Category Archives: focus on millennials

In light of faith: Reaching young people who have left the church

In a study released last month surveying young people who have left the church, its authors posed two important questions about the individuals behind the data: “Do we know who they are — the depth of their life stories — do we know them by name?” and “Do we miss these individuals now that they are gone?”

      The study, “Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics,” released by St. Mary’s Press of Minnesota, in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, categorizes its respondents into three major groups: the injured, the drifters and the dissenters. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

In light of faith: How can the church support young people during the ‘defining decade’?

Meg Jay, author of “The Defining Decade,” claims that “our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. Eighty percent of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. … Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. … When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20.”

      Pope Francis has called a synod on “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” to discuss how the church can help young people live their faith “through a series of choices that find expression in the states of life.” In short, the synod wants to help young people live out their vocation to holiness as lifelong adult Catholics by learning how to discern God’s will in daily life. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

In light of faith: Discernment begins in the everyday

The cold invigorated my friend and I as we walked quad by quad through campus after an evening Mass. The first snow had fallen a few days before, and the remnants of its remains glistened in the night sky. We were seniors, engaging in another round of What-We-Should-Do-With-Our-Lives.

      Conversation touched on our friends: Would she go to med school? Will he become a priest? Are they going to get married? We were hopeful, as we discussed the shape of our futures. I would move home, work a boring job and write. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

In light of faith: New priorities for one seminarian

Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to the United States was a thrilling time to be a seminarian in our nation’s capital.

My seminary is directly across the street from where the Holy Father would celebrate Mass for tens of thousands of people, making our building an ideal place for news crews to film their shows or file their stories. Media personnel were buzzing around the seminary busily preparing for the pope’s arrival, and the atmosphere was electric.

Yet at the same time, I was sad. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

In light of faith: Vocational discernment and anxiety

“The purpose of vocational discernment is to find out how to transform (our choices), in the light of faith into steps toward the fullness of joy to which everyone is called.” These words from the introduction to the Vatican preparatory document for the upcoming synod on “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” reiterate Pope Francis’ call to our church today: to live the joy of the Gospel. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

In light of faith: Blessed Solanus Casey’s witness to my family

Pope Francis has said in the preparatory document for the upcoming synod on “young people, faith and vocational discernment” that we need to see credible witnesses in order to be inspired to be holy. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

In light of faith: Take action against gun violence

I was in sixth grade when two gunmen entered Columbine High School and mowed down 12 of their fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives. By the time another madman decided to shoot up his own campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 students and faculty members, I was halfway through college. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials