribute 30,000 Christmas cards (pictured) that Archbishop Bathersby has made available for the occasion, in the hope that the massgoers will be enticed to become more regular attenders. The cards will be handed to worshippers as they leave Christmas Masses.
"We value your presence during this joyous season and would welcome your deeper involvement in the life of the Church in 2005," the archbishop says in his message on the card, according to a report in the Catholic Leader. "Because of the complexities of modern day living, and the demands of family and work, many find it difficult to make a regular commitment to Sunday Mass."
"This causes great sadness to myself and our community who realise the difference your presence would make - young, middle aged and senior. Without that presence our Church remains incomplete.
"If we are to be the Church that Jesus wants us to be we must engage a far larger number of people on a more regular basis.'
Archbishop Bathersby invites those who have 'drifted' from the Church to renew their relationship with Jesus through attendance at church in 2005.
"I sincerely invite you to engage the Church again in a meaningful way, hopefully through the initiatives that arose out of our recent synod. We will help you in every way possible."
Christmas card from archbishop (Catholic Leader 26/12/04)
Archdiocese of Brisbane
Liturgy Lines: Christmas hope and hospitality (The Liturgical Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 19/12/04)
Christmas Mass Times for Catholic Ethnic Communities (Archdiocese of Brisbane 22/12/04)
Ground Christmas generosity in personal commitment, say Bishops of Clogher (catholicireland.net 22/12/04)
Buddhists and other non Christians will attend Christmas mass (AsiaNews.it 22/12/04)
In Christmas message, patriarch says peace is destiny of Holy Land (Catholic News Service 22/12/04)
The Pope exchanges Christmas greetings with the Curia: "Let us be ever more aware that communion with God and unity among men, beginning with believers, is our priority commitment" (Fides 21/12/04)
"Exterior signs of Christmas are still visible here as in other regions but perhaps precisely because of restrictions under the dictatorship, the spirit of Christmas has deepened": Superior of the Catholic Missio Sui Iuris of Tagikistan reports on local Christmas traditions (Fides 21/12/04)
Theology Professor: Christmas is Not a Legend (idea.de)
Young Australians plan Christian Christmas protest (Independent Catholic News/Fides 22/12/04)
Christmas Protest affirms the season's reason (Anglican Media Melbourne 22/12/04)
Putting Christ back into Christmas (Herald-Sun 22/12/04)
John Birmingham: Belief is irrational, and thank Santa for that (Sydney Morning Herald 23/12/04)
Anthony Browne: Unholy war on Christmas (The Australian 23/12/04)
Irshad Manji: Praise for a secular Santa who delivers the goods (The Australian 23/12/04)
James Murray: God's falling from grace (The Australian 23/12/04)
God is born to share our fragile human condition (Vatican Information Service 22/12/04)
What Christians Should Get Out of Christmas According to President of Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" (Zenit 21/12/04)
Christmas Message of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (Zenit 21/12/04)
23 Dec 2004