Russell Shaw explains:
Signs of a new Catholic subculture can be seen in things like a handful of proudly orthodox colleges and universities, media ventures like EWTN and Catholic radio, a growing number of websites and periodicals and a few publishing houses, and organizations and movements that work to promote a dynamic Catholic spirituality — especially a spirituality for the laity. Moreover, these things now are happening with the encouragement of a new generation of bishops and priests who have gotten the message and taken it to heart.
This is all to the good — up to a point. But note that when I speak of the desirability of a new Catholic subculture, I don’t mean a self-regarding, inward-looking ghetto. And let’s face it: Signs of such a thing can already be glimpsed here and there. They seem certain to grow if steps aren’t taken now to prevent it.
Here’s where the new evangelization comes in. It provides the rationale and the incentive to set our sights on something a lot better than a ghetto — on the creation of a new, dynamic American Catholic subculture specifically designed as a source of creative energy for preaching the gospel far and wide, with particular attention paid to former Catholics and nominal Catholics teetering on the brink.
That’s asking a lot: to create a subculture able to foster and sustain a strong sense of Catholic identity without turning in on itself. Evangelization is the key. Can it be done?
I think so. I hope so. Read the rest to see what else he has to say.