I present the choir “O Coral de Santa Catarina” of my village in Portugal, Castelo Branco of the Faial Island in The Azores, interpreting a Christmas program. I’m proud that my village of approximately 1,500 inhabitants could develop a caliber choir which participates in solemn Masses and concerts in Portugal.
The Research conducted by the Dynamic Catholic Institute suggests the Church can’t link the Gospel with the lives of Catholics. We need to connect the life and teachings of Christ with real life in the 21st century.
More than 50% of nondenominational churches’ populations are former Catholics, and many of the churches are enormous. Millions of former Catholics flock to these churches on Sunday, because they feel welcome, experience a sense of community, the message speaks to the real issues of their lives, and are continually directed in practical ways to grow spiritually.
The average Catholic judges the experience of Mass by the quality of the music and the homily. Then, we should have a focused initiative to improve the quality of both to hamper the drainage of Catholics.
There are pockets of excellence and success in the Catholic Church, and we should share best practices with innovative collaboration. The Dynamic Catholic Institute is developing world class programs for the administration of sacraments, such as Baptism and Confirmation, and for Lent and Advent.
No parish in America has enough resources to develop extraordinary programs of excellence. We need to seek the best available programs, and gather the best contemporary minds to refine and transmit excellent practices, at a minimum cost, to all American parishes. We need a new paradigm for a vibrant, relevant and invigorated Church.