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The Church is Full!?

“Your [LEGO Church] is full of people!”

Out of the many things that take place or is said to me during one of my Lego Church Project displays is that phrase, or some form of it. Often times it is one of the first things people notice about my work. It is a good starting point to an important conversation about what I am doing. The fact that I have over three-hundred figures sitting in side is not a reflection of the past. For me it is an important prayer for the future of our parish communities.

The prayer comes from my own experiences and life in the church. As I was growing up attending Mass at St. Helen’s (Currently called Christ The Good Shepherd). The Church was our foundation in our family. Weekends were spent taking part in things going on in the church. Since we lived nearly across the street. It was short walk and easy access. We had no real excuses as to why we couldn’t go. The life of the church was different than it is today, sadly. Attendance was decent. Enough for us to have two priests and several times we could attend Mass on Sunday. As being a server it gave me a lot of options of when I could go. Yet the one thing was common. The church was often well attended. It also helped that we had a school with the parish and we had a lot of young families. One thing was consistent: People had a desire to attend Mass. A reminder of how important it was following Christ.

Sadly, as time has moved on, the world itself has shifted directions. It wasn’t something overly grand. If anything it was almost subtle and hard to notice. We moved from making Christ the enter of our life to allowing the world decide for us what should be important. God was no longer the priority. Families stopped coming to Mass. Children who grew up in the parish abandoned the faith. Year by year the numbers kept dwindling to where they are today. The number of youth that were taking part in parish life has trickled to a slow crawl. As someone who remembers when the parishes were full of people it has been extremely heart breaking to watch this unfold.

We can spend our days arguing with each other over the reasons. We can point out every flaw in every Mass till the sun no longer burns. Such arguments are not productive and it won’t change the cold reality that many parishes are struggling with attendance. The numbers keep getting worse and vocations are almost non existent depending on which diocese you reside in. No matter how many faults we find. It still leads down to one troubling path.

 Some point along the way. The world itself decided that we no longer needed God in any aspect. That the desires of the world which lead to sin became more important than the desire in our hearts to love and serve the Lord. Where as in the past God was the most important thing in our lives. Now days God is more or less and after thought. Only called on when their is a crisis. For many of us HE is no longer the focus of our lives. As for how we as a society can change this direction. Those answers are kind of out of my own wheel house.

 At this point in my own walk with Christ I will focus on the path that is right in front of me. Using my talents as a form of prayer for the various things going on. With each part I set down. Another prayer is given. With the goal of filling my projects with the most number of figures. A reminder of when our parishes were full of people who desired to follow God and to make Him a priority. A powerful prayer for the future of our parish communities and that people would come back for Mass again. A prayer that in my life time that I would see the parishes full of people like my projects are.

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