About one third of Catholics attend Mass every weekend. Photo: VITA Images

Audrey Lee

In the United States, for every person joining the Catholic Church, six persons are actually leaving.

This is the startling reality of the state of the Catholic faith in the US and it was revealed at a recent annual spring meeting in June involving the Bishops there.

This and other sobering statistics were shared by Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The current picture looks bleak – almost 8 in 10 Catholics leave by the age of 23 and the median age for leaving the Church is only 13 years old. While some end up joining other Christian denominations, what is of greater concern is that about half of them go on to become atheist, agnostic or without any religious affiliation.

Bishop Barron revealed that the main reason that these young people are leaving the Catholic faith is simply because “they don’t believe it”. And some of the reasons cited by the Bishop include secularism and with it, a culture of relativism.

Relativism is defined as the belief that the truth and right and wrong can only be judged in relation to other things. Based on this, nothing can be true or right in all situations.

Back home in Singapore, the picture does not get any better. In 2016, the Archdiocese of Singapore commissioned a nation-wide study called “The Catholic Conversation” with the aim of helping the Church to better understand the needs of our local Catholics and to come up with ways to better engage them so as to help further deepen the
faith.

The results revealed that of the estimated 373,000 Catholics in Singapore, only 36 percent of them attend Mass every weekend!

Have we as Catholics become complacent? Are we losing touch with our faith in this increasingly secular
world?

So as Catholics, how can we play a part in working towards a Vibrant, Evangelising and Missionary Church in Singapore?

The Archdiocese has recently launched “CatholicSG Conversation”, an online initiative which hopes to encourage Catholics here to dialogue and to think about how we can work together to meet the challenges of this millennia.

To participate and to learn more, simply visit www.conversation.catholic.sg.

Besides taking part in the initiative, we are also encouraged to pray for our Archdiocese. So under the guidance of Monsignor Philip Heng, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd initiated the Archdiocesan Prayer Mission (see infographic below) which is a monthly Mass that is followed by Benediction and a brief reflection.

Stay tuned for the CatholicSG Conversation in the upcoming months and take part in the online activities and events.

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