What a wonderful letter from Bishop Tobin of Rhode Island to "inactive Catholics!" This is probably one of the best ways to start a conversation with a friend or family member who has drifted as an extra special Christmas gift. I have two family members in mind and am going to start praying for the courage to hand them a copy of this now!
UPDATE: I have received permission from the Diocese of Providence newspaper editor to post on Scribd an easy-to-print copy of this letter for you! It is nothing fancy, but it will print on one page front-back if you want to slip it into a Christmas card or gift! Download here.
Here is how the letter begins...
An Open Letter to Inactive Catholics
BY BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN
My dear Brother or Sister: In the spirit of the Advent and Christmas Season, and as the Diocese of Providence nears the end of its “Year of Evangelization,” I’m writing this letter to inactive Catholics of our Diocese – perhaps you’re in that category – to let you know that we miss you, we love you and we want you to come home to the Church.
The first dilemma I faced in writing this letter was how to describe you – an “inactive Catholic,” a “fallen-away Catholic” or a “former-Catholic.” I chose the first option.
I decided against “fallen-away Catholic” for it suggests someone falling off a fence or out of a tree. The image isn’t helpful.
And there’s really no such thing as a “former Catholic.” If you were baptized a Catholic, you’re a Catholic for life – even if you haven’t been to Mass for years, even if you’ve renounced the title and joined another Church. Your baptism infused your soul with Catholic DNA – it defines who and what you are.
Thus, I’ve chosen the title, “inactive Catholic,” because even though you haven’t been “active” in the Catholic community for awhile, especially by attending Sunday Mass, receiving the sacraments and otherwise participating in the life of the Church, you’re still a Catholic. Sorry . . . you’re stuck with us!
read more here
HT to Marcel (I am a proud Aggie Catholic!)