Berislav Grgic.jpgAt the Synod of Bishops men and women from all parts of the world gathered in Rome in October to speak on matters pertaining to evangelization. We in the USA, need perspective: the lower Europe and North America is not the only place where the Christian faith is incarnated. The bishop of Tromso since 2009,
Norway, Berislav Grgić, 52, said to the Synod Fathers:

The Catholic Church in the Northern Lands – Denmark, Finland,
Iceland, Norway and Sweden – is a very small minority and therefore has neither
the advantages nor the disadvantages that the Catholic Church often comes
across in traditional and prevalently Catholic regions. Despite its limited
relevance, numeric as well as social, our Church is nonetheless a growing
Church. New churches are built or bought, new parishes are instituted,
non-Latin rites are added, there is a relatively high number of adult
conversions and baptisms, there are vocations to priesthood and to religious
life, the number of baptisms is much higher than the number of deaths and
number of those who abandon the Church, and attendance at Sunday Mass is
relatively high.

In certain sectors of society there is great interest for the faith and spirituality, by non-believers who are searching for the truth as well as by Christians committed to other religions who wish to deepen and enrich religious life. It is also interesting to see that during the past years a relatively high number of contemplative orders have opened their own convents.

The transmission of the faith, often however, is made difficult because of the vast distances. Our priests must travel far – sometimes up to 2,000 km per month – to visit our faithful who live in distant places and celebrate Mass. This is very tiring during the winter months.