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  A Christian Faith Magazine October 2003, Volume 9, Issue 3  
Organized Religion

Rev. Mark Connolly
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Many theological journals today are telling you that organized religion does not have the impact that it once had. And that might be true. But if you go back into the history of many of our immigrant parents, they really did not have what we know now as organized religion. They had a church that was just starting in this country for all practical purposes. They had a family that they were just starting. When you look at how many parents handed down religious values it is a reminder today that the great churches we have today, the great religious institutions came from an era when most people never heard the word organized religion. Religion in the time of our immigrant parents was a family affair, a personal affair, handed down from one generation to the next. The Irish were great years and years ago to sprinkle holy water during a time of inclement weather. The Italians and the Slovaks had their personal religious habits which were handed down long before organized religion ever became a phrase in our way of living. It was the family that handed down religion. It was the family that handed down values of kindness, charity and compassion. It was the family that handed down the value of prayer from one generation to the next. Each one of us is reminded we have a personal relationship with God, we have to foster it, we have to nurture it and often times we have to do it on our own. Yes organized religions might help many people, but when you break it right down the religious values of most us come from the home and the family. Those values and those principals each one of us must pass unto the next generation.

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