Next generation of Catholics


#1

It may just be me, but the Catholics I have talked to recently, those under 20, have a comparitively fantastic view of their faith and accurate ideas about what the Church teaches.

I myself am only 18, and I know comparitively little from my friends. But it seems that those who truly want to be Catholic have a desire to go full-throttle into it, which can only be good and a positive sign that the next few decades could well usher in an even stronger Church. Although the number of priests has declined, I think the lay of the Church are getting stronger individually, even if many fall away.

Just thought I would see what you guys think.

Any thoughts?


#2

99,

I fully agree. Our late Pope said there would be a “new spring” in the Catholic Church. In this we pray!

God bless


#3

I have thought that events like World Youth Day, especially over the last 12 years, has really shown that the world’s youth are embracing Catholicism. JP II made tremendous progress bringing “relevance” to the Church in today’s world.

Now I don’t mean changing beliefs, I mean communicating beliefs in a way that makes sense given the questions people have today. Example, instead of just saying “No you can’t have pre-marital sex”, JP II did a wonderful job in his speeches and encyclicals explaining what the Church DOES believe and teach about love and God, thereby placing pre-marital sex into a context where the Church conclusions are obvious.

If we are blessed to continue on this course for the next 50 years, I think you are right in your opinions. If we hit some bumps in the road, do not despair - we win in the end :slight_smile:

Note - if you are really interested in the long term view of the laity in the Church, read JP II’s encyclical “Christifedeles laici” (I think I have that spelled right), it’s actually very readable to us lay folks. I am about 1/2 through it, it is very inspiring as to the vision JP II had for us.


#4

New Spring! Your right. I am 20 and trying to be fully into it. God Bless and lets hope more people around the world open their eyes and hearts to Jesus Christ.


#5

I am at a state college now, and so many people here are on fire with love for God. Its amazing. This second week back for school I couldn’t believe how long the line for confession was. People are spontaneously deciding to learn latin, perhaps at prompting from the Holy Spirit. Daily mass has an amazing turn out. People thirst for classes in theology and scripture. People volunteer their time to help those in need. True, we have good priests, but at the same time there is an immense desire for the truth, after being innundated all their lives with lukewarm faith and in your face materialism. God is amazing.


#6

This is why we consider JPII John Paul the Great.
He has done wonders for the faith.


#7

I A:

What state college are you talking about?

I’m in Houston Galveston Diocese as well.

By the way, Janet Smith is giving a talk on Sunday 1:00PM “Contraception: Why not?” It’s done by the St. Anne Soc. I think it’s at St. Vincent de Paul. If you and friends are interested just call St. Vincent de Paul and ask. I’ve heard this talk by her before and it’s good—especially for college students!

Did you make it to Tim Staples’ talk at St. Cyril’s about two weeks ago? Now that was GOOD!!!

in XT.


#8

I think you’re right! There was a good editorial in the latest “Crisis” magazine that talked about this. What is also hopeful is the orthodoxy of the younger Catholics and the up-and-coming priests: the dissenters are aging, and losing their energy. Eventually, this new crop of orthodox clergy will be making their way, slowly but surely, into the chanceries of our dioceses—now THAT will make a difference!


#9

There are a lot of young people, who are coming into an age where you can find good answers, they are more and more readily available. There is a whole group of Catholics sick and tired of wishy washy teaching and dissident opinions. People want real truths and not just a watered down faith and you can feel this in many different places.

It will still take a while for all the effects of the “reforms” of the late 60’s 70’s and 80’s to be cleared away and the true teachings of Vatican II to emerge

Scylla


#10

I’m a hardcore Catholic and only 16. I have my religion teacher to thank for that, didn’t know nothing about my faith, then last years religion class changed everything. I love my faith :slight_smile:


#11

I completely agree! The “John Paul II” generation is just beginning to show the fruits of his labor.

This link is about the book “The John Paul II Generation”:

catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=2423

This article has some wonderful quotes:

catholiceducation.org/articles/catholic_stories/cs0128.html

“No one invented the World Youth Days. It was the young people themselves who created them”, John Paul II wrote in his 1994 book, Crossing The Threshold of Hope. In actual fact, he first sought them out; they then discovered him.

