The Catholic Church across England & Wales faces a downward trand in Mass attendance. How can we stop this decline and re-build our parishes?
The key to growth is prayer and every parish must be a praying community. Everyone needs to start and be encouraged to continue praying: “Here I am Lord, use me as you will.” Those who feel called to may be encouraged to pray Charles De Foucauld’s Prayer of Abandonment:
I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
This could be printed on a prayer card and distributed to parishioners, recited at the end of every parish Mass and even passed on to the housebound. If every Parish adopted this prayer, just maybe the Holy Spirit will blow like a hurricane through our countries and renew the Church.