SALEM — St. Joseph Parish here welcomed Archbishop Alexander Sample this week at his second of a series of regional Masses across the Archdiocese of Portland.
Discussing the Gospel reading, which detailed how Jesus rose to life the son of the widow of Nain, the archbishop encouraged Catholics in attendance to reach out to those who have not yet seen the light of Christ and to those who, having seen it, perhaps have fallen asleep.
"I speak of those who have fallen away; drifted away from the church" said Archbishop Sample. "They are your neighbors. They are your co-workers. They are even members of your own family. We must raise them up and give them back to their mother, the Church."
The archbishop admitted that the task will require hard work, but that this New Evangelization needs to start with those who truly believe.
"If we are not convinced ourselves, how are we going to convince the world about Jesus Christ?" he asked.
He pointed out that Catholics that divide themselves or put each other in different camps, need to get past that.
"The world will only believe that we have been sent by Jesus Christ when we are united in love," he said.