John Paul II enjoyed an incredible popularity with young Catholics. At the World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, he called the young people of the world his “joy and his crown”.

“Inaugurating his Papal ministry on October 22, 1978, he told young people,** “You are the hope of the Church and of the world. You are my hope.”** John Paul II always loved them, and believed in ministry and presence to youth. He knew deep within that without a love for and presence to young people, the Church would have no future.”

"He told the Holy Father — “Listen, they have come in great numbers. They are here for you. Forcing himself to speak, the Pope uttered slowly: ‘Vi ho cercato. Ora sono venuti da me. Vi ringazio.’ ‘I have looked for you and now you have come to me. I thank you.’ These were the Pope’s last recorded words on earth the day that he died, April 2, 2005. What fitting words to describe the centerpiece of his Papacy: young people.”

:slight_smile:


#12

My generation, (babyboomer) proved that secular living just doesn’t work. I think kids have decided they want a better life than what a lot of their parents had and realized material things aren’t the answer. Plus, who can they trust? Not government. Not the media. Not Hollywood. Not their liberal teachers. Not even their parents since half of them are divorced. The one true, absolute, secure, and unchanging variable in their lives is Christ and His Church. I just deeply regret that my generation gave the world the birth control pill. That’s really messed up a lot of things, but I think our youth are starting to figure that out, too.

God bless our young people.


#13

Speaking as one who was and in many ways still is one of the ‘new spring’ I can gives some comments.

I was a daily mass going, confession once a week, rosary daily Catholic and I eventually went to the seminary with a love of God and the Church. I am only 24 now, and I was in the seminary last year after completing a degree at a secular university which had an Opus Dei chaplain (we became good friends). I frequently attended Opus Dei events and while at school, organized the student body to aid the local Catholic soup kitchen (even though I was usually the only one ever to go, aside from a Philippino friend who has also lapsed in his enthusiasm for the Church).

Simply put…the enthusiasm wains. This is no different today as it was with my uncles (the end of the baby boom) who both went briefly to the seminary. One is now an Anglican and the other is (by the standards of thir board) a heretical Catholic professor of Biology at a prestiguous Canadian University.

The enthusiasm wains for several reasons for most and this is the same with my protestant friends who were all God-crazy in highschool and part of university. I would have to say that the main reason the enthusiasm drops is simply as people move from the juvenile level of Apologetics to the academic fields of History, Philosophy and Theology, it becomes evident that much the Church teaches simply isn’t true.

I used to read the apologists like Keating, Kreeft, and Madrid but I eventually (in an honest desire to learn more to better support my faith) started to read Gilson, Maritain, Rahner, Jungmann, Copleston, Chenu, Klauser, Newman, Dawson, Knowles, de Lubac, Congar,(Chesterton is still a favorite) etc. The previous simple apologetics answers were simply not adequate. Ironically it was at the seminary that a real shift in my faith occured, not because of the liberal professors who taught the modern and contemporary philosophy courses but because of the conservative religious professors who taught the Medieval philosophy, liturgy, theology and scripture courses.

My guess for the next generation of Catholics is this: some will fall away or become the much despised liberals either through laziness or true scholarship, and others will become simply the Catholic equivalent of James White fundamentalists. We see the fundamentalist trend (especially in the US) with the growth in popularity of the SSPX or even the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (I had a friend who went there and left disgusted with the Feeneyist/Jansenism found within) while at the seminary I chose I was squeezed between the ignorant conservatives (who couldn’t manage a passing grade if their life depended on it) and the homosexuals.

I would hate to see the Catholic Church go the way of American protestantism.

Adam


#14

I disagree Adam, I find that the answers the apologists give reach MUCH deeper than anything else i can find in any book or other website.

Enthusiasm does wain if you are not committed.

Those who truly desire Truth will only grow in theri union with Christ everyday. Im sorry you havent felt it, but although it gets harder that nonetheless will not affect your enthusiasm if Christ is in your heart.


