The decrease in numbers and zeal paints a picture of a church that hasn't been creating disciples to spread the message of the Gospel, Glemkoswki said. He also pointed towards the encounter of the faith as identified in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles – saying that this is not a reality for people at Catholic parishes today, leaving the guest or parishioner to wonder if it's even the same faith.
"Community, shared life, joy, apostolic zeal; these things should be the normative experience for Catholics, and often, our communities just don't measure up," he said.
"I don't think when most people walk into your average Sunday liturgy, they feel like they're worshiping God with a multitude of saints."
Glemkowski said this was a major concern for the convocation in Florida. In reference to Pope Francis' 2013 encyclical Evangelii Gaudium, the conference strongly recognized the need for developing missionary disciples to spread the Gospel within the culture.
"To be a disciple means to adopt the yoke of Christ meaning you have an active and growing prayer life, you participate frequently in the life of the Church, and you are attempting to conform your every moment to His teachings through ascesis and purgation."
However, creating discipleship is more than an ethical problem – and Catholicism is more than "an intellectual system with a moral code attached to it."
He said he understands why the Church at times mistakenly pushes a stringent morality as a response to a perceived ethical laxity on the part of Catholics.
But the faith can't be sustained solely as an idea, or even as the sacrifice required in the Christian life and as seen in martyrs and saints, he said. Rather, it's sustained through the love of the person of Christ.
Glemkowski quoted Saint John Paul II, saying: "It is necessary to awaken again in believers a full relationship with Christ. Only from a personal relationship with Jesus can an effective evangelization develop."
Perry West is a staff writer for Catholic News Agency. He graduated from Franciscan University with his bachelor's in English. Prior to his job at CNA, he worked in construction staffing and coffee.