Thoughtful reflection from Amy Welborn on the utility of "small groups" in Catholic parishes.
When I go to daily Mass in this town, whereever go, there are at least fifty people there. During Advent and Lent, far more.
Think about it – in your parish, during Lent, probably 200 people gather daily in a “small group.”
They enjoy catechesis through the language of the liturgy itself, the Scripture readings and the homily. They enjoy the deepest fellowship of all through the Eucharist – being joined not only to the others present but to ever Catholic throughout the world, in heaven, and to Christ himself.
That catechesis, grace and fellowship are real.
.....when considering “small groups” in a Catholic parish…start with daily Mass. Thank God for what happens there…build on it…stop trying to invent, invent and invent some more.
…and maybe follow the old guys for their after-Mass coffee at McDonald’s and then their morning at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. Fellowship? Check. Works of Mercy? Check.
Amy writes in the comments:
When we start from “Wow..there’s no community in this humongous parish..how do we create and build it?” we are rather subtley declaring our dis-believe in the sacramental life of the Body of Christ.
It should be more “We are in communion with each other and with the whole Body of Christ. That is so amazing and fantastic! How can we live this out and be Christ to each other and the world? How are we called to be like Christ crucified and poured out in love?”