The real question is, do Catholics (lay people as well as clergy, especially the USCCB) really want change and to do what it takes to get change? Albert Einstein famously said “the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Now we are not to begin calling either our faithful Catholic laity or our beloved Catholic clergy insane, but If we want change then we must be willing to make changes. We need to think “out of the box”. We believe that many Catholics, especially clergy, fear change because it is an unknown and they fear losing control. We are not talking about changing any Catholic doctrine or beliefs, but rather the way they are being “sold” and in some cases practiced. The Church has a rich unexcelled worldwide “product” in both tradition and content. To use commercial terminology “Catholicism has a great product but needs to do a better job marketing it”.
Most of us, especially seniors, do not like change. We like things as they are. A successful plan for dealing with the causes of these Catholics problems will demand dynamic and dramatic change. There will be those, both lay people and clergy, who will strongly disagree with the need for changes and the types of changes being proposed. That is almost inevitable and we need to work with such people in a tactful, compassionate and understanding way. It will not be easy.
We need to research what our “competition” is doing in depth and learn from other churches, especially megachurches, constantly challenge what we have been doing and not be afraid to take risks with trying new things or ideas and if they do not work out, either drop or change them.
We need to make use of the tremendous possibilities afforded by new technologies for communicating and achieving emotional engagement for the parishioners. Things like more audio-visual aids in masses, emails, social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), daily U tube TV shows televising homilies or inspiring sermons from our best speakers, televising masses on closed or other internet TV, printing homilies in Sunday bulletins, use of more art forms like music, dancing, skits, celebrity speakers, etc. We need to employ professional specialists in PR and other production avenues.