Posted by: Thomas Richard | December 13, 2013

My Parish is a Business?

I opened the newspaper today to find the troubling news: my local Catholic church was selected by the the “Regional Chamber of Commerce” as…..(trumpet introduction)…..”BUSINESS OF THE WEEK”!  My parish is a business?  When did this happen?  How did this happen?  I looked up “business” in Webster’s Dictionary – maybe the word has been redefined somehow:

Business – the activity of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money.

This is worse than I thought.  “Business” did not get redefined.  God help us all, if “church” got redefined!  I remember that Jesus got very upset when He discovered that the Holy Temple had become a “place of merchandise” – a place of buying and selling – a place of money-changers and money-makers.  “My Father’s House shall be called a house of prayer!”  He cried out for the whole world to hear: church is not a business.

Church is not a business; the activity of a church is not “making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money.”  Church ministers – lay or clergy – are not employees with a job; they are in service to God and His people.  And the services they provide are not “in exchange for money” – they are owed, they are the debts of love owed because He first loved us, and gave Himself for us.

No, I do not know how our parish ever got into a “chamber of commerce.”  What “commerce” is a church to be occupied with, except the supernatural commerce of the economy of grace?  God help us.


  1. Well said, Tom! Short, sweet and to the point…and candidly speaking, the Truth hurts only when it should!!! God Bless you for telling the truth….and this definitely had to be said. Those in positions that come with responsibility need to check-in to “Hotel Reality”…..I can only imagine that they are making up “their” rules and agendas as they go along……..Not good thinking, Needless to say, not a very good example at all……….as the Church is not a business and never ever should be considered as one.

    This is not good. God Help us…to WAKE UP!

    • Thanks, Deb, my dear niece!

      Yes, “the Church is not a business and never ever should be considered as one”, as you said. Thomas pointed us to Jesus’ words, “My house shall be called a house of prayer!” Jesus is the Truth and we need to conform our thinking to His. By God’s Grace, we need to have the mind of Christ.

      Yes, may God help us to wake up, now, during this Advent season, that we may truly prepare for His Coming not only for today or for Christmas but His Final Coming that we may be eternally His.

  2. The Church is most certainly not a business. However, many are closing mainly to a lack of attendance. It began when very few Catholics objected to shopping on Sundays. What next? Probably what Thomas wrote in his article…

    • Dear Gene,

      How good to hear from you again! It is true that many Churches in your Canada and our United States, and indeed in many countries are closing. However, there are other places where the Church is growing, like Africa and Asia. God is Faithful and Hell will not prevail against His Church. The lack of attendance and the lack of faith does begin with small things. As Scripture reminds us in Luke 16:10 – “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.”

      Each of us needs to examine our own conscience to determine if we are being faithful to Christ, and how we are building up His body in love. May the Holy Spirit guide us into the complete Truth of Jesus, through Mary. Thanks so much for your response, and your effort to remain in His Love. May God help all of us to do His Truth in love.

  3. Looking at all comments so far, along with the blog from Thomas, all I can add is ditto! More words cannot express the ache deep into my heart seeing this happen to our Church. These are troubling times for sure. We know that Scripture tells of these things, and Jesus reassures us that he is coming again, but it is very difficult to live in and witness the present situation. As much as revealing the Truth may hurt, Thomas’ words are actually refreshing to me… know there are others out there who are not sugar coating everything. Evangelization begins with the Truth. Jesus did not paste a smile on his face and pretend there’s a tea party (the kind with tea and crumpets) going on! Thank you, Thomas.

    • Thank you for your comments also. The “deep ache” in your heart is a blessing – a share in His own suffering for us. When such a profound longing and hunger for holy righteousness soaks into us all – maybe then, at long last, the fires of repentance and renewal will be ignited! Pray for us all – pray for His people – pray that such a deep aching may become a deep awakening throughout His Church.

  4. Well, the CATHOLIC Church isn’t a business… 🙂

    …but all the Evangelical Churches in our town (in England) are doing their darnedest to get into the Chamber of Commerce and the Local Town Council. It’s the latest ‘cool’ thing for them to do, so they’re all doing it, like lemmings.

    In England some ‘Christian’ ‘charitable’ franchises have started up, too. So, instead of your church community performing charity from its heart, you simply buy a franchise (and its branding), send some people on the training, and bingo! Instant ‘Christian’ love, yet run as a business, listed in the commercial directories, working hand-in-glove with Rotarians and Freemasons!

    They’re currently doing it with Food Banks and Debt Counselling. One of them rings a bell at the head office if anyone’s saved through the process! It’s more about trading souls (including four vulnerable families they’ve snatched from us). The vulnerable (their ‘clients’) are simply objectified for the sake of the goals of the franchises.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the latest American Evangelical fads that’s now crossed the pond to us…

    • Hello Peter, thank you for your comment – and warning. I think that some Catholics in the U.S. have already found other ways as well similar to what you describe, to try to keep God and Mammon both on friendly terms. Many colleges and universities here that used to be Catholic, and that continue to promote their Catholic “heritage” and “identity” – but that long ago gave over control and administration to secular Boards with secular hearts and intentions – come painfully to mind.

  5. Tom, perhaps it’s time you leave….. again.

    • Hello Miki – No, it is not time to leave. It is as it has been, time to trust God. Indeed it is time to remain in Him and to live in His Truth. This Church, the Catholic Church, is His Church. By His presence and guidance the Catholic Church has preserved the Apostolic Faith and passed it on for almost 2000 years. Her doctrine is true; her moral teachings are true, her worship is true, her communion with God in prayer – her spirituality – is true. Not all of her members are saints, that is a fact, but God remains true to His word and His promises: “Lo I am with you until the close of the age.”

      It is time to be faithful.

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