In a recent study, researchers explored through surveys and interviews why young adults who no longer considered themselves Catholic had stopped practicing the Faith. You can learn more by searching for “Going, going, gone study St Mary Press” – here is one article on it.
While the reality is sad and many of you may have family examples of people who have left the Church which makes it even more personally troubling, we have come to learn that the roots of the “leaving” began as early as 13 for the youth. Many were just going through the motions until they got to high school or college.
So for me- and I hope for you too- while we mourn for those that are lost and I will never stop praying for them and reaching out where I can, I want to stem the tide by keeping those we do have engaged.
As a youth minister in the parish, I need to collaborate across age groups, reach out to and support parents, especially those who have young children to help keep families growing in faith and thus keep the youth engaged in a meaningful and progressively deepening experience of faith and discipleship.
So we know what “works” to help keep youth Catholic: those who have parents who are practicing committed Catholics, youth who regularly pray and read scripture, have deep experiences of prayer, reflective service through retreats, mission trips and youth conferences, and have multiple mentors in faith.
Read more in a great quick article by: by Jerry Windley-Daoust called Keeping Kids Connected to the Church: A Few Proposals
As he says: “If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short and sweet overview:
- Model the faith for your kids
- Practice the faith in the fabric of family life
- Nurture kids’ relationship with God
- Talk with kids about stuff that matters
- Tackle the tough issues
- Offer many paths to practice the faith
- Help them forge faith-based friendships”
If you have a passion for Keeping kids Catholic – first look to your own faith, and your own family. You cannot give what you haven’t got. Then if you feel called to it, come help us build up parents, families and youth through our parish family. We plan a variety of outreach and formation programs to help families and youth grow strong in the faith and we need planners, visionaries, mentors, benefactors, and chaperones to make this happen. Contact Colleen Trevisani to get involved. Make a donation here.