More Catholics here
|By CATHY DOBSON
It's difficult for Father Alexander Costa and his parish to understand why St. Edward's is shutting down when nearly one-quarter of Point Edward's population lists Roman Catholic as their religion of choice.
Father Alexander Costa stands out front of St. Edward's Roman Catholic Church in Point Edward. It's closing because of a lack of priests, even though Catholics make up the largest religious group in the village, according to the census.
|Since religious affiliations were last asked 10 years ago, one of the major changes nationally was how many people listed "no religion" as an answer on their census questionnaires.
In 1991, only 12.3 per cent listed no religion, compared with just 7.3 per cent in 1981.
For the 2001 census, the national average was 16.2 per cent. Sarnia had slightly more who don't affiliate themselves with a church, with 16.6 per cent (11,620 respondents) saying they had no religion.
"It's sad of course," says Father Costa. "But I'm not surprised 16 per cent don't have any religion.
"We are living in a neo-pagan culture that has no faith. People are more materialistically inclined. We cannot force them to practise," he said.
At Sarnia's Grace United Church, Rev. Christine Jerrett says culturally people aren't affiliating with any organizations, whether it's service clubs or churches.
"They just don't want to join anything. Culturally, we're encouraged not to become part of a community," she said.
|"I think people are interested in spirituality but not in organized religion, whether it's because the church is perceived as too rigid or too boring."
An unwillingness to change among those who do go to church may be a contributing factor, Jerrett added.
"In many churches, we have chosen to keep doing the same things even though people are driven away. At Grace, I feel they are very good at embracing change but I've seen other churches that are resistant to it," she said.
From The Observer (Sarnia)
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Page: A1 / Front Section: News
as published in The Observer)
(photo by Nora Penhale of The Observer)
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