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Reflections on Being a Catholic Young Adult

  /   Wednesday July 23, 2014  

My birthday is coming up.  Depending on how “young adult” is defined, I’ll either have one more year left as a young adult, or I haven’t been a young adult for a few years now.  I think I’ll take the former.  A few things have been on my mind as I reflect on the fact that I will soon make my exit from young adulthood.

The most exciting thing for me has been being a part of the movement of young adults who are embracing orthodox Catholicism.  We were able to find out the truth and beauty of the teachings of the Church that had somehow been lost when we were in CCD or PSR or PRE or whatever you called it.  There were many moments of “Why haven’t we heard this before?”  In a number of places, better catechesis is now available, but there is still a lot of evangelization work that needs to be done.

When I first attended religion classes in high school, I expected to be far behind the others.  Little did I know that there really wasn’t much doctrinal content in the course materials in use at the time.  In fact, I came to a disturbing revelation.  I knew more than they did.  When I went to campus ministry in college, it was mediocre at best.  I actually was jealous of evangelical Protestants because they seemed to be much more enthusiastic than most Catholics that I knew.

After graduation from pharmacy school, I joined a catechetical young adult group.  For the first time, I saw people who were concerned about following what the Church teaches.  I discovered a lot of good Catholic books and publishers that filled in what I had long misunderstood.  However, at this time, and in the place where I was, it still seemed that I had to figure a lot out for myself.  I didn’t always know exactly who to trust to tell me what is true. Apparently, my experience was not unique. I believe it was Colleen Carroll Campbell who mentioned in 2002 that college students were growing in their faith despite the official campus ministry. The same could be said of other official ministries.

This was the 2000s, and the young, orthodox, well-formed priests were just beginning to be ordained.  A lot of ministries and resources have since become available to help teach the faith that weren’t available just as I was coming of age.  For example, Ascension Press, if it existed at all back then, hadn’t yet published the Bible Timeline Seminar or the Theology of the Body resources.  Catholic Exchange started as e3mil sometime in that era.  The campus ministry group FOCUS was still in its infancy.  Catholic Answers had been around for some time, but for some reason I wasn’t as interested in them at first.  Thankfully, more ministries are being formed, and more resources are available to help teach the Faith.  Just watch Life on the Rock on EWTN, and you’ll hear about a lot of them.

Back then, my focus was mainly on apologetics, probably because I was put into a situation where I needed to learn to defend my faith.  Unfortunately, I was too focused there.  I was looking for just the right argument.  I really needed to learn more than that.  I can thank Incarnation Church in Collierville, TN for letting me join their RCIA team and forming me as a catechist.  They even let me teach some of the sessions.  In fact, I can’t thank them enough.

I now see signs of things becoming even better even better.  We still see some of the orthodox young adult Catholics in our area who are ten or more years younger than I am, and they are very faithful and joyful.  They seem to have received better formation, too.  However, I know that their experience and formation isn’t universal in the Church.  It needs to be.  We would set the world on fire if it were.  There is still a lot of work to be done in evangelizing my generation and the people who came after us, but we have more people who are in love with Christ and his Church who will bring others with him.

Next blog, I want to share my thoughts on young adult ministry . . .

Category: Catholic, News on My Life

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Beth sliemers says:

Amen! If we surround ourselves with things immoral, we will eventually act accordingly. We have become desensitized to what the culture seems “funny” or “entertainment”. Falling victim to this can terribly destructive in many ways.

[…] I wrote a reflection on being a Catholic young adult.  Today, as I had mentioned, I want to write on Catholic young adult ministry.  I’m not so […]





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