I went on retreat, today. I call it a day of recollection because it was only a day. Anyway, I digress. It was a Lay Dominican retreat on the topic of "community." The retreat master was Father Timothy Danaher, O.P. and the place was Betania II in Medway, MA.
Community is not only a problem in churches, it is a problem in our current American culture. It's because we move around so much. Hardly anyone lives in the same town they were born in. Every time we move, we lose that community we had build up. Attendance in churches suffer from this. People move from parish to parish and still live in the same town. COVID was a factor in that. My own parish still hasn't put hymnals and missallettes in the pews. We still can only receive communion in the hand and there are still no altar servers. No holy water either.
So I go to another parish where we have hymnals and missallettes, we can receive Communion on the tongue, we have altar servers and we can hug.
We thought of our childhood and the community we had. Every outside of school activity was held in the parish. I played softball for our parish. Sister taught me piano. My parish had a band. Other sports were offered by the parish. Don't forget the parish had a school that the entire parish supported with bazaars and fairs and raffles. I can't forget Bingo!
That community is gone. Presently, my church woman's club is dying. We can't get any young people to join.
That type of parish community is gone. We have to think of something else.