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From the Pastor 04/29/18

Archdiocesan Capital Campaign: One Faith, One Hope, One Love. Congratulations!
After last weekend’s Dedication Weekend with your overwhelming generosity we have finally met our goal for the campaign. As of the time I am writing this Pastor’s Column our goal for the campaign was $2,580,000, and so far we have raised $2,628,250! $48,250 over our goal! We still have several families to contact over the next few weeks to finalize their gift. Also, I am aware that there are last minute families who were waiting to give until we reached our goal, thus securing 60% return to the parish for their contribution. So now is the time to finally give to the campaign. We will leave the Dedication Weekend cards in the pews for a few more weekends. On behalf of Archbishop Schnurr and our beloved archdiocese, please know how grateful I am of your generosity. Blessings always.

You are formally invited to our celebration of the closing of the Sharonville abortion facility (Women’s Med). Join us in this recognition of the power of prayer and witness. Sunday, May 6, 2:00pm, Sharonville Women’s Pregnancy Care Center parking lot, 11262 Reading Road, Sharonville, OH 45241. This is across the street from the closed facility.

We are calling it “The Blessing of Being a Witness to the Gospel of Life.” After years of prayerful protest outside the abortion center in Sharonville, the facility has closed its doors. Speakers include Steve Karlen from 40 Days for Life.

I am happy to report that the Pro-Life Memorial donated by Archbishop Elder Council has been installed in the newly constructed Knights of Columbus Plaza. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus for this beautiful gift to the St. Gertrude community. We hope many who pass by this memorial will be inspired to pray more deeply for those caught up in the abortion industry and to live out each day as a witness for life. I invite all parishioners for the dedication and blessing of the memorial on Sunday, May 20 after 12:30pm Mass.

From the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights: CATHOLIC CHURCH ATTENDANCE DROPS

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a new Gallup poll of Catholics:

We knew that younger Catholics were going to church in fewer numbers than in the past, but what is new about this Gallup poll is the decline among older Catholics. Overall, only 39 percent of Catholics say they attend church weekly, and among those aged 60 and over the figure is 49 percent. This means that “for the first time, a majority of Catholics in no generational group attend weekly.”

In 1955, 73 percent of those aged 21-29 attended church weekly, but now the figure is 25 percent. Among those 60 and over, 73 percent attended church weekly in 1955, but now the figure is 49 percent. The number of young people professing no religion, nationwide, was only 1 percent in 1955. Today it is 33 percent. That is an increase of 3,200 percent! The Gallup poll reports the data, but offers no explanation. There are many reasons for the decline in church attendance. Here are seven core reasons.

  1. The declining role of religion in elementary and secondary education has been dramatic.
  2. Higher education has become increasingly hostile to religion, especially Christianity.
  3. The pop culture, as manifested on TV, the movies, and music, is marked by a libertinism that is at odds with Christianity.
  4. The ascendancy of moral relativism — the denial of moral absolutes — has engulfed society. The nation’s cultural elites are responsible for this outcome, including, sadly, some religious leaders.
  5. Declining marriage rates, and birthrates among married couples, has made it easier for parents to neglect their religious duties, including obligations to their own children.
  6. Those over the age of 60 are the baby boomers, a generation that in their youth experienced the decadence of the 1960s and 1970s. Many of them entered their senior years without a strong religious background.
  7. The Catholic clergy, which in the 1950s expected the faithful to attend church — and they did — lowered their expectations in subsequent decades, yielding predictable results.

There is no iron law of history, except on the blackboard of ignorant professors, so a reversal of events is possible. But a culture doesn’t change by happenstance: it takes a determined effort on the part of the nation’s elites to reverse course. Regrettably, that day has yet to come.

A blessed Fifth Week of Easter to all,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor