Dear Young Catholic Men, I’ve never been on a date. That’s not to say I’ve never been in a romantic relationship; I’ve been in several. I’ve just never been on a classic get-to-know-you date, outside of an official relationship. At the release of Part-time Prophet’s article Young Catholic Men, Why Aren’t We Dating? I couldn’t … Continue reading Young Catholic Men, Why I’m Not Dating You
Yesterday, at 10:30am (local time) the Victoria Police announced that they are filing “multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences” against Cardinal George Pell.
Pell is Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser, the previous head of the Catholic Church in Australia, and the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged for sexual abuse. He’s also my old boss.
Meeting Them on Their Way is a 3-part blog series that takes a critical look at Catholic youth ministry. This series aims to offer insight into several areas that I feel have often been overlooked or under-emphasised. Read Part 2 here.
Whole Church Ministry
It should come as no surprise that youth ministry is a demanding job. Youth ministers spend hours in overloaded schedules dreaming up speakers, organising events, practising music, setting up sports teams, encouraging outreach to those in need and, of course, preparing food. And then, after all that, sometimes only a few people show up. Burnout is fairly common and the average tenure of youth ministers is dismally short, with many leaving a congregation after less than 2 years in a role.
Meeting Them on Their Way is a 3-part blog series that takes a critical look at Catholic youth ministry. This series aims to offer insight into several areas that I feel have often been overlooked or under-emphasised. Read Part 1 here.
Not Just the Church of the Future
Like most social institutions, the Catholic Church typically views the role of youth as preparatory. The focus is on developing our young people, so that they are solid Catholics by the time they settle into adult life.
There’s nothing wrong with this. Development of our youth – be it social, spiritual, intellectual, etc. – is important. But we need to be careful that a focus on development doesn’t prevent us from challenging young people to use their gifts in the here-and-now.
“We need a church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a church capable of entering into their conversation. We need a church able to dialogue with those disciples who, having left Jerusalem behind, are wandering aimlessly, alone, with their own disappointment, disillusioned by a Christianity now considered barren.
– Pope Francis, World Youth Day 2013
When Catholics in New Zealand (or pretty much anywhere in the Western world) contemplate our Church’s ministry to young people, we know that something has gone wrong.