#15

[quote=Ianjo99]It may just be me, but the Catholics I have talked to recently, those under 20, have a comparitively fantastic view of their faith and accurate ideas about what the Church teaches.

I myself am only 18, and I know comparitively little from my friends. But it seems that those who truly want to be Catholic have a desire to go full-throttle into it, which can only be good and a positive sign that the next few decades could well usher in an even stronger Church. Although the number of priests has declined, I think the lay of the Church are getting stronger individually, even if many fall away.

Just thought I would see what you guys think.

Any thoughts?
[/quote]

What do I think you ask?

I think this is a very well written, enlightening and uplifting post.
I have an intuitive (no data to back it up) feeling you may be right.

Thank you for sharing.


#16

[quote=Mijoy2]What do I think you ask?

I think this is a very well written, enlightening and uplifting post.
I have an intuitive (no data to back it up) feeling you may be right.

Thank you for sharing.
[/quote]

I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but thanks nonetheless :wink:


#17

In reply to Adam’s post, I feel that the reason why enthusiasm for the Faith fades is because of overkill. The pastor at my parish told me to “slow down” when I came to him to express my new-found enthusiasm for the Faith. And I can understand his point. I initially absorbed myself in books, the Catechism - trying every single little thing to express my faith. Now, I’m trying to find a workable balance between what I know is the truth, learning more, and having that knowledge settle within me so that it becomes more lasting.

I’m not saying that reading and learning more is a bad thing, that having doubts are a bad thing. I’m just suggesting that when it comes down to it, remember to just focus on the basics of the Truth. Christ’s message is so simple sometimes, we can have a tendency to expound on it using other sources outside the Church to skew it in a certain sense.

Yes, my enthusiam has faded…but my devotion and dedication have not. :thumbsup:


#18

[quote=Magicsilence]I disagree Adam, I find that the answers the apologists give reach MUCH deeper than anything else i can find in any book or other website.
.
[/quote]

Which makes me wonder if in your 18 years here on earth you have ever read any of the authors I previously mentioned. Don’t be quick to dismiss those previous historians, philosophers and theologians. They are THE BEST and usually the MOST CONSERVATIVE in their respective fields.

Enthusiasm does wain if you are not committed.

By definition it does, from a state of heavy commitment and enthusiasm to a state of less commitment and enthusiasm. (Sorry, I should have written wane, we are not discussing carts)

Those who truly desire Truth will only grow in theri union with Christ everyday. Im sorry you havent felt it, but although it gets harder that nonetheless will not affect your enthusiasm if Christ is in your heart

Who taught you this gnostic version of OSAS?

And Tonks, I feel that the reason enthusiasm for the faith wanes (correct spelling this time) is simply the emotional hysteria gradually gives way to a more rational approach and as we MATURE in the faith we discard much of what is associated with the ‘new spring’ of conservative Catholicism on issues ranging from evolution to contraception. We simply loose the immature and juvenile idealism that fuels all fundamentalist ideologies ranging from communism to fundamentalist Islam. The die-hards who remain with such profound absolutist convictions simply never mature out of the egocentric views and apologetics based search for the truth.

I think the ‘overkill’ you speak of is an honest reaction which will eventually leave people feeling depressed. Like a drug, in order to duplicate the same effect one needs to do more and more until one goes nuts like Luther in scrupulosity.

Adam


#19

Adam,

Pray for wisdom. IMHO, you seem to have substituted knowledge for wisdom. That’s understandable as you are only 24. You haven’t had time to really experience life yet. Did God call you to the seminary…or did you call yourself? If you have only an academic understanding of this faith, your enthusiasm will indeed fall off. You have to extend yourself beyond what is knowable. I really don’t mean to insult you, but I do perceive a sense of arrogance in your writing. Christ instructed us to come to him as a child…not a scholar. Come to God with humble and contrite heart…not with the security that you’re the smartest guy in the room. Knowledge is a good thing, perhaps a great thing, but it’s only useful if it is used to glorify God…versus satisfying self.


#20

It may be useful to know, that the word “enthusiasm”

literally means, “in God”, from the Greek en theos.

Best,

reen12 :tiphat:


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