Surveying to see what Church or theology questions are most prominent for teens. I work with our parish’s youth programs and am always curious as to what is on the minds of Catholic teens and how we can better serve them. Thank you in advance for any thoughts or insights.
Anything that goes against popular culture.
Modesty, SSA, co-habitation, Mass attendance, extra-marital sex, the concept of “fairness” as opposed to righteousness/justice, social justice, end of life issues.
Particularly the notion that "all you have to be is a good person, because God doesn’t care about religion, or worship, or living according to the Gospel…because God is love, so I can do what I want, because God loves everyone the same no matter what they do.
Kids really struggle with this, as they are often ridiculed by peers for being faithful.
Teenagers are concrete thinkers. We are unable to think abstractly until we are well into adolescence.
Since God is an abstract concept, then his existence is naturally incompatible with the teenage mind.
Therefore, when speaking to teenagers about God, you must explain who God is and why he matters in a concrete way.
Moral relativism is the religion of the modern world, as a result many teenagers are prone to moral relativistic ideas. Look at tumblr and all the other mini blog websites. There’s movements to bypass any definition of gender and sexuality, and every quirk in the human personality spectrum now has it’s own foolish little “sub-gender” situated “outside the binary.”
As such, the theology of the body would be a wonderful thing to go over. The sacredness of men and women, how God intends us to be, the sacrament of marriage and it’s nature as union between man and woman.
I’m 16 years old.
The biggest issue for teens, as others have also said, is relativism. The notion that you can do whatever you like, as long as it makes you happy. My peers buy into that ungodly nonsense like you wouldn’t believe, it’s absolutely sick.
Teens need to be taught that Catholicism is the One True Church of Christ. When I went through confirmation, my youth leaders never once mentioned that… it doesn’t surprise me that so many Catholics leave the Church with a good conscience-- they don’t see the difference between Catholicism and heresy!
Catholic youth materials don’t focus enough on actual Church doctrine and dogma. My confirmation class didn’t even discuss the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Not once. We talked about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit a lot, but never the Real Presence. Teens need to be taught these things, because sadly they seem to forget everything in the 8 year gap between First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Reverence of the Eucharist should be stressed as well. I have never seen any of my fellow youth genuflect before the Tabernacle, or even look in it’s direction when passing by. Never.
I don’t think I speak for myself when I say Catholic teens need the whole package. We don’t need the faith to be dumbed down to our level. If teens are given a strong base in Catholicism, everything else starts to fall into place.
Well stated. Consider being a Youth Minister when you are older. You’ll make a good one, and some of us can’t teach forever!
I’ve considered it, but I’d prefer to teach First Communion to really build Eucharistic reverence from the ground up:)
I commend you for this. In practice, it’s hard to get children that young to fully understand Eucharist. We catechists have to reinforce it every year. Right up to graduation from High School.
Excellent points – thank you for your insights. I’ve taught 8th grade RE for years and have always spent a good part of the year sharing these points. For our first talk with our high school-ers I’m definitely going to spend a good deal of time on relativism. Thanks!