Door-to-Door Visits Effective Pastorally, Says Prelate

ROME, SEPT. 15, 2005 ( A Brazilian prelate has a response to the religious sects that are pulling the faithful away from the Church: door-to-door missions.

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“The ‘popular missions,’ which are currently being carried out in my archdiocese, are a matter of first priority for me,” said Archbishop Matias Patrício de Macêdo of Natal, in northeastern Brazil, during a visit to the group Aid to the Church in Need.

“Thanks to these activities,” he said, “there is a ‘faith-revival’ in many parishes: Catholics want to attend Mass more frequently and they also ask me to support the construction of new chapels.

“The door-to-door visits included in these ‘popular missions’ are a providential response to the sects, with all their efforts to lead Catholics astray.”

According to the 69-year-old archbishop, “Natal is rich in vocations. At present, there are 46 major seminarians.”

Still, candidates for the priesthood should be carefully screened, he said. “Seminarians must be trained to be servants of the Church, not representatives of a ‘higher’ social status.”

Taking care of elderly and ill priests is another challenge for the Natal Archdiocese.

“Preferably,” the prelate said, “these priests should live in the seminary, so they can serve as an example for their younger brothers.”

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