On the Catholic Priesthood

Friday July 19, 2019

Church Losses

We become so accustomed to rejoicing in the many accessions daily coming into the Church from
 among the well disposed who are ever seeking that peace and contentment, that tranquility of life
 which the possession of the true faith alone can give, that we not un-frequently lose sight of the losses
incurred by the Church through the negligence of those who once claimed the honor of membership in
 her fold. Nothing is perhaps sadder than to unravel the history of a Catholic who has been unfaithful to
 his great trust, for it is then that the results which might have been, dawn on us, and we see how utterly
impossible it is to repair the loss.

Just to illustrate: A few years ago, a lady well along in years came to see a priest about being received
 into the Catholic church which her mother had left on the occasion of her marriage. She told the priest
that she was one of seven children, four of whom had married and had become the parents of twenty-four children.

"Your mother, then," rejoined the priest, "was responsible for the loss of her own seven and in all probability
 of her twenty-four grandchildren, making in all a known loss of 31 members suffered by the church, through
 her defection."

Like many another weak and careless mortal, she had gone on through life, unconscious of the havoc her
defection had wrought in the Lord's fold, or unmindful of the awful responsibility laid upon her, and the great,
 untold, immeasurable damage for which she would one day have to answer. The fact is real: it is only one
of the many which almost constantly come to the experience of a priest on the missions: and while from his
 heart he may deplore and pray for the wandering member of the House of Israel, he must leave to the
 recording angel the sad task of summing up the souls thereby lost to God's eternal kingdom.

Source: Maine Catholic Historical Magazine, 1916

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