From Fr. Tom,
For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Catholic Church relied very heavily upon its parochial school system for the teaching and spreading of the faith. Most schools were jammed packed with students, many having siblings in different grades. I remember a family that had 10 or 11 children and I asked the father what grades they were in, and he answered, “Pick one!” I also remember as a child in St. Francis of Assisi grade school in Oakville, almost every one of my classmates went to church. We would see each other at school and also at church. That’s just the way it was. Sadly, this is not the case anymore. The church cannot rely upon its school system like it used to for the spreading of the faith because the majority of families with children in parochial schools do not attend church. They won’t miss a ball game, but they will miss church (editorial comment there). So what do we do? We must be like Philip in our first reading today proclaiming Christ with great success. The apostles experienced great things while teaching about the risen Christ and there is no reason why we can’t do the same. The 21st century has seen some remarkable advancements in science and technology, particularly in information sharing and instant access to data. Wouldn’t it be equally wonderful to see such an exponential increase in faith and awareness of God? Great things happen when that happens. It’s up to us!