The true purpose of baptism

Are you getting ready to initiate the Elect in your parish at the Easter Vigil? Make sure they (and you) know what they are signing up for. In his book, The People’s Work, Frank Senn says:

The purpose of proclaiming the word and celebrating baptism and the Lord’s Supper is to form a community of priests who will offer a sacrifice of praise and prayer for the life of the world.

He notes that the worship of God is the purpose for which all other things are done in the church and that the mission of the church is to go find more worshipers who will perform true worship.

Is that message getting across to the Elect? Well, yes and no. According to the U.S. bishops’ report on the implementation of the the RCIA, Journey to the Fullness of Life, 54 percent of those who are initiated through the catechumenate process continue to regularly participate in Mass and in parish life after Easter. The good news is that is much higher than the participation rate for the average Catholic. The bad news is almost half of those who go through the process stop participating. While we are doing well, there is lots of room for improvement.

So how is your parish doing?

Post-Easter participation

How many of the neophytes in your parish usually remain active after initiation?

All or almost all
A large majority
About half
Some, but not a lot
Hardly any

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