Bishop Martino and Failing our Catholic Youth

Bishop Martino of Scranton, Pa wrote, "Today's Gospel reads: "If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray: doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go to seek that which is gone astray?... [I]t is not the will of your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."

My friend, Scripture here reminds us of why we must be vigilant in protecting the faith of every son and daughter.

In asking for support of the work of The Cardinal Newman Society, the Bishop cites a recent Cardinal Newman Society survey found that:

* 27% of students at Catholic colleges view pornography.

* 59% say their friends regularly use drugs.

* Nearly 1-in-5 know a student who had or paid for an abortion.

* 61% disagree with the Church's infallible teaching on the male priesthood.

* 60% think that abortion should be legal (and even 50% of those who attend Mass weekly!).

* 60% think that premarital sex with someone you care about is not a sin.

* 78% disagree that using a condom is a serious sin.

* 58% support "gay marriage".

While I applaud and rely on the work and influence of the Cardinal Newman Society, I also believe that a Catholic foundation must be ingrained in youth prior to college.

It seems to me that these statistics germinate from a seed on untended soil. Many Catholics today haven't benefitted from proper catechesis. I know mine was felt banners and heretical concepts. We are a part of a generation that hasn't learned or lived our faith like the one before us. But it is not just our parishes that have failed....

When the churches and the seminaries were full, Catholics looked and acted differently than they do today. They went to Mass every Sunday and confession before it. They went on Holy days and they went during the week to pray devotions. They prayed the rosary as a family, daily. They were open to life and they believed in purgatory and hell and sought to avoid it. It was all real to them and at the forefront of their identity.

Many families aren't making their Catholicism their defining identity today. To do so is hard, requires sacrifice and by today's standards is politically incorrect! Most of what is listed above would be applauded by the mainstream, but it is not Catholic teaching.

So our youth, in those same percentages, are not hearing Catholic teaching from the pulpit, from their parents it would seem.

All a slippery slope...little sins, little changes lead to big sins and big changes and we're seeing the fruit.

It is so hard to live "in" the world today and be not "of" it. Reclaiming our Catholic identities will start in the families, of that I am sure. Each of us....I...need to +struggle+ to make my family...myself...more faithful. And the families that do so will most likely look odd, weird even the dreaded "intolerant" to most. Even then, it must be said that there are still no guarantees with our children...with our fallen nature...

Prayer, more prayer is needed for our uncertainties, for our doubts and dismays! Lord, give me the strength to live an authentically Catholic life...

...and thank you, Bishop Martino, for speaking out!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I apologize for my English, but I'm a regular reader of your blog and I'd like to say you that I agree with all the things you say about catholic education.
I'm an Italian mother of five and the catholic education in our family is of the greatest importance.
My elder daughter attends a non-catholic high school, but it seems that she is able to support her own faith, even in front of her schoolmates. I like her way to give the reasons of the hope that is in her.

+JMJ+ said...

Hello Daniela and welcome!

Your English is beautiful and so is your family!

I am so encouraged to "meet"/hear from you and learn of your focus on teaching your children the importance of their faith...which you must be doing so well in fact that your daughter can give reason for the hope within her....Praise God! So encouraging!

We need families like yours.

Henry Cate said...

"It seems to me that these statistics germinate from a seed on untended soil."

In general most Christian churches struggle to keep their children active in the faith. I believe a big part of the problem is public schools are for the most part hostile to religion and they get the children 35+ hours a week. A couple hours on Sunday are not going to make much of a difference.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for this post, Allison. It really hits home because our generation has had such poor catechesis.

I hope and pray everyday that I am doing the best by my children; that I am raising them to love God and His Church, and to be obedient to the Church's Teachings. I truly believe that the future of the Church rests in our homeschooled children, so that indeed puts a great deal of responsibility on our shoulders.

May God continue to give us all the Grace necessary to bring our children to Him.

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