Thursday, April 19, 2012

Faith Cards

We received our "Faith Cards" yesterday, I had a group of parishioners in yesterday evening, I couldn't persuade any of them to take one.
I was quite enthused by the idea when it was announced but the criticism of people last night did have some substance.
I don't know how one sums up the Catholic Faith on a card the size of a visiting card but why is one side taken up with an "adapted" quote from Newman, rather than say, the Gospels or the Creed? And why a quotation on "Service",  rather than "Love" or "Worship" or "Sacrifice" or even "Taking up One's Cross"?
The other side too seems a little bland; why not quotes from scripture? Why a reference to loving my neighbour but not God? Why the reference to celebrating the sacraments regularly, rather than attending Mass on Sundays etc. or going to the Sacrament of Penance at least annually? What does "Use the gifts I have been given wisely" actually mean?
One woman last night, asked in what "emergency" a Catholic priest should be called?

I know it is easy to knock but I am not sure how well thought through this card is, whether it was trialed or not on a group of the faithful. It seems to convey a theology that belongs to the 1980s rather than today and the design is not that atractive either, and whilst I have plastic cards in my pocket I tend not to keep cards there.


Tonia Marshall said...

I teach Catholic scripture to 10 and 11 year olds in a state school (in Sydney). I'll show them the side that summarises what is expected of them as Catholics. I think it's better than just showing them the precepts of the Church (particularly as hardly any of them are ever taken to Mass)but like you I don't think much of including the Newman quote.

I don't think I'd carry the card myself as the chances of someone finding it in an emergency amongst my library passes and discount cards is pretty slim.

Amaqula said...

Father, with all due respect, if your parishoners don't want these cards (for valid reasons)...then please distribute them at the local Catholic secondary school. Your parishoners may be well nourished spiritually...but our Catholic youth are crying out for the least crumb of faith and guidance in their largely secularised lives.

In my local secondary school, a mission week was held by the Sion community for the first time. They distributed Faith bracelets which were little more than elastic bracelets with some symbols on them. They ran out of them such was the demand. Our youth are starving spiritually....they will be happy with the smallest crumb.

Webmaster Gareth said...

Dear Rev Fr,

I have one of these cards in my wallet (free at our parish church).

It isnt perfect, but until I am passed one that is... it'll do.

I dont think it contains any errors [no tambourines in view), so for now that'll do.

I have various other cards in my wallet (inc. a SPUC one about not using embryo parts etc. to treat me).

In short, it's a decent enough card, and I think should be used by Catholics (if only to remind us we are Catholics) not all of us are out-and-out Saints (or out and out sinners), so one small aid de memoir is another small tool in our arsenal.

Webmaster Gareth said...

Amaqula - those bracelets are to be seen everywhere here. I asked our youngest why and she said it was to de with American TV/Pop teenage stars wearing them.

As they contain many images of saints and Our Lady and Our Lord I think they are a good thing. It reminds people of Catholicism. I have seen more than one lapsed Catholic wearing them (inc one adult), and who knows... one day it might make them take their place back in the pew.

Ma Tucker said...

Well I suppose it is a little uncatholic to be carrying around cards which remind us what being Catholic is. We carry around prayer cards and scapulars, rosaries holy water, relics because we ARE Catholic.

pelerin said...

Interesting to see the details of the 'Faith Card' from our Bishops. However I already have a 'Catholic Identity Card' which I acquired from and think the WorldPriest one is actually better in several ways.

The printing of 'In the event of an accident or emergency please contact a Priest' is far clearer and larger in capital letters (although a friend said she would have preferred them to put 'a doctor' first!). There is a photo of Pope Benedict and my name was printed on should I forget who I am!

On the back there is the simple statement 'You will be His witness' together with a prayer for priests. I always have it on me should I get knocked down by the proverbial bus.

Daniel said...

I think you're being more than a little picky here, Father.

Gary said...

They were in the pews in my parish on Sunday, I don't think many people took them away.

They are just not that inspiring, perhaps there are too many words.

I agree a focus group would have been useful - they seem somewhat unfocussed

English Pastor said...

I too think the cards are very poor and stuck in the 1970/80's –as are so many Catholics. The things we are called to do as Catholics refer to almost any Christian, and as such are not specific enough. Note: forgiveness, which is at the heart of the Gospel, but comes last; prayer, though fundamental Catholic life, is displaced by witness as our primary call –yet if we do not pray we cannot ‘offer Christ with joy’, because we cannot know Him if we are not speaking to Him!
I don't think the Precepts of the Church are too difficult for 10 year olds; I teach them to my First Communicants who are eight and they realise their importance once explained.
I believe the Ten Commandments would have been better:
As a catholic I am called to:
1. Put God first in all things and all my decisions
2. Treat God’s Holy Name with respect
3. Attend Holy Mass every Lord’s Day (Sunday)
4. Obey legitimate authority in all things but sin
5. Protect human life from the womb to the tomb
6. Keep myself pure for marriage
7. Respect the rights of others
8. Live an honest life
9. Defend and respect marriage
10. Defend and respect my neighbours property
With the Apostles Creed on the Newman side with the quote ‘Thou art Peter...’ underpinning it.

Seaneinn said...

I too have a world priest card. A woman on the telco check out saw it and asked what it was so I gave it to her to see. After looking at it she asked if I could get one for her. Just goes to show how little things can make a difference. Though the new cards are a good idea I too feel they are a little too bland but it is a start.

Fr Michael G. said...

As the word "Service" is in the largest typeface, it really makes me anxious.
The whole thing seems to suggest the heresy of Activism, as if Christianity is about us "doing", rather than God "being", it is part of the Modernist heresy.

Lynda said...

A bit vague, sanitised, PC. Maybe of some value to the non-practising or those who know little of the Faith but like the idea and are open to more.

terryprest said...

I see that the Second Great Commandment is mentioned.

Why is there no mention of the First Great Commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole mind, and with whole whole strength" ?

Too many words, perhaps ?

Gigi said...

I've had the same little wallet with St Christopher and the tag "I am a Catholic. In case of an emergency, please call a Catholic priest" in my bag for years. It comforts me that it's there, although it says nothing about the faith or what it actually means to be a Catholic. I'm not about to get rid of it, although I was quite looking forward to the new Faith Cards. I like the Newman quote, although I agree that some part of the Creed would be more obviously apt. I'm also uncomfortabe with the emphasis on "service" rather than love. And the design is rather bland: I was hoping for something a bit more eyecatching and dynamic!

Tonia Marshall said...

It's funny how things come up that make you think again:

Waseem said...

like the idea...i wish to design Plastic cards same like that.